Dreams, nightmares and realities: a classic by the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
What begins as an ordinary laboratory visit turns into a bizarre and apocalyptic experience when a particle-light beam slices across the visitors’ paths, plunging them into different worlds constructed from their innermost dreams and fears. As emergency works scramble to free them from the wreckage, their minds begin an incredible journey through one fantastic shared world after another.
The man in black picked up something which had been leaning beside him. A ring perhaps two feet wide . . . yet when the man in black laid it down on the floor it was as large as he was tall.
The light went out. A bluish glow now emanated from the ring, revealing Bryda’s face ghastly gray as she leaned forward, and Yarco’s also, set and serious, and the conjurer’s impassive.
And within the ring, where moments before there had been the bare planks of the floor, a shape that moved, and opened eyes glowing like coals, and spoke.
‘What world is this?’ the awful voice inquired.
(First published 1962)
Astra City was a technological 40th century masterpiece. It represented the challenge of society to the raw untamed planet where it raised its gleaming towers in a far-flung corner of the galaxy. Beyond the force field encircling Astra City lay mystery and terror in the form of the weird primeval Greek beasts.
There were other mysteries surrounding Astra City. Mysteries like those the one-eyed Twen discovered in the labyrinth below the modern city. A labyrinth whose age would only be calculated in centuries… but which was believed to have been erected by the distant Masters themselves. Hidden in its depths Twen discovers a forbidden document of the millennial age, which involves her with a secret society who know the dreadful truth about the colonists. They are Androids… and their dawning intelligence leads them into head-on conflict with the rapidly decaying human race.
A creature from space who watched too many American TV programs…
A backwoods man who spoke an unearthly language…
And the most singular events which occurred in the hovel on the alley off of Eye Street…
You’ll read about all of them, and many more, in this fascinating collection of stories by Hugo Award-winner Avram Davidson, one of the most original and accomplished writers of modern-day science fiction.
It advanced not in the manner of a living creature but in the manner of sand. It had no arms and then a hundred, no feet but one as wide as the base of the advancing dune itself.
Everywhere and all of it was dark red, like all the rust that had ever afflicted the metals of the world squeezed into a swiftly shifting pyramid rage.
The dune howled and moaned and bellowed like some sky-scraping banshee unwillingly fastened to the Earth.
And in the midst of all that geologic fury, two thirds up the face of the oncoming mountain were two eyes…
The booming muskets and the cracking rifles suddenly began to fall off in intensity and the camelmen and the hordes of Tuareg women and naked children who had swarmed from the tents to greet them were falling silent. Here and there a hand pointed upward.
Homer, Cliff and Isobel swung their own eyes up to the sky in dreaded anticipation. The hover-lorry was camouflaged to blend in with the sands and rock outcroppings of this area, but it was possible that an aircraft might have determined that this was El Hassan’s base, possibly through some act of a traitor, in which case…
The lowland girl seemed to contain fire. Her hair stirred, flickered, gushed upward, blowing flame in a wind that did now blow.
A tower of light shot up the sky, beginning where the girl stood. For half a second there was only light, then it took form.
The form it took was Anackire.
She towered, she soared. Her flesh was a white mountain. Her snake’s tail a river of fire in spate. Her golden head touched the apex of the sky, and there the serpents of her hair snapped like lightnings. Her eyes were twin suns. The eight arms, outheld as the two arms of the girl had been, rested weightlessly on the air, the long fingers subtly moving…
The girl standing before the well, unblasted by the entity she had released, seemed only quiescent. At last one could see that her face, as it had always been, was the face of Anackire…
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 . . .
Today, tomorrow, always…the white-haired girl from the marsh is running for her life down a derelict highway
In a future world polluted to the point of dissolution, the trees are dead, the sky is yellow, and no birds sing. Everyone and everything is tinged with madness. For Eva Belmort there seems no role except to become some man’s plaything and drudge.
Then, one day, arrives the stranger with the gun – with blue eyes and hair as white as her own. Roaming the tortured landscape in his wagon, Steel is a seller of death…but for Eva he provides hope of escape from Foulmarsh.
Urged on by a power of love and hate impossible to fathom, Eva’s travels now take her to distant towns and villages full of danger and surprises – and arouse in her strong passions she cannot harness…
Glaciers once covered the world with ice. Now a gap has opened in the ice wall. And through that gap come the men who call themselves “Rulers”.
Their cavalry rides on mammoths. Their bows can shoot faster, harder, farther. Their wizards wield power that neither the shamans of the Bizogots nor the wizards of Raumsdalian Empire can match, a magic that can melt the stone beneath a man’s feet and call down fire from the sky. Scattered Bizogot survivors hide. The Empire is shattered. The feckless Emperor is in hiding.
Against the Rulers stands Count Hamnet Thyssen and a few friends: Jarl Trasamund of the Three Tusk Bizogots, the adventurer Ulric Skakki, and, most important, Marcovefa, the female shaman who has magic that Rulers cannot counter.
Perhaps Hamnet and his allies can save their lands from Rulers. But first they must seek the legendary Golden Shrine – which has not been seen by human eyes since before the glaciers came.