What would you do if little men in purple uniforms filled your living room with impossible machinery?
A machine made it possible to bury your crimes in the future?
You were abandoned on an asteroid alone with a murderous living snake of metal?
A collection of Walter Tevis’s short fiction, containing:
Far From Home
The Other End of the Line
The Big Bounce
The Ifth of Oofth
The Scholar’s Disciple
Far From Home
Close To Home
A Visit From Mother
The Apotheosis of Myra
Out of Luck
Sitting In Limbo
This is an essential collection from the author of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, THE HUSTLER and THE COLOUR OF MONEY.
In the far future Earth is dying. Society has reverted to a more primitive life, much like the Middle Ages. Two men, Matthew and his brother John, who calls himself “Firefly,” set out to find the time traveller, the one person who can give purpose to their existence, the one individual who can still access past technology. The Firefly, he who lights his own way, seeks the age of Man’s greatness, the time when the human race once owned the stars, when great cities stood in places that have now become rust-bowls.
The Star Folk were an anachronism. Living in their cluster of giant ships far out in space, cut off from contact with their fellow humans, they were shrouded in mystery. Through the allegory of an ancient song, Joneny, an anthropology student, set out to unravel that mystery – and found a truth stranger than any allegory . . .
“Upon you and you alone must rest the fate of the universe. You are the only ones to save it.” Thus spoke the mysterious Cosmic Engineers to a small group of human beings on the rim of the solar system. Somewhere out there in the vastness of the galaxies lurked the greatest challenge they would ever face – the catastrophic fury of the Hellhounds of Space. Promptly, courageously the earthlings boarded their galactic spaceships and journeyed out far beyond uncharted stars, plunging into dangers too awful even to contemplate.
She came out of his past to threaten his future
Out of Jefferson Halliday’s past comes Rima Marshall. She’s got nothing to lose – she’s sunk just about as far as a woman can go. But she knows enough to put Jefferson in the hot seat. And he knows she knows. With the deck stacked against him, blackmail becomes a deadly weapon to fool around with …
‘The thriller maestro of the generation’ Manchester Evening News
A churning nuclear vortex, appearing out of nowhere, wreaking utter destruction – and countless numbers of them were menacing planets throughout the galaxy! ‘Storm’ cloud, nucleonic genius, set out in his spaceship Vortex Blaster to track and destroy the mysterious vortices – and embarked on a saga of discovery and conflict among the far stars and the worlds of the Lensmen . . .
The Vortex Blaster is the seventh and last self-contained novel in E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s epic Lensman series, one of the all-time classics of adventurous, galaxy-spanning science fiction.
As Kartin says, ‘You can’t have houses in space.’ What then are those mysterious objects that have suddenly appeared far out on the planet routes? What connection do they have with ‘the Shy Six Hundred’, as Kemlo calls them, those strange, Earth-born visitors to Satellite K who are so chary of having their photographs taken?
Kemlo and his Space Scouts decide that the time has come for a little detective work and the boys are soon hot on the trail – a trail which is to lead them from the comfort and security of the satellite to a battle to the death twenty million miles out into the void.
In his long and fabulous career as the Captain Hornblower of space, John Grimes was to experience many strange things, rising through the ranks of the Interstellar Federation – from triumph to disaster – and ultimately becoming the most famous of the Rim Runners, far out along the edge of the Milky Way.
But there was a period when Grimes fell between one cosmic empire and another, on his own, commander of a single deep-space pinnace and looking for work.
And that was when he became a god! He thought he was just doing a mailman’s job, bu the price of the postage turned out to be divinity – with a lovely nude postmistress certified for a goddess!
From the author of Dune, the greatest SF novel of all time, comes a stunning evocation of alien cultures
In the far future, humans and aliens have joined together in a galaxy-wide federation of intelligent species: The Consentiency. But its existence is now threatened by the discovery of a secret, illegal and deadly experiment on the planet Dosadi.
There, the froglike Gowachin have created a brutal society: 850 million beings, human and Gowachin, are confined in an area of 40 square kilometres. But the experiment in overcrowding is getting out of control: the beings that have bred on Dosadi are so tough and resourceful that they are capable of breaking out of their monstrous prison and overrunning the galaxy.
Like a great, lethal snake, plague creeps through the galaxies. No conscious entity can halt its progress, and life is slowly draining from planet after planet.
Only one super-intelligence is capable of preventing cataclysm. To do it, he must penetrate far beyond infinity – to the formless, deathless creature out to kill the universe.
The dying alien from the ship that crashed onto Rhys gave Comet Jo a jewel, and begged him to take it to the heart of the Galactic Empire. And, seeing no reason to miss an adventure, Comet Jo started out for the fabled Empire Star. But his journey was to have far-reaching consequences – consequences that could disrupt all the known laws of Time and Space . . .
For over a century, the human colonists on the planet Gaia have prospered under the guidance of the M’threnni. But when David arrives in the capital Helixport and makes contact with the aliens, he begins to learn the terrifying truth about them. From that moment on he is in mortal danger, for the M’threnni far from being silent benefactors, may turn out to be the deadliest of cruel dictators.
In the 22nd century biofeedback techniques to control by will the processes of one’s own body have reached their ultimate expression: the ability to transform the body into virtually any viable form whatsoever. What began as an innocent technique to reduce anxiety without recourse to drugs has raised fundamental questions about what it is to be human, since form is no longer sufficient nor even relevant.
Enter the Humanity Test: in a future when other techniques can change the forms of animals, so far it has been a guaranteed one hundred percent successful means of determining whether a life form started out as human. But now strange life forms, vicious and bestial, are proliferating throughout the Solar System. They are clearly not human, and clearly their nervous systems are too underdeveloped for them to have been human. But though the beasts threaten havoc and death to all the far flung isolated stations, the simple solution of shooting the varmints is impossible: for life forms that according to the Humanity Test started out human the law is very clear: Thou Shalt Not Kill.
Before the hyper-space vessels could go from planet to planet, stations had to be set up. And that meant manned spaceships cut off from Earth for decades.
The explorer vessel Ariadne had gone toward galactic centre and was considered lost – until its call came in appealing for a xenobiologist.
Their new world was all swamp. As far as could be seen, there was no intelligent species. Yes, this was alarming because all inhabitable planets so far discovered had thinking inhabitants.
But the nature of that planet’s “people” turned out to be an enigma that had to be solved. For their alien biology could spell doom to all the civilizations of the stars … doom or a terrible unity!