The Humanx Commonwealth: Book Seven.
They call it the Drowning World. It is Fluva, a planet on the fringes of the Commonwealth where it rains torrentially, ceaselessly, and maddeningly for all but one month of the Fluvan year. Chief Administrator Lauren Matthias is fairly new to the position. Her primary goal: keeping Fluva’s indigenous species, the warlike Sakuntala, and its immigrant species, the timid but hardworking Deyzara, from annihilating one another.
The wettest place on Fluva is Viisiiviisii, an immense, mostly unexplored jungle. Thanks to the endless rains and humid conditions, exotic animals and plants have thrived there, many of them deadly predators. Yet the same evolutionary process responsible for creating toxic creatures has made the jungle a treasure trove of undiscovered botanicals potentially useful in engineering everything from pharmaceuticals to perfumes. A man can get rich there. Or die trying.
Bio-prospector Sadrach Hasselemoga has come to the jungle to get rich – if he survives the terrain once his sabotaged ship goes down. When a Sakuntala and a Deyzara are dispatched by Matthias to rescue the unfortunate soul, their ship crashes, too. Now, in order to survive, the three unlikely allies must do something that no one has ever done before: walk out of the Viisiiviisii.
Meanwhile, in what passes for civilization, long-simmering tensions between Sakuntala and Deyzara erupt into violence, threatening Matthias’s official position of neutrality – and her life. Behind the violence, Matthias detects a mysterious presence, one related to Shadrach’s disappearance. But how are the two related? The answer, when it comes, will send shock waves through the entire Commonwealth…and beyond.
There is a town that brews a strange intoxicant from a rare fruit called the deathberry-and once a year a handful of citizens are selected to drink it. . . .
There is a life lived beneath the water-among rotted buildings and bloated corpses-by those so overburdened by the world’s demands that they simply give up and go under. . . .
In this mesmerizing blend of the familiar and the fantastic, multiple award-winning New York Times notable author Jeffrey Ford creates true wonders and infuses the mundane with magic. In tales marked by his distinctive, dark imagery and fluid, exhilarating prose, he conjures up an annual gale that transforms the real into the impossible, invents a strange scribble that secretly unites a significant portion of society, and spins the myriad dreams of a restless astronaut and his alien lover.
A runaway planet hurtles toward the earth. As it draws near, massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions wrack our planet, devastating continents, drowning cities, and wiping out millions. In central North America a team of scientists race to build a spacecraft powerful enough to escaped the doomed earth. Their greatest threat, they soon discover, comes not from the skies but from other humans.
In the real world, the Mediterranean basin dried up several times, only to refill again. If it hadn’t, what’s really sea bottom would have become the most savage desert in the world. Mild-mannered Radnal vez Krobir likes it that way. When his kingdom’s enemies try to shake down the Barrier Mountains and let the Atlantic in, he has to stop them – or else drown along with everything he holds dear.
Francis Conway is Swill – one of the 90% in the year 2041 who must subsist on the inadequate charities of the state. A young boy growing. Life, already difficult, is rapidly becoming impossible for Francis and others like him, as government corruption, official blindness and nature have conspired to turn Swill homes into watery tombs. And now the young boy must find a way to escape the approaching tide of disaster.
THE SEA AND SUMMER, published in the US as THE DROWNING TOWERS, is George Turner’s masterful exploration of the effects of climate change in the not-too-distant future. Comparable to J.G. Ballard’s THE DROWNED WORLD, it was shortlisted for the NEBULA AWARD and won the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD.
America and Russian both explode huge H-bombs simultaneously. The tests go wrong, cracking the seabed, rupturing continents and engulfing cities. The Thames flattens into a flood plain, London is drowned.
Now comes cosmic retribution – giant wasps, monstrous and deadly, directed by a supernatural intelligence, invade a reeling world. In England, isolated guerrillas fight on¿
In a world drowning in data and information and choking on novelty and innovation, Nickie Haflinger – a most dangerous fugitive who doesn’t even appear to exist – provides a window onto a global society falling apart in all directions, with madness run amok and personal freedom surrendered to computers and bureaucrats. Caught and about to be re-programmed, can he escape once again, defy the government and turn the tide of organizational destruction?
Hal Halliday runs a missing persons business in mid 21st century New York. It is a city that is drowning in refugees after terrorist outrages have left much of America a radioactive wasteland. People colour their grim lives with endless hours spent in VR. It is an addiction which has made VR magnate Sergio Mantoni a multi-millionaire. But now Mantoni faces a threat from a guerrilla group called VIREX, who are dedicating to ending the false promise of VR. And when Hal accepts a job to look for the missing sister of a Holodrama star, he find himself drawn into the complex world of VR and VIREX ..
By the twenty-first century the world was drowning in its own population. A solution had to be found quickly – and it was, in ‘gravi-power’. Wonderful, unending source of power – only the scientists knew that its use was reducing the Earth’s distance from the sun at a dangerous rate. But if another planet’s gravi-power could harnessed . . .
An expedition was launched to Mars, known to be uninhabited – except that a woman was wandering around its surface who claimed she had come from another galaxy to warn Earth of a terrible menace, and there was a huge poly-hedron of metal emanting a force very much like that of gravipower.
Someone else had discovered it! A thousand years ago, or now? Friend, or enemy?
(First published 1965)
The first coming was the Man:
The second was Fire to burn Him;
The third was water to drown the Fire;
The fourth is the Bird of Dawning.
Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain’s seven island kingdoms.
Now his namesake, Tom, bearing the Boy’s own pipes and perhaps himself imbued with the spirit of the White Bird, is wandering Europe in company with the girl, Witchet. But disaster overtakes them and Tom, in a fury of vengeance, breaks his vow of Kinship.
A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.
‘Le Guin’s words are magical. Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it’ David Mitchell, author of CLOUD ATLAS
In this stunning collection of four intimately interconnected novellas, Ursula K. Le Guin returns to the great themes that have made her one of America’s most honored and respected authors.
At the far end of our universe, on the twin planets of Werel and Yeowe, all humankind is divided into ‘assets’ and ‘owners’, tradition and liberation are at war, and freedom takes many forms. Here is a society as complex and troubled as any on our world, peopled with unforgettable characters struggling to become fully human. For the disgraced revolutionary Abberkam, the callow ‘space brat’ Solly, the haughty soldier Teyeo, and the Ekumen historian and Hainish exile Havzhiva, freedom and duty both begin in the heart, and success as well as failure has its costs.
From the vaults of the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to one of the unique voices of British science fiction, John Middleton Murry, Jr, who wrote his best work under the pen name Richard Cowper.
The son of the famous critic John Middleton Murry, Cowper announced himself to the science fiction world in 1967 with BREAKTHROUGH, which found favour for a subtlety and richness of characterisation not seen in most contemporary SF. The idea of a transformed future England became his signature leitmotif and it is this theme that informs the Corlay tales contained in this omnibus. This is the complete Corlay sequence, featuring introductory novella ‘PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN’ and novels THE ROAD TO CORLAY, A DREAM OF KINSHIP and A TAPESTRY OF TIME.
THE ROAD TO CORLAY:
On the Eve of the Fourth Millennium a slowly-building civilization, struggling out of the rubble of the Drowning, was crushed beneath the sceptre of a powerful and repressive Church. But on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the sound of a magical pipe was heard, and the air was filled with songs of freedom and enlightenment. And on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the Boy appeared, bringing the gift of sacrilege, a harbinger of the future, heralding the arrival of the White Bird of Dawning. It is the coming of a New Age. A glorious future bearing the presents of the past!
A DREAM OF KINSHIP:
They came to destroy! The treacherous Falcons, uniformed in the black leather tunics of the fanatic Secular Arm, descended on Corlay to burn and kill. Commanded by Lord Constant, ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, they were determined to crush the religious heresy of Kinship. But a new dream rose from the ashes… When four Kinsmen escaped the carnage of their beloved land, each helped to fulfill the miracle that had been foretold: the coming of the Child of the Bride of Time.
A TAPESTRY OF TIME:
Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain’s seven island kingdoms. Now his namesake, Tom, bearing the Boy’s own pipes and perhaps himself imbued with the spirit of the White Bird, is wandering Europe in company with the girl, Witchet. But disaster overtakes them and Tom, in a furry of vengeance, breaks his vow of Kinship. A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.