Early in the 21st century, after the Great Recession, poet and young mother Maggie Roche is harassed by a lovely woman, Sriyanie, and a famous neuroscientist, David Elfield. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is about to become history’s first time traveler. When agents from the far future attempt to kill her, in baffled fury she slingshots herself into the 7th millennium. Instantly she’s on the run from the Ull Lords and their virtual reality devotees. These superbeings are cyborged humans constructed to live forever, with the ambition to rule the universe.
Maggie is having none of this. Encountering an earlier version of Sriyanie, her fated future role in the formation of the multiverse falls upon her shoulder like a thunderous lightningbolt. A Being at the end of time she calls the Something wages endless war with its foes, the Ull Lords. Torn from her beloved child and her own time, Maggie must choose whether to accept this alienating path into an alternative cosmic history fit for a poet and a free woman.
Paul Heisenberg is mysteriously endowed with the ability to jump through time. Together with thousands of eventual followers, he begins a journey that eventually takes him a billion years into the future. The Earth has been devastated by war with an alien race, and the changes that have resulted from the degradation of the world’s biosphere force him–and others–to rethink their own humanity. His pilgrim’s progress through the coming time is beset by doubts, distractions, and temptations as various voices attempt to distract him from his determination to follow the process through to its end. He eventually witnesses the complete transformation of the Earth, and the evolution of a single omnipotent but mindless Gaean organism. Is intelligence itself just a brief candle, forever doomed to burn out? Or can Paul find some other alternative for his race.
At the end of The Cyborg and the Sorcerers, Sam Turner was making a life for himself on the planet Dest. He thought he had left the long-lost interstellar war between Earth and its rebellious colonies behind him forever.
“Forever” turned out to be eleven years. That was how long it took for another Independent Reconaissance Unit to respond to the distress call his ship had sent before it was destroyed. And this one made his own berserk killer computer look sane.
A STAR RISES IN THE SOUTH
When the foreigners confronted Sterren in Ethshar of the Spices he was uneasy; when they all but abducted him, taking him to an obscure kingdom in the south, he knew he was in a terrible predicament.
A predicament some might actually find appealing – he was by heredity the Ninth Warlord of Semma, least of the small kingdoms; he was a noble, and his rank afforded him material privileges, even in a place as insignificant and obscure as Semma.
But the office also carried certain terrible responsibilities: he was to win the war the stupid King had stirred up by his arrogance. Two larger and stronger Kingdoms were preparing to invade Semma.
And if the country lost, the first thing likely to be forfeit was the life of the Warlord.
And if it won . . . if it won, the fate and shape of Ethshar would change forever.
For deep in the south there are secrets of magic not even Sterren can imagine.
A LEGEND OF ETHSHAR
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.
Time drifted onto the ruin of the Galactic Federation. The centuries rolled over the wars of the first part of the new millennium, laying their patina of forgetfulness over the adventures of the survivors of the expedition to the Forever Planet. Only in the memory banks of lost and ruined computers was there a record of the withering piece of time, hung in its weird universe, poised in a matrix of forever, which had waited eons to release its makers from their imprisonment on a planet which was their plaything, workshop, laboratory and engine.
No one returned to the planet of the Timepivot.
Not of his own volition.
Sometimes the greatest sin is survival.
The generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has barely survived cataclysms from without and within. Now, riding the shock wave of a nova blast toward an uncertain destiny, the damaged ship – the only world its inhabitants have ever known – remains a war zone. Even as Perceval, the new captain, struggled to come to terms with the traumas of her past, the remnants of rebellion aboard the ship still threaten the crew’s survival.
Yet as Perceval’s relatives Tristen and Benedick play a deadly game of cat and mouse in pursuit of a traitor through a cast ship that is renewing itself in strange and dangerous ways, an even more insidious threat is building in a place no one ever thought to look. And this implacable enemy could change the face of the ship forever if a ragtag band of heroes cannot stop it.
Originally published in 2010 as Chill.
Earth’s last hope?
The Arc, a being of immense power, trapped within a continuum too small, fights for its freedom. Its monumental struggle will touch a few select individuals on Earth – and in doing so, change their lives forever. The Arc may also be the last hope for humanity’s survival.
Author’s Note: The volumes of this series can each be read independently of the others. The feature that unifies them is their individual observations of science fiction’s sub-genre: “space opera,” which the editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer define as “colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes.”
One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe was – as usual – in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.
Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake – failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe’s own life was on the line – for if he wasn’t assassinated, there was always the possibility that he might be trapped in his new role forever!
As the Derlavaian War rages into its last and greatest battles, allied nations manoeuvre for positions against each other in a postwar world. But before that time can come, the forces of Algarve, Unkerlant and their allies must clash a final time, countering army with army and battle magic with ever-more-powerful battle magic. In the midst of it all, the people the war has battered and reshaped must struggle to face their greatest individual challenges, as loves are shattered and found, terrible crimes avenged…and some journeys end forever.
And the end of the war may not bring peace…
At the heart of the wildwood lies a place of mystery and legend, from which few return and none emerged unchanged: Lavondyss . . . the ultimate realm, the source of all myth.
When Harry Keeton disappeared into Ryhope Wood, his sister Tallis was just an infant. Now, thirteen years old, she hears him whispering to her from the Otherworld. He is in danger. He needs her help. Using masks, magic and clues left by her grandfather, she finds a way to enter the primitive forest and begin her search. Eventually she comes to Lavondyss itself, a realm both beautiful and deadly, a place in which she is changed forever . . .
Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood won the World Fantasy Award and is among the most praised post-war novels of the fantastical. In this haunting sequel, Lavondyss, we are returned to the Wildwood and the mythos that Holdstock has made his own.
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1989.
Private William Mandella is a reluctant hero in an interstellar war against an unknowable and unconquerable alien enemy. But his greatest test will be when he returns home. Relativity means that for every few months’ tour of duty centuries have passed on Earth, isolating the combatants ever more from the world for whose future they are fighting.
Winner of the HUGO AWARD for best novel, 1976
Winner of the NEBULA AWARD for best novel, 1975
In the year 2043, the Ngumi War rages. Limited nuclear strikes have been used on Atlanta and two enemy cities, but the war goes on, fought by ‘soldierboys’ – indestructible war machines operated by remote control by soldiers hundreds of miles away.
Julian Class is one of these soldiers, and for him war is truly hell. The psychological strain of being jacked-in to his soldierboy – and the genocidal results – are becoming too much to bear. Now he and his companion, Dr Amelia Harding, have made a terrifying scientific discovery, which could literally take the universe back to square one. Except that for Julian, the discovery isn’t so much terrifying as tempting…
Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1998
Winner of the Nebula Award for best novel, 1998
Winner of the John W. Campbell Award for best novel, 1998
William Mandela is a genetic throwback, one of the small group of humans who fought and survived the Forever War. They returned to find humanity has evolved into a group mind called Man.
Surrounded by a society that is too autocratic and intrusive, living a dull existence which cannot compare to the certainties of combat and feeling increasingly alienated, the veterans plan an escape to the future by means of space travel and relativity. But when their ship starts to fail, their journey becomes a search for the Unknown, the elusive entity responsible.
Earth was programmed for destruction in the mad war of the computer worlds – unless the Solarians could stop the machines!
Three hundred years ago the Solarians retreated to the safety of their Fortress as Earth became embroiled in the first of the computer wars with the dread Duglaari Empire.
The Solarians’ final word to all humanity was a promise to reappear one day and bring it to victory. Suddenly, with Earth on the verge of becoming a helpless victim of the merciless Duglaars, the Solarians made contact with Fleet Commander Jay Palmer. It was an offer of aid.
But the Solarians’ plan was so cunning, so fraught with danger, that Jay faced the greatest decision of his life – and that of Earth’s:
Accept their ingenious strategy as a stroke of genius or reject it as a trick designed to destroy human life forever.