If an alien creature can so perfectly imitate a human being that not only is it physically and mentally indistinguishable from a man but it actually believes itself to be one, what do you do with it? Is it human? This is the question which confronts Alex Stordahl, supervisor of the harsh planet Marilyn. Initially nobody had suspected anything unusual about the largely reptilian animal life. Then Stordahl discovered the amorphs – shapeless in their natural state, but possessing a unique defence mechanism: when closely approached by a possible aggressor, they could adopt the form least likely to be attacked by the creature. When it transpires that the creatures are harmless they are quickly absorbed into the colony to provide extra labour. The the ruthless owner of the development corporation arrives from Earth. He wants to test the amorphs, and brings with him a group of four brilliant, but totally egotistical men. And trouble soon starts…
The exciting sequel to Black Unicorn and Gold Unicorn! The young wanderer Tanaquil can mend anything that is broken – except her own heart. With the engagement of her beloved Honj to her sister, Empress Lizra, she returns home to her sorcerous mother – and her mother’s new lover, the magician Worabex. Caught up in their combined magic, Tanaquil and her mischievous familiar – a literal pet peeve – find themselves in a parallel world where she meets Tanakil, a mirror-image princess with murder on her mind.
Michael Greatrex Coney was a British-born author who spent the last three decades of his life in Canada – including 16 years in the British Colombia Forest Service. His early work carried a sense of Cold War-inspired paranoia, but his repertoire was wide and perhaps his best novel, HELLO SUMMER, GOODBYE, is a wistful story of adolescent love on a far-distant planet. The titles collected in this omnibus come from the fertile beginning of his career and include his debut novel MIRROR IMAGE, CHARISMA and the BSFA AWARD-winning BRONTOMEK!
The planet Arcadia was on the verge of economic collapse. Its human colony had been decimated by the strange Relay Effect; in the aftermath, still more colonists were leaving for other worlds. The Hetherington Organisation promised to change that. If the remaining colonists put themselves entirely in their hands for a five-year period, they would transform Arcadia into the most prosperous planet settled by mankind, while preserving its great natural beauty. It was an offer the Arcadians could not possibly refuse, for the alternative, after all, was an accelerating slide into poverty and, eventually, savagery. Only when the Hetherington Organisation’s first cargo ships arrived, unloading a huge stream of brontomeks – huge robot agricultural machines, heavily armoured – and an army of amorphs, aliens who were capable of moulding themselves into human form, did the colony begin to realise what it had committed itself to. Brontomek! is a sequel to two earlier books, Syzygy and Mirror Image. Like it’s predecessors it is an ingenious, adventurous tale of the type which has rapidly made Coney one of SF’s foremost entertainers. Brontomek! won the 1977 BSFA award for best novel.