He was designed to be the perfect man. And at first the experiment seemed a success. John Shaw – the product of secret government research into enhanced intelligence – was from birth far beyond anything human. Brilliant and charismatic, John could have been anything he wanted – except that which he longed for more than anything. To be normal.
So John created Benjamin: an alternative persona, a way of coping with people who hated what they could not understand. He was everything that John wasn’t – but now those very differences are killing him. Benjamin has become the dominant personality, more and more often in control. John’s altered body has left his mind at risk – and unless he can discover the truth that will fuse both parts together, both he and Benjamin will die.
Robert Charles Wilson spins one of his most stirring, tightly woven tales with The Divide. Reminiscent of Flowers for Algernon, it is at once an adventure story and a sensitive look at the consequences of man’s actions – and of one man’s quite literal search for himself.
On a future Earth, where invading aliens have forced humanity to revert to a feudal society and conducting scientific research is punishable by death, it’s good to be the heir to a duchy. Unless your brother has been burnt as punishment for heresy. And unless you intended to do something about it . . .
The siege of Kerbryhaine had been raised, the Ekwesh hordes vanquished, the Mastersmith slain. But for Alv – now Elof the Smith – the war was not yet won: Kerbryhaine was still a divided city; the Ekwesh, bloodily defeated, would look for revenge; and the Ice, implacably malevolent, continued its inexorable march southward.
So from divided Kerbryhaine Elof, Kermorvan and his companions mounted an expedition to the legendary lost cities of the East; if they managed to reunite the war-torn tribes, perhaps they could stand together against the menace of the Ice. But to Elof and Kermorvan the journey would also bring knowledge: of the Powers ranged for and against them; and the secrets within themselves waiting to be revealed – secrets that would play a part in the war yet to come.
Divided between the tensions of behind-the-scenes preparations in London and the drama of the launch-pad in Australia, this vintage Arthur C. Clarke novel recounts the events leading up to an epoch-making interplanetary space flight.
Precise in his recording of facts, perceptive in his intuitions, Clarke’s historian hero is the ideal narrator of this epic chain of events.
It is a time of great darkness, when the sun is in danger of being forever extinguished, and mankind has been divided into two warring factions: the worshipers of the God of Light and the servants of Eternal Night. Now three unsuspecting travelers are called by prophecy to face a legion of the undead and the powers of the Dark Lord in the faint hope of reclaiming the world for the light.
865 A.D. Warring kings rule over the British Isles, but the Church rules over the kings. Powerful bishops and black-robed priests fill their cathedrals with gold, while threatening all who oppose them with damnation. But there are those who do not fear the priests, and they are the dreaded Vikings of Scandinavia. Among these Northern invaders, those who follow the Way of the Gods of Asgard carry the Hammer of Thor as their emblem, and they are sworn to increase mankind’s knowledge and strength by conquest and by craft. And as Viking warlords cast hungry eyes upon a weak and divided Britain, the Way collides with the Church, launching an all-out war between The Hammer and the Cross.
At the center of this bloody conflict is Shef, bastard son of a Norse raider and a captive English lady. A smith and a warrior, he is driven by strange visions that seem to come from Odin himself. Torn by divided loyalties, Shef alone dares to imagine new weapons and tactics with which to carve out a kingdom – and threaten the holy power of Rome itself!
The Virgin of Zesh
In which a beautiful woman, a mind-drunk poet, and a super-sober scientist must fight for their lives on a planet occupied by weird cultists from the Earth and bizarre varieties of humanoids from all over the galaxy.
The Wheels of If
In which a young lawyer is trapped in a sense-shattering shuttle among alternative worlds of possibility, and lands at last in an America that has been colonised by Norsemen and divided between two great warring empires – one white, one Indian.
Edward Prendick is shipwrecked and finds himself stranded on an island in the Pacific. Here he meets the sinister Dr Moreau, a vivisectionst driven out of Britain in disgrace. And soon strange events cause Prendick to uncover the full horror of Dr Moreau’s activities on the island.
THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU mixes discussion on the divide between humans and the animal kingdom and chilling macabre horror in an unrivalled fashion. Its question on how far science should go is one that rings true today as it did when it was first published.
A SCIENTIST BY NATURE – he used his rational powers of observation to examine more closely the privileges he was born to enjoy – and the people he was raised to despise.
A REBEL AT HEART – she followed her fiercest passions in the struggle to overthrow a legacy of hate – one that had poisoned her family for generations.
ON A PLANET DIVIDED – between rich and poor, strong and weak, intellect and feeling, only one thing could bring these two opposites together: a strictly forbidden desire.
For justice. For equality.
FOR EACH OTHER…
First published in 1965, this brilliant, prescient book is divided into three sections:
The first concerns space travel and other aspects of the new space age: how our concept of time must be modified when we travel long distances, the space seas of tomorrow, uses of the moon, how lower gravity will affect the sports of space colonists and other fascinating ideas.
The second part is about communications satellites, a field in which the author has already played the role of true prophet.
The third section ranges widely over the side implications of the space age – scientific meddling, the lunatic fringe and the moral obligations of scientists.