By Space Possessed brings together Clarke’s essays on travel to the planets and beyond in a form where they can be read individually or as a continuing narrative. It describes the history of an enthusiasm that took a Somerset farm boy to international fame, starting with the delightful, self-deprecating humour of the early days of British Interplanetary Society and proceeding to deeper concerns when at last the early daydreams, mocked by so many, began to come radiantly true. Along the way there are delights of Clarke’s prediction of the Moon landing, the lecture which prompted Bernard Shaw to join the British Interplanetary Society and the birthpangs of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Humanity’s future lies in space. These ever-topical essays, covering crucial years of interplanetary speculation and exploration show that one man, Arthur C. Clarke, has always been capable of foreseeing possibilities and probabilities, and opening up magnificent vistas to those willing to look with unblinkered eyes and minds. This is a testament to his vision.
There were many reasons why the Time Kings sent their warrior hordes back through the endless corridors of Time. The ancient spaceships had been destroyed by the wrath of a people smarting under the aftermath of the Galactic War. But though the lanes of space were deserted to them, the Time Kings possessed a weapon more deadly than any other – the Amphichron. Sweeping through the grey ages, the warriors destroyed and pillaged the peaceful eras of the past.
Earth is dead – murdered from the depths of space. But how? And by whom? Poul Anderson, as versatile and ingenious as ever, admirably confirms with this tale of interplanetary terror that he possesses one of the most awe-inspiring talents in the whole field of science fiction.
Fighting for Mars means a battle with the Lobants, a formidable enemy, robot yet human, whose origins are shrouded in a terrifying Martian mystery. Ace rocketship pilot John Delmar, on a dangerous and unlicensed space light to the fabulous planet, solves the answer to the swarming scourge of Mars in a story that possesses all the compulsion of a three-dimensional horrific…
The valley was isolated in time and space, a land of barbarous science and human sacrifice.
Coatlice the Dreadful stalked the night, her twin serpent heads dealing death to taboo-breakers.
Citallatonac the First Priest sacrificed anyone believed to be possessed by the gods.
Chimal rebelled: he wanted to escape the atavistic confines of his lost civilisation, to venture into the unknown world beyond the valley, a world of hope, and nightmare, too.
Captain Baron, space pilot, is forced to abandon his ship, waiting for a rescue that does not come. Eventually he dies in space, his body frozen and perfectly preserved. Five years later, he is found, and two doctors, Le Maitre and Whitney, restore him to life using an experimental surgical technique.
Returning to Earth, Baron finds that he has been declared legally dead, his commission rescinded, and all his possessions reverted to the State. His only asset is the novelty and notoriety of being a Resurrected Man, and when this is ruthlessly exploited by others, he commits murder and becomes a fugitive from the police. Inspector McMillan enlists the help of Dr. Whitney to track him down, but their task is complicated by the fact that Baron is no longer quite human . . .
It came from outer space . . .
The Medusa, the intergalactic conqueror, a hive-like being with a consuming appetite to absorb all life in the universe.
Now the Medusa had reached Earth. It had taken control of its first human being. Through him it would possess all his fellows.
But there was one thing the Medusa had not reckoned on. One tiny factor in the complex human equation. A desperate last chance for the stubborn and independent creature known as Man to save himself . . .
Riverworld was a planet of Eden whose people possessed the power of dreaming the future. Kyreol, daughter of a Healer, pierced the vision veil to discover the ultimate truth – that her home world unknowingly hosted the way station of a vast interstellar civilisation.
An evil star shone on Kyreol’s first mission as an interplanetary agent. Her ship fell out of space, cracking on a lonely, mysterious moon. Rising from its endless plains was the white city – awesome, abandoned, eons-dead – a silent world of secret wonders.
Only her prophetic dreams linked Kyroel to Riverworld, but she was hopelessly marooned light-years away. And she was not alone…
No human being had ever landed on the hidden planet of Arisia. A mysterious barrier, hanging unseen in space, turned back all ships. Then the word came to Earth, inexplicably but compellingly:
GO TO ARISIA!
Virgil Samms, founder of the Galactic Patrol, went – and came back with the Lens, the strange device that gave its wearer powers no man had ever possessed before. Samms knew that the price of this power would be high. But even he had no idea of the ultimate cost – nor of the strange destiny that awaited the First Lensman . . .
First Lensman is the second self-contained novel in E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s epic Lensman series, one of the all-time classics of adventurous, galaxy-spanning science fiction.
Once, at the height of Earth’s fabled history, there was a city called Ferrin. Compared to Ferrin, all the cities of Earth that ever were or would be – from imperial Rome to towering New York before to the city called R afterwards – paled into insignificance. But in the long twilight centuries that followed the fall of Ferrin memories faded and men’s ambitions waned, and by the time that the young man Thel heard of Ferrin, no one was sure it was anything but a myth.
But part of an abandoned highway still passed near Thel’s home – and when a starry fragment from Ferrin came into Thel’s possession, he knew there could be no rest for him until he had followed the ruined roadway that still spanned time and space to find the truth about the Rise and Fall of Ferrin – and also of all humanity’s hopes.