Burt is a trillion dollars’ worth of robot – with a ten minute gap in his programming that renders him virtually useless to his creators. Still, since coming to Earth he has managed to find a snappy new set of clothes, a cure for cancer and a sixteen year old girlfriend.
Now he’s made some really amazing discoveries about himself and his adopted home. Discoveries ranging from the amazing Presidential robot, to deviant mechanized sex, to mutant wildlife in Lake Michigan, to the truth behind kill-crazed New York City cops. Discoveries that are going to make life a lot harder for the chief programmer and the powers that be . . . and a lot more lethal for Burt and his newfound friends.
In a mind-blowing mix of scientific speculation and thriller, two seemingly unconnected events trigger off the discovery of nothing less than the secret of humanity’s existence.
In that hidden valley, land of strangely forbidding beauty, Eric Nelson, soldier of fortune, faced a battle weirder and more savage than any he had ever fought. He was hired to fight for humanity, against beings that seemed to be both more and less than human.
The weapons of the enemy included centuries-old powers of magic and superstition . . . but Nelson fought grimly, even when his mind was helplessly trapped in the body of a wolf. Then came the climactic test of his allegiance, the knowledge that more than just humanity was at stake . . . and the final mind-shattering discovery of an alien secret that lay buried in the Cavern of Creation!
Young Sharur is the scion of a merchant family in the city o Gibil, loyal – he thinks – to his city’s god, Engibil, and to that god’s human deputies. But like his fellows in Gibil, Sharur is less interested in gods than in invention and trade. Then, on a routine trading expedition, he learns that the gods of the other cities, resentful of Engibil’s relaxed attitude toward his people, are uniting to punish Gibil and squelch the growing power of human creativity, epitomised by the city-state’s easygoing ways. Now only Sharur’s wits can save the city from the aroused divinities…and he’s going to need all the inventiveness he can muster.
Physician Matt Wheeler is one of the few who said no to eternity. As he watches his friends, his colleagues, even his beloved daughter transform into something more-and-less-than human, Matt suddenly finds everything he once believed about good and evil, life and death, god and mortal called into question. And he finds himself forced to choose sides in an apocalyptic struggle – a struggle that very soon will change the face of the universe itself.
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
Ape-like and with one arm replaced by a claw, the not-quite-human Angelo and his beautiful female partner Ariadne are genetically bred rescuers programmed to travel vast distances through space in suspended animation to bring back Pioneers – explorers sent out from Earth generations ago to settle other planets. The latest mission is to rescue Pioneer Murray from the planet La Plage and to return to Earth where – as usual – decades have passed while they have been travelling between the stars.
But Earth itself has gone through a catastrophic collapse from which its burnt-out civilization is trying to recover. And amongst the remnants of a sterile and despairing humanity, there is less room than ever before for such strange creatures as Angelo.
Combining rich and weird alien environments with exciting deep-space adventure, Pioneers is a brilliant novel of love and alienation in a strange and poignant future.
Roderick wasn’t exactly happy, but at least he was holding down a job, even if it was only as a bowl-washer at Danton’s Doggie Dinette. He didn’t know they were out to get him. He didn’t know that in the whole wide world of lunatic game-shows, maniacal religious cults, tentacular business corporations, murderous governments, crazy consumerism and pill-popping people, there was no place for one mild-mannered robot.
Phenomenally inventive, bitingly satirical, a masterpiece of modern comic writing, Roderick at Random is the second dazzling novel by John Sladek to feature the more-and-less-than-human robot.