The planet did not rotate. On one side eternal day, the sun shining down hotly from the centre of the heavens. On the opposite side eternal night, the stars glowing coldly in the black and airless sky.
Yet the planet had been colonised. In ages past civilisation had dug into the rock of the darkside and had thrived. Aristocrats vied with aristocrats, and the poor, as ever, struggled to keep home and body together against the ever-encroaching cold surface.
To keep the lower classes happy, Vitra, the storyteller, spun romantic sagas on the popular network. She imagined a strange world on the sunside, inhabited by men and women enmeshed in crime and love, schemes and intrigues.
Vitra believed she was making this up. But was she? Was there really another civilisation on the bright side and could it be that what she related was not fiction – but events which would inevitably send both worlds out of synch to mutual disaster?
When Bill Masen wakes up in his hospital bed, he has reason to be grateful for the bandages that covered his eyes the night before. For he finds a population rendered blind and helpless by the spectacular meteor shower that filled the night sky, the evening before. But his relief is short-lived as he realises that a newly-blinded population is now at the mercy of the Triffids.
Once, the Triffids were farmed for their oil, their uncanny ability to move and their carnivorous habits well controlled by their human keepers. But now, with humans so vulnerable, they are a potent threat to humanity’s survival. It is up to people like Bill, the few who can still see, to carve out a future for the human race . . .
ZAKYM: World of the night-rulers and the day people. A world teetering on the edge of nightmare.
The Cyclan orders were clear – ‘Find Dumarest. Find him before war erupts on ZAKYM.’ But Zakym could hold the key to Dumarest’s search for his lost home planet – and for that he would risk everything.
(First published 1977)
The free humans lived underground, secretive, like rats. Above, the world was a fearsome place for them – the open sky a terror, the night so black, and the striding machines from space so laser-flame deadly.
Esther dared the open; she saw the sky; she saw the Enemy. And she was taken – captive – to the vast alien empty city. Surrounded by marvels of a science not born on earth, Esther did not know what they wanted of her. There was mystery in the city, dread in the heavens, and magic in the handsome alien man who came to her.
In this, the second book of the epic trilogy begun in The Forging of the Shadows, the once-glorious city of Thrull has become a place of death and despair. Seven years before, Lord Faran Groton, High Priest of the God of Darkness, overthrew Thrull and set loose his army of vampires to plague the city, waiting for the day the sun would rise no more…But the God of Light has his champions as well. A motley trio of survivors searches for the three ancient artifacts which can defeat the darkness. Traveling far beyond their own lands, they will encounter nightmares and disasters before facing their most dangerous enemies — the Dark-born Nations of the Night!
Back under the thumb of the Terran Empire after leading their planetary sector in an almost successful war against Imperial rule, Commissioner Desai saw real trouble brewing this time. A strange, fanatical movement was spreading like wildfire: there were rumours of the return of the fabled Elder Race: the Firstling, leader-elect of the planet, was on the run and hiding from Imperialist retribution. And off-planet agents from the Ythrian Domain and Mersia, Terra’s ancient foe, were abroad in the land. Unless Commissioner Desai could damp the fuse of rebellion, the universe would begin its terrifying descent into the Long Night . . .
In the 277th century, Earth is dead, but mankind survives in colonies scattered across the galaxy. To these new worlds come the Immortals, beings with strange ties to ancient Earth who seem to live forever, who can travel light years in days – and who use their strange powers to control the existence of ordinary mortals. On the planet Pentecost, a small group sets out to find and challenge the Immortals. But in the search they themselves are changed: as Immortals, they discover a new threat, not just to themselves, but to the galaxy itself.
When schoolboy Jason Cutler is killed late one night in a hit-and-run, the police are puzzled by the presence of a letter in his locker, to which is attached a five-pound note. They are unable to identify its author, nor can they ascertain why the boy was out so late at night.
Solicitor Rosa Epton has followed the case with interest, but when a client she has recently defended on a drugs charge turns up dead in the grounds of the school, her involvement becomes professional. It seems unlikely that the two cases are connected, but why does Jason’s brother deny having seen him in the days leading up to his death? And who was the girl seated opposite Rosa on the train and behaving erratically on the day news of the accident came out?
At first it was just another hoax, another UFO story, but the sightings went on increasing.
It couldn’t be an alien, there had been so many false alarms, dramatic news-columnists had shouted ‘wolf’ so many times, that John Citizen shrugged his shoulders and said ‘nuts’ at the very mention of the word space-ship. Then one of them landed…
The things they did were not exactly friendly. In fact by the time they’d finished, they had made an old-time Viking raid seem like a social call from the vicar…
Many other attacks followed. Day after day and night after night the alien ships screamed in on their mission of death. The earth struck back. But no one could track the aliens to their lair.
They seemed to come from Nowhere. They weren’t Martians. They weren’t Venusians, and they weren’t from another system.
That left only one place where they could have originated… yet the truth was so fantastic that none of the earth governments would take it seriously until it was almost too late.
The enemy came from within! From the gigantic caverns at the earth’s core.
In plain English, at 4 a. m., a ray of light had been observed on the disc of the planet Mars in or near the “terminator”; that is to say, the zone of twilight separating day from night. The news was doubly interesting to me, because a singular dream of “Sunrise in the Moon” had quickened my imagination as to the wonders of the universe beyond our little globe, and because of a never-to-be-forgotten experience of mine with an aged astronomer several years ago…
‘No one writes a better crime novel than Charles Willeford’ Elmore Leonard
By day, Richard Hudson, woman-chaser and used-car salesman, works his crooked car lot with much success. By night, he returns home to a family of misfits. One day, seized by a feeling of terror and revulsion, he realises he’s wasting his life in the meaningless pursuit of money. His only hope, he decides, is to pursue his dream of making a movie.
Richard completes his cherished project, but forces beyond his control swiftly reject and destroy it. As a result, enraged and humiliated, he goes on a bender of epic proportions, drinking his way through the underbelly of Los Angeles and exacting a monstrous revenge on all who have crossed him.
Angela Toni, only nine years old, has been missing for several days, and it is Wilfrid Hersey’s son Ben who is under suspicion. Hersey meets Detective Arthur Crook, whose blood boils at thought of a child killer.
But as Crook digs deeper he discovers that the night Angela disappeared was also the night an unidentified man was found in Hangman’s Alley, a shortcut the child would have taken on her way home. And another murder will take place before Crook finally uncovers the truth.
‘Grips steadily, like a conscientious ant’s jaws’ Observer
‘Arthur Crook in rumbustious form’ Sunday Telegraph
All his life Manvar has had a dream. One day, he will escape the harshly primitive, blizzard-torn lands of the north. He will follow the paths of the Ancients and see for himself the fabled lands of the south: lands without ice and snow and perpetual night; lands of warmth and light, where life is easy and comfortable within walled cities of incredible beauty. Manvar follows his dream, but finds it hollow. Life in the wondrous city of Delphos is not the paradise it seemed.
Lafferty’s Nine Hundred Grandmothers collects the following stories:
Nine Hundred Grandmothers
Land of the Great Horses
Ginny Wrapped in the Sun
The Six Fingers of Time
Frog on the Mountain
All the People
Primary Education of the Camiroi
Slow Tuesday Night
Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne
Name of the Snake
Polity and Custom of the Camiroi
In Our Block
Seven Day Terror
The Hole on the Corner
What’s the Name of that Town
Through Other Eyes
One at a Time
Brinton couldn’t believe the inscription when he read it in the cold white moonlight. He was looking at his own grave. He tried to read the date but the light wasn’t strong enough to be certain. He returned to the graveyard by daylight… but the grave had gone.
He left the town in horror, but the grave followed him. He was drawn to burial grounds like iron to a magnet. It was always the same. By Moonlight he saw the grave, but never the date. By day he saw nothing. One night he saw the month. Then they day; at last he saw the year. He knew he was due to die in one week. What could he do? Can a man forestall his fate? Can a mortal outwit the dark designs of destiny? Was it all in his mind? Perhaps Roger Brinton was mad? The asylum is warmer than the grave. The day before he was due to die he saw the grave again… The earth was newly turned… it was waiting for him!