Gene Anderson was born in Oregon, in the twilight post-war years, into the most ordinary circumstances imaginable.
Gene is endowed with powers. He can look into the other worlds that are all around him. He can make things happen. He can hurt and he can heal.
His life changes dramatically when another boy is killed in a tragic accident, and Gene runs away. He is only nine. As he grows to 8’6″ tall, his wanderings take him round the world in search of a remarkable destiny.
Kirk Salazar, devout intellectual, had quite been looking forward to his field research on Sunga. He aimed to discover how the stump-tailed, semiarboreal kusis lived without being injured within the venom tree forest. A fascinating topic!
His thesis would have progressed splendidly, save for one thing. A certain lack of financing necessitated that he travel through Sunga with a tour group. Much against his will, he soon became embroiled with a conglomeration of characters even more peculiar than Sunga’s natural wonders.
First there were the hard-core tourists, always pushing and complaining, desperate to glimpse the rare, birdlike zutas. Worse the Cantemir – a man lewd, rude and dangerous – who had struck a deal with the native Chief to destroy the whole Sunga forest for lumber! But most formidable was Alexis Ritter. She was the high priestess of a Sunga cult dedicated to chastity. But she sure seemed to have a use in mind for Salazar’s body!
Doggedly Salazar pursued his research through ambushes, sex, and even attempted murder. A determined intellectual does not give up easily – even if he has to go to extremes to defend his thesis!
“The Tree ruled the horizons, shouldered aside the clouds, and wore thunder and lightning like a wreath of tinsels. It was the soul of life, trampling and vanquishing the inert, and Joe understood how it had come to be worshipped by the first marvelling settlers on Kyril.” Joe Smith is roaming the galaxy in search of the man who has stolen his love’s heart. During his travels he becomes involved with a power struggle taking part between two worlds – one religious, the other cultural – over possession of a developing, but potentially lucrative, third.
The only lesson we learn from history is that we never learn from history. Primitive weakness destroys just as surely in the age of Rock and Roll as it did in the days of the harp or the spinet. Man has nothing to fear so much as human frailty. Material progress alone means nothing. Whether you kill your enemy with a club, a musket or an atomic bomb…he is equally dead! Civilisation will be mo better a thousand years from now unless man changes his nature. An ape in a space ship is just as much a jungle beast as an ape in a tree.
Fear is the fetter that holds the cave man, the twentieth century man and the space man of tomorrow. Doubt is his chain.
The case started with a corpse. Nobody knew who he was. Next, a man named John Burke disappeared. But D.A. Doug Selby could not find his body.
Then Mrs Burke swore that the corpse and her missing husband were one and the same man. This should have solved both mysteries. All it did was run the D.A. up two different trees. Sure, the faces of the dead man and John Burke were exactly the same. The only trouble was that their fingerprints were different!
Impossible? That’s what Doug Selby thought too – until the killer struck again …
‘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!
Today, tomorrow, always…the white-haired girl from the marsh is running for her life down a derelict highway
In a future world polluted to the point of dissolution, the trees are dead, the sky is yellow, and no birds sing. Everyone and everything is tinged with madness. For Eva Belmort there seems no role except to become some man’s plaything and drudge.
Then, one day, arrives the stranger with the gun – with blue eyes and hair as white as her own. Roaming the tortured landscape in his wagon, Steel is a seller of death…but for Eva he provides hope of escape from Foulmarsh.
Urged on by a power of love and hate impossible to fathom, Eva’s travels now take her to distant towns and villages full of danger and surprises – and arouse in her strong passions she cannot harness…
A short story by Guy Cullingford
‘See my finger’s wet
See my finger’s dry
Slit my throat if I tell a lie . . .
‘When a young girl approaches a man reading by a tree, warning him of a murder, he rushes to help. However, upon the disappearance of the girl – the only witness – he finds himself the prime suspect and shunned by the community.
After managing to track down the young girl, Ruby, he sets about his own investigation but, when push comes to shove, can he bring the murderer to justice?
Alex was a pioneer. Like all pioneers he had problems. He had more problems than most; when things start to go wrong in space they go wrong in a big way. One by one the perils of the void took their toll of his companions. Alex was alone, alone with a vision, the vision of a town, home.
Only thoughts of home kept him alive. He remembered trees, houses, shops, churches, peoples…above all people. At last he reached earth…or perhaps it wasn’t earth? Things had changed unbelievably. Perhaps he had changed. How long had he been away? How far had he drifted? There was a sinister possibility that this wasn’t home at all. If the things that looked like people weren’t people but aliens, what was he to do?
Alex was a realist. He knew what space could do to a man’s mind. He was disinclined to trust the evidence of his own senses. A mine that has had far more than it can take can produce from very peculiar perceptions…
Through the tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, generations of readers have thrilled to the adventures of Lord Greystoke (aka John Clayton, but better known as Tarzan of the Apes). In this biography Philip José Farmer pieces together the life of this fantastic man, correcting Burroughs’s errors and deliberate deceptions and tracing Tarzan’s family tree back to other extraordinary figures, including Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Doc Savage, Nero Wolfe, and Bulldog Drummond.
Tarzan Alive offers the first chronological account of Tarzan’s life, narrated in careful detail garnered from Burroughs’s stories and other sources. From the ill-fated voyage that led to Greystoke’s birth on the isolated African coast to his final adventures as a group captain in the RAF during World War II, Farmer constructs a comprehensive and authoritative account. Farmer’s assertion that Tarzan was a real person has led him to craft a biography as well researched and compelling as that of any character from conventional history.
Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past – and soon to be haunted by the future.
In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory…sixteen years in the future.
Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok – obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord “Kuin” whose victories they note?
Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange look of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
The Collected Stories Volume 2: To The Dark Star (1962 – 1969)
Winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Robert Silverberg is one of the all time greats of science fiction. A professional writer for more than half a century, his short story output has been prolific and exceptional in quality.
This series of nine volumes will collect all of the short stories and novella-length that SF Grand Master Silverberg wants to take their place on the permanent shelf.
Each volume will be roughly 150,000-200,000 words, with classics and lesser known gems alike. The author has also graced us with a lengthy introduction and extensive story notes for each tale.
To See The Invisible Man
The Pain Peddlers
The Sixth Palace
To The Dark Star
Going Down Smooth
The Fangs of the Trees
Ishmael in Love
Ringing the Changes
How It Was When the Past Went Away
A Happy Day in 2381
(Now + n, Now – n)
After the Myths Went Home
The Pleasure of Their Company
We Know Who We Are