Kirth Gersen, having brought arch-villain Malagate the Woe to justice, sets his sights on Kokor Hekkus, another of the Demon Princes. The name Kokor Hekkus, which means “killing machine” in the language of the planet Thamber, does not refer to Hekkus’s own predilection for homicide, but to his fondness for horrific and murderous devices, including the giant robotic executioner that first gained him his nickname. As a boy, Kirth Gersen survived a raid on his home planet masterminded by five interstellar crime lords known as the Demon Princes. This five-novel sequence recounts his carefully-planned and implacable revenge. In this, the second volume, his target is Kokor Hekkus, better known as the Killing Machine. All Jack Vance titles in the SFGateway use the author’s preferred texts, as restored for the Vance Integral Edition (VIE), an extensive project masterminded by an international online community of Vance’s admirers. In general, we also use the VIE titles, and have adopted the arrangement of short story collections to eliminate overlaps.
A secluded Pacific Northwest cottage becomes a door to the past for Tom Winter, who travels back to the New York City of 1962, followed by a human killing machine that he alone must stop.
The Family had never seen a manhunter like it. And when its machine-mind engulfed Cap’n Fanny, they knew Mantis was no simple killing-mech. A collector of human minds, a plunderer of living personalities, Mantis was a weaver of complex, murderous illusions. But why, Killeen wondered, did it indulge in such elaborate variations on slaughter when in a single blast it could destroy the remnants of Mankind? His answer lay waiting in Mantis’s extraordinary sensorium, in the museum of living ghosts and defiled spirits which drove the heart of the machine . . .
‘No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…’ So begins H. G. Wells’ classic novel in which Martian lifeforms take over planet Earth. As the Martians emerge, they construct giant killing machines – armed with heatrays – that are impervious to attack. Advancing upon London they destroy everything in their path. Everything, except the few humans they collect in metal traps. Victorian England is a place in which the steam engine is state-of-the-art technology and powered flight is just a dream. Mankind is helpless against the killing machines from Mars, and soon the survivors are left living in a new stone age. And don’t miss the authorised sequel to The War of the Worlds: The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter.
PROGRAMMED FOR DESTRUCTION In a way, they were the same, the man and the machine. Both had been ordered to do one thing – kill. The robot had been created to wreak revenge on the humans who had brutally conquered its planet. The man was the product of years of training by an Earth that had set out to take over the Universe. Now the two faced each other in the icy reaches of the galaxy. The robot, with its calculating machine of a brain, its impenetrable force shield, its deadly laser beam. The man, with the kind of nerve that refused to admit the odds against survival…
What happens when . . . An all-powerful killing machine is equipped with a human brain on the brink of madness? A group of apes are injected with human intelligence and build their own strange empire? A child with an other-worldly intellect is locked in mortal combat with his own down-to-earth father? A hand-picked space team convenes at a countdown that can mean the start of a new era – or the end of mankind? You’ll find out when you enter . . . THE DOWNSTAIRS ROOM.
The planet was unknown¿ a savagely primitive place where every man had to kill every other man – or live as a slave. The inhabitants lived in the early Bronze Age one minute, and in the early Machine Age the next. Technology had degenerated into a number of mysteries jealously guarded by separate brotherhoods. But Jason dinAlt was a gambler. He realised that if he was ever going to get a winning hand in this game, the brotherhoods would need a shuffle¿
It is the 29th century and the universe of the Human Hegemony is under threat. Invasion by the warlike Ousters looms, and the mysterious schemes of the secessionist AI TechnoCore bring chaos ever closer. On the eve of disaster, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set fourth on a final voyage to the legendary Time Tombs on Hyperion, home to the Shrike, a lethal creature, part god and part killing machine, whose powers transcend the limits of time and space. The pilgrims have resolved to die before discovering anything less than the secrets of the universe itself. Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1990
The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciples. But first they must embark on a final spectacular mission to discover the underlying meaning of the universe itself. They have been followed on their journey by the mysterious Shrike – monster, angel, killing machine – who is about to reveal the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. And on the planet of Hyperion, where the story first began, the final revelation will be delivered – an apocalyptic message that unlocks the secrets of existence and the fate of humankind in the galaxy.