Earth has been under alien domination by strange winged creatures for centuries. They keep the population severely limited and isolated; humans may only meet at occasional matings. The account of the resistance to the aliens, set largely in a beautifully evoked Oceania, is taut, superbly written, and given a very surprising final twist.
Somewhere in a far galaxy a being inconceivably alien is surging tumultuously from an unimaginable womb. In a solitary prison cell on the Underworld, the vast prison-satellite in perpetual Earth-orbit, Terra Viridian is tormented by a vision, an imperative which has already driven her to an insane bloodletting. On an Earth embalmed in peace by a ubiquitous bureaucracy, the Magician weaves his musical spells and tried to close his mind to the thoughts of others. – just three links in a chain stretching across space and time towards a testing as awesome as it is unpredictable.
A million light-years from Earth, one solitary spaceship floats through a vast swarm of enemies. The ship was an experimental vessel from Earth that utilised a revolutionary new concept in space mechanics, developed by the near-superman Aarn Munro. The enemy vessels were wholly unknown to Mankind, for the new drive had taken the Terran vessel into an unmapped void, where not even the telescopes of Earth had ever penetrated before…
When the starship Meteor crash-landed on a strange world orbiting a solitary sun in the vast darkness outside the galaxy, her crew of Earthmen had no idea of what to expect. The planet was Earthlike in gravity, air, animal and vegetable life – but what of the native races they glimpsed from a distance? What kind of culture would evolve on a planet whose sky was dominated by the glow of an entire galaxy – and with no other stars save its own dim sun? What kind of gods would they worship? The Earthmen had to find the astounding answers to these questions on a planet split by a world-wide war.
A SINGLE SPELL Tobas had been lucky to find a wizard to take him on as apprentice. But then the wizard died suddenly and unexpectedly after teaching Tobas only a solitary spell, and the youth was too old to find a new master. How could he earn a living when all the magic he could do was light fires? A DESTINY UNFOLDING In the Small Kingdoms there were dragons to be slain, princesses and gold to be won, magic castles, witches who knew the secret of immortality, and other treasures. But how could a wizard with a single, simple spell hope to find them and win them?
‘The wolf Meshiska gave birth to five cubs on the night before full moon. Outside the den a storm was lashing the spruce trees. The sky and the land had become part of each other: a scatterwind night swirling with fragments of black and white. Snow became darkness and darkness snow, and any creature lost between the two found a rock or a tree and lay down beside it, to wait until the world had formed again.’ Into this bleak landscape, Athaba is born, a young wolf destined for great adventure. Exiled from his pack for breaking its rigid codes of behaviour and showing too much imagination, Athaba becomes a ‘raven wolf’, a lonely scavenger living on scraps and his wits. Survival in the icy wastes is hard and dangerous without the comfort and protection of the pack. Injured, and stranded far from home, Athaba is forced to strike up an uneasy alliance with his natural enemy: a man. Together, but ever wary of each other, the wolf and the solitary hunter start their long walk home across the wilderness. It soon becomes clear that the man must learn to be a wolf if he is to survive in the wolf’s world. And Athaba has to use all his imagination to learn new skills and strategies to fend for himself and his new pack member: for he discovers that men are frail, and often very ignorant!
To the crew of the Exploratory Ship Canopus, outward bound on the first intergalactic voyage to the flaring suns of mighty Andromeda, the evil whisperings that spilled out from the nebula into deep space came as a warning. This was something far beyond their previous experience. Nor were they the only ones to come under the malignant influence of the alien intelligence. In the empty, murmuring void, virtually half-way between the two galaxies of stars, a solitary sun streaked away from Andromeda, dragging its lonely, ammonia-laden planet with it. And it was here that the explorers first gained their glimpse of the black horror that lay straddled across the intergalactic darkness. Something that had being. Something that existed where it seemed impossible that anything could. It fell on Klau-Telph, the only non-Terran on board the Canopus, to finally track down and destroy the inhuman monster that threatened to drive the inhabitants of a trillion planets over the red edge of madness. Not until it was done did he find that the hidden reason behind the insidious whisperings was not what it seemed. In fact, it was something that even he, with his strange double mind, had never thought possible…