John Carter, veteran of the American Civil War, finds himself transported from Arizona to Mars when hiding from attackers in a secret cave. The inhabitants greet him, referring to the planet as Barsoom, and Carter finds that he has superhuman strength and agility due to the different gravity of this new world.
After joining the nomadic tribe of green, six-limbed Martians called Tharks, he rises through the ranks and earns the respect and friendship of one of the chiefs. Until, that is, the Tharks capture Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium and a member of the red, humanoid Martians. Rescuing Dejah Thoris, Carter attempts to return her to her people, finding himself at the centre of a conflict that reaches across Martian society, all while falling in love. Can he save Barsoom? What of Earth? Does he want to return, or would he rather stay with Dejah Thoris?
A Princess of Mars was first serialised in 1912, and to celebrate its centenary we have collected it and its two sequels – The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars – in this beautiful Golden Age Masterwork.
A quick-witted Irish safecracker juggles alchemy and automatons in the action-packed follow-up to the nineteenth-century United States steampunk adventure, King of the Cracksmen.
Liam McCool, the premier safecracker in 1877 New York, isn’t the type to hang around fairy circles on the Celtic day of the dead. But an invitation from his Gram leaves the “King of the Cracksmen” possessed by the spirit of Finn McCool, the great hunter-warrior of ancient Ireland and a mighty magical force.
Just in time, too. Edwin Stanton, once Lincoln’s Secretary of War but now a self-proclaimed dictator, has restored slavery in the United States, and conscripted every able-bodied white male to fight in the war he’s waging against Little Russia, made up of all the continental North America west of the Mississippi, sold to Russia by Andrew Jackson fifty years earlier.
Stanton needs Little Russia’s calorium, a mineral used to power America’s airships, factories, and humanoid automatons. But Liam and the love of his life, world-famous reporter Becky Fox, mean to stop him. Joined by Crazy Horse, the Sioux war chief and medicine man, and Ambrose Chen, a Taoist sorcerer and alchemist, Liam and company embark on a wild series of adventures from New Petersburg, where revolutionaries are fighting to overthrow the government, to the Bear Flag Republic, a California enclave governed by P. T. Barnum.
The Galaxy is a big place, made up of thousands of millions of worlds, and the work of exploration will probably never be entirely completed. But various systems within the Galaxy, each with its own particular humanoid race if intelligent beings, have joined in galactic federation for the mutual good of all concerned. Once major snag remained: speedy communication.
When space travel velocities were increased by the introduction of 5C drive on all but local planetary working vessels the way was opened to enormously expanded regions of movement. Piet Tek, captain of a space tramp, tells of what happened when the secret of instantaneous communication was prematurely exploited by unscrupulous people in search of power.
The Arisians, benevolent humanoids who have declared themselves Guardians of Civilization, war with the Eddoreans, shapeless, malevolent beings, hungry for power at any price. They fight on both physical and mental levels, wielding weaponry of inconceivable destructiveness.
And their battleground is a tiny planet in a remote galaxy: Earth. The swamping of Atlantis, the fall of Rome, the wars that wrack the world and blaze through space – all may seem historical accidents to the men involved, but each in reality is a move in a save universe-wide power struggle . . .
Partly, it was Gina’s curiosity that started the trouble. If she had never gone to Morgan Tors to search for the fabulous puppets she might not have broken the seal of Thaa-an. But the damage was done and the full force of elemental evil unleashed. Gina found herself plunged into an adventure such as no mortal being would choose of their own free will…
After a meteor explosion, Rikardon wakes in a new body-and in a strange desert land named Gandalara, where a sacred gem known as the Ra’ira grants its owner the power to rule-or to destroy…
Victory is sweet-but for Rikardon and Tarani, it is all too brief. Although they have retrieved the sword of the Kings from the lost city of Kä, a savage battle with the vineh mars their journey back to Raithskar. These ape-like creatures were once controlled through the power of the Ra’ira. Now they pose a threat both to the cat-like sha’um and humanoid Gandalarans.
To restore order, Rikardon and Tarani must travel to Eddarta, where Tarani can use the Ra’ira against the increasingly vicious vineh. First she must face her treacherous brother, Indomel, and convince the Council to name her High Lord in his place. Indomel will not take such betrayal lightly, but another danger is about to reveal itself-a sinister and ambitious traitor who has been hiding in plain sight all along.
The Iralians were humanoid and techically free citizens of the Galactic Empire. But as slaves they were prized above all others, for they had the unique capacity to transmit acquired knowledge through heredity. And so when the space mercenary Wanderer was hired by GLASS (Galactic League for the Abolition and Supression of Slavery) to take a cargo of Iralians home it was going to be a simple task!
For one thing, they’d be hunted by interstellar slavers for their priceless passengers.
For another, the Iralians themselves had other ideas which included mutiny and high treason.
And for the third and worst, they were too close to the Horsehead Nebula, whose capacity for warping time, space and the dimensions was a permanent Red Alert for all spacecraft.
Derek Calver touches down on Lorn and is determined to join the Rim Runners to explore desolate planets.
He joins the crew of Lorn Lady and sets forth for Mellise, inhabited by intelligent amphibians; for Groller, where the natives have just qualified as humanoids; for Stree with its tea loving lizards; and for Tharn, home of a pre-industrial civilization.
The Earth colony of Landin has been stranded on Werel for ten years – and each of Werel’s years is over 60 terrestrial years! After so long an exile, the lonely and dwindling human settlement is beginning to feel the strain.
Every winter – a season that lasts a decade and a half – the Earthmen have neighbours: the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they think of as witches, and call the farborns. But both peoples have common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals, and eerie preying snow ghouls.
Can the hilfs and the farborns overcome their mutual suspicions and join forces? Or will they both be annihilated?
Rudolf Mallory was one of the many pathetic pieces of human flotsam on the tide of the 20th-century neurosis. He was a man who had reached the end of his rope, death seemed pleasant by comparison… He tried to take the easy way out, but something went wrong. Unknown to Mallory other men had problems too. Separated by vast distances of time and space, Rumal, citizen of an advanced humanoid society, with a strangely different technology had also decided to end it all…
Time and Space are almost perfect but rare warps and blemishes do exist in the continuum. They can produce peculiar events.
The Englishman from 1963 suddenly found himself on the other side of the galaxy. Rumal found himself in England. They had been unable to solve their own problems – could they solve each other’s?
From The SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal sample introduction to the incredible career of Jack Williamson, whose career spanned over seventy years.
Jack Williamson published his first SF story, ‘The Metal Man’, in 1928 and continued to write high quality SF until his death in 2006, along the way coining many of the terms the genre now takes for granted, such as ‘terraforming’ and ‘genetic engineering’. He was the second writer (after Heinlein) to be named a SFWA Grand Master and was the oldest recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. This volume contains The Legion of Space, the first volume in the eponymous series; The Humanoids; John W. Campbell Award-winning Terraforming Earth and his Hugo Award-winning autobiography Wonder’s Child: My Life in Science Fiction.
An adventure story set on a habitable Venus, populated by wild and fierce beasts, and humanoids with white skin, white hair, red eyes.
Seven desperate survivors drifting helplessly in a life-capsule, sight an uncharted world. The anti-grav landing shields are only working spasmodically, but the survivors still land safely.
In this strange, alien environment there is room for vivid, dramatic conflict of personalities. The survivors are at a loss to explain the strange conduct of the humanoid ethnic groups which they find of this strange world. Slowly the horrifying truth begins to dawn on the dwindling band from the capsule.
There are other life forms in evidence on the planet, things which were extinct on earth aeons ago. Yet there is a vital, terrifying difference between the giant reptiles of earthly prehistory and the monsters on this alien world.
Brant was a scientist, a space scientist. He had techniques and technologies at his fingertips that would have looked like magic to the old timers of the twentieth century.
There were new sciences that hadn’t been heard of a century before. Things like Teleportology and Psycholithography. The specialised departmental scientists were narrow field experts in spheres of work that a twentieth century man wouldn’t even have begun to comprehend.
Science had the answer to most things, but there was a new world out through the Hyperdrive Lanes, a world of mystery on the edge of the universe. It was inhabited by ebony skinned humanoids, with proud noble chieftains and weird La-akas or medicine men.
Brant and his crew scoffed at first. “Primitive magic and superstition” laughed the scientists. Then the La-akas did things that science couldn’t’ explain. Things like controlling nature.
Brant and his men began to investigate the age of the culture. It wasn’t primitive, it was old…. thousands of years older than Earth…. And it throbbed with terrible danger.
Dakos was an alien humanoid who hated earth; he detested the planet; its people were anathema to him. He loathed its cities; its countryside was an abomination to him. He lived for one thing only… the destruction of the world which had rejected him.
Dakos was no mean enemy. His hatred was allied to a brilliant mind and a very superior technology. He was a man of action… highly destructive action!
Security agents Blanthus and Croberg were after him, but Dakos covered his tracks with all the cunning of a diabolically clever homicidal maniac.
He could so easily pass as a terrestrial humanoid.
…Are you sure that man sitting beside you in the bus isn’t the alien? What’s in that case?
His clothes? His lunch? His business documents? Or an alien bomb?
This is the story of a world reeling from a war of nerves with a sinister secret enemy.