…He heard a shout, distant and ringing, “No, Carson! Not that door!” Something green writhed in through that door. Something gaseous, billowing, filling the chamber faster and faster, something that caught at his throat and gagged him, made him wretch, brought streaming tears to his eyes. Before his eyes stretched a nightmarish growth of vine and tree, of mushroom-headed stalks, of gyrating tentacles swaying from every branch and limb. He heard a shrill, triumphant chittering. He turned to spring back. A vice closed over his foot and tripped him. He fell, sprawling, his mouth and nostrils filling with stinking mud. He did not remember anything more for a very long time.
Between 1956 and 1958, Silverberg contributed dozens of short stories and novellas to the digest pulps, each written in the bombastic, high-adventure style of the original Planet Stories magazine. Since then, those tales have re-appeared only rarely (and sometimes never again) in long out-of-print paperback anthologies. This volume features seven hard-to-find classic Silverberg novellas: Slaves of the Star Giants, Spawn of the Deadly Sea, The Flame and the Hammer, Valley Beyond Time, Hunt the Space-Witch!, The Silent Invaders, and Spacerogue.
If you’re a human, the deadliest game. You may consider yourselves experienced hunters. You have hunted on many planets. But here things are different. For there are no mindless monsters or charging carnivores, but a devious, intelligent and dangerous prey. A prey who is out to get you before you get him. Man!
Jon-Joras had come to Earth simply to oversee arrangements for a dragon hunt to amuse the king. These hunts were as much pageantry as sport – the dragons, brought to Earth centuries before as pets of an alien race, were powerful but slow-witted. But suddenly the dragons had become dangerous – quick, deceptive, a menace to the nobles who hunted them. And Jon-Joras found himself caught in the middle of an uprising that could shake the powers that ruled the star-worlds.
A young genius is hunted by killers. His sole hope for survival lies in the brain power of the intelligent being he has created. The Earth’s first machine intelligence becomes the key to a harrowing battle.
Cy Yancey dreamt of being a big game hunter adventuring in Africa. Little did he know that stepping into an alleyway outside his rifle club would lead him to the most important hunt in his life, a hunt that would take Cy much farther than Africa, a hunt through the worlds of the Dimensions, seeking, of all things, Earth! For Yancey, in trying to grab a cab, ends up hitching a ride with Porteurs Zelda and Jorine – escapees from the power of the mysterious Contessa. Fleeing with them, Yancey is bounced from one Dimension to another until he arrives on Jundagai, planet of the Hunters. On Jundagai lies the answer to Yancey’s dreams. The Hunt reigns supreme, though often one is not sure what the quarry is. But Jundagai holds still a greater attraction. Jundagai, Yancey’s prison, holds the key to home. Yancey has only to find the right lock before death finds him.
Jaxie Cade continues his hunt for the fabled Phantom Planet, in the high-tech world of Lannamur and its moons. Accompanied by combat-ace, Raishe, Cade is just one jump ahead of his pursuers, the wrinkly alien Occians.
Benita Alvarez, a downtrodden Hispanic woman, is chosen by alien envoys to be the Intermediary in their bid to get humankind to join an interstellar federation of peaceable races who practise Neighbourliness and strive to live ethical and moral lives. But other alien races have their own plans for the verdant, over-populated planet and they have chosen their own contact: a down-and-dirty government Senator. They don’t want mankind to join the Federation, though: they just want hunting rights of Earth . . . hunting rights on man . . .
IN THE “DOC” SMITH TRADITION The planet was fine for big game hunters. And it was the tradition there that one must have a trophy before one could call oneself truly a man. If that were all, it would hardly interest Cap Kennedy because his trophies consisted of planets saved for Terra and missions accomplished. But there was something on Eriadne which was not just a hunt trophy – something which required the presence of Kennedy and his men to check on. One of these things was a fragment of Zheltyana construction which outdated all civilisation. But the hunt proved to be a double one – Kennedy against an unslayable monster and a lost world of monsters against Kennedy. And if he lost, it would be Terra itself that would be a trophy on some alien’s hunting lodge wall. SPAWN OF LABAN is one of the best – a real edge-of-the-seat science fiction chiller in the tradition of Edward E. Smith and Edmond Hamilton
On the dusty, remote plains of Kenya, Royce Crawford runs a baboonery. One day there is a strange light in the East African sky, and the baboons start disappearing from their cages. he finds that the animals have changed. The strange look of cold intelligence. reveals to Crawford that he is no longer the hunter, but the hunted.