Ed Carter, a New York reporter on his way to his home town in Omaha for a short vacation, saw the missile in the last moments in its journey back to earth. A sweller on the brink, like all of us, he had no doubt about what it was; Oh God, he thought, this is it. The blast of the impact flung him some distance, and when he regained consciousness, his first reaction was one of surprised to find himself still alive, and not, it seemed, even badly hurt. Presumably the missile had been directed at the big Air Force base nearby, and should have destroyed everything and everyone within a radius of miles. Could it have failed to explode?
Carter sees the remains of part of the missile in an adjacent field and hobbles over to it. A minute or two later several Air Force officers arrive. They examine the remains, and find the burned-up body of a pilot. In other worlds, the missile was not Russia’s first shot in the Third World War, but a failure to launch a man into space. But Carter knows that the Distant Early Warning line will have reported the missile; that the senior Air Force officers, in accordance with plan, will have taken to the air – in the country’s interest, their lives must, of course, be preserved if possible; that by now the retaliatory American bombers will have passed the point of no recall; and that the Third World War has begun. Not so, Colonel Ben Goldwater tells him: “I called the bombers back.”
Goldwater, the man who had been left in command, has saved the world – for at least a little longer. So he becomes a world hero? Not a bit of it. On the contrary: a nightmare looms ahead both for him and for Ed Carter, and the reader watches it all with growing fury…
Twenty-first-century Moscow. Luther and Jake have a mission – to steal the experimental transferral device from under the nose of the Dream Team.
It’s a bold and dangerous plan that goes fatally wrong. The New York they return to is not the one they left: it’s a nightmare world of violence, paranoia and apartheid on the brink of a devastating war.
The second collection of short stories from the prize-winning author of Orbitsville.
Nine stories demonstrate Shaw’s superb imaginative range and cynically humorous approach to the world of the future.
Skirmish on a Summer Morning
A Full Member of the Club
The Silent Partners
The Giaconda Caper
An Uncomic Book Horror Story
Waltz of the Bodysnatchers
A Little Night Flying
It’s the week before Hallowe’en, and Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams fulfilled …
And as two boys trembling on the brink of manhood set out to explore the mysteries of the dark carnival’s smoke, mazes and mirrors, they will also discover the true price of innermost wishes …
In the long twilight if a galactic empire, the old king is dying. He has little choice but to name his callow young son as heir and his wanton daughter as regent. It seems the long decline is destined to continue.
But everything is changed by the appearance of a rival claimant: a long-lost princess, accompanied only by a loyal champion and a mysterious advisor. Will her arrival herald a bright new dawn for the empire? Or drive a once-proud civilisation to the brink of war . . . ?
Two explorers from the Earth’s surface had carved themselves an empire at the Earth’s core – Pellucidar.
The dangers were many. Untamed tribes and vicious beasts were a constant peril, and there were times when the lives of the surface-men were at stake. But, just when things seemed hopeless, they came up with a trump card – a new weapon.
What they didn’t realize was that it was a weapon that could bring its makers to the brink of disaster.
What happens when . . .
An all-powerful killing machine is equipped with a human brain on the brink of madness?
A group of apes are injected with human intelligence and build their own strange empire?
A child with an other-worldly intellect is locked in mortal combat with his own down-to-earth father?
A hand-picked space team convenes at a countdown that can mean the start of a new era – or the end of mankind?
You’ll find out when you enter . . . THE DOWNSTAIRS ROOM.
Martin Bond had an intriguing theory of Cosmic Descent, believing that the first intelligent life in the solar system evolved on the Moon, with the Selenites later migrating to Mars, after they had destroyed their civilization and the Moon following the discovery of atomic power. The Martians had subsequently fallen victim to the same cycle of events, and their survivors had fled to Earth. There is something inherent in the atom which is released along with nuclear energy that stirs the baser passions of living beings. And now, humanity stands on the brink of atomic warfare…
The arrival of a party of aliens from a distant world would arouse mixed feelings in the mind of any human witness involved. But if the strangers prove to be the advance party of a gigantic global migration scheme most human beings would almost certainly be afraid. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Mike and Jay, caught up in the mesh of just such a situation, were two very frightened people. But they were also on the brink of the most fantastic adventure ever woven around the lives of ordinary mortal beings…
The Penheniot Experimental Research Village was a top-secret community with an elaborate defence system to keep away prying eyes. Inside the walls men rushed ahead with practical experiments to develop a means of time travel, while outside the everyday world fell victim to more and more plagues, strikes and rioting.
The world was on the brink of chaos. Could the small band of scientists and chrononauts at Penheniot Village find a safe method of escape into the future before the violence and death outside destroyed them too?