The Martians, long exiled from their home planet, have for millennia been observers of the world of men. Forbidden by their laws to interfere with human destiny, they wait for mankind to mature.
From the turmoil of mid twentieth-century America, word comes to the Observers that one of their renegades is hoping to encourage humanity in its headlong rush to self-destruction through corruption of a single rare intellect. The struggle between Observer and Abdicator for the continuance of the human species is one the classic conflicts in the annuals of science fiction.
Edgar Pangborn studied music at Harvard when just 15 years old, eventually turned his back on music to focus on his writing. He flourished in the early ’50s, producing a string of highly-regarded stories for the likes of Galaxy, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine. His work helped establish a new ‘humanist’ school of science fiction, and has been cited as an influence by Ursula Le Guin. This omnibus contains the Hugo-shortlisted Davy, International Fantasy Award-winner A Mirror for Observers and story collection Good Neighbours and Other Strangers.
DAVY: A HUGO and NEBULA AWARD nominee, this post-apocalyptic science fiction novel is Pangborn’s most acclaimed. It is set in the Northeastern United States some centuries after an atomic war ended high-technology civilization. Davy comes of age in a pseudo-medieval society dominated by a Church that actively suppresses technology.
A MIRROR FOR OBSERVERS: The Martians, long exiled from their home planet, have for millennia been observers of the world of men. Forbidden by their laws to interfere with human destiny, they wait for mankind to mature. From the turmoil of mid 20th-century America, word comes to the Observers that one their renegades is hoping to encourage humanity in its headlong rush to self-destruction through the corruption of a single rare intellect. The struggle between Observer and Abdicator for the continuance of the human species is one of the classic conflicts in the annals of science fiction.
GOOD NEIGHBORS AND OTHER STRANGERS: A collection of short stories reflecting Pangborn’s fresh writing style and mastery of the short form.
In his first story collection, Robert Charles Wilson, one of the most distinguished SF authors of his generation, weaves a tapestry of tales set in and around the city of Toronto – a haunted, numinous Toronto of past, present and future, buzzing with strangeness.
In “The Fields of Abraham”, one of three stories written especially for this collection, an impoverished immigrant boy is trained in strange disciplines by a bookseller who is more than he seems. In “The Perseids”, winner of Canada’s national SF award, love and amateur astronomy weave in and out of a terrifying tale of forced human evolution. In “The Observers”, an awkward young Canadian girl who sees extra-human presences has an extraordinary encounter in 1950s California with Edwin Hubble. In “Plato’s Mirror”, a professional New Age charlatan has a genuine and terrible encounter with the extraordinary. And in the Hugo-nominated “Divide by Infinity”, an aging Toronto book-lover finds himself becoming, literally, increasingly unlikely.
Throughout are showcased Wilson’s suppleness and storytelling strength: bravura ideas, scientific rigor and living, breathing human beings facing choices that matter in a universe stranger than we can imagine.