Alien horror becomes a living nightmare as the Xenos, meaning “strangers”, inflict mayhem on earth.
International distress alerts are sent out when planes first seem to disappear, disturbing concepts of space and time and leaving a trail of death and disillusionment. This bizarre series of “cosmic skyjackings” is shrouded in secrecy by a baffled and frightened military. Intense surveillance fails to reveal the cause of a seemingly hostile yet invisible enemy. Aircraft continue to disappear, plucked out of the sky without warning, only to reappear months later, thousands of miles off course.
National and global security is under threat and the ICARUS committee is formed to investigate. Military officials, the government and the FBI work alongside physician Mark Freedman and Soviet scientists to uncover the supernatural mystery that lies behind these unexplainable events. Earth has been found by a horde of creatures that not even the wildest imagination could invent – sinister parasitic creatures that took to their human hosts with deadly speed and bloodthirsty precision.
The terror that unfolds has terrifying consequences for all involved, and the invasion reveals something much more frightening and final than ever suspected.
Continuing the story begun in Great Sky River, Benford creates a stunning novel of the last band of humans fleeing extinction in the Galactic Center. This last remnant of humanity is led by Killeen, a man elevated to command in desperate times by his luck and daring. He manages to reach a new planet where he encounters vast wonders. But with one enemy behind them, the humans are dismayed to discover an alien race more awesome than any they have encountered.
Since time began, twenty Gods have ruled the universe. Though each god possessed different abilities, each was all-powerful within his realm. Now one of the Gods has upset the balance of power, leaving the others scrambling for control in the new order…
Here is the epic tale of the Great War of the Gods – and the proud people upon whom the fate of the world depends. When the God of the desert, Akhran the Wanderer, declares that two clans must band together despite their centuries-old rivalry, their first response is outrage. But they are a devout people and so reluctantly bow to his bidding.
Enemies from birth, the headstrong Prince Khardan and impetuous Princess Zohra must unite in marriage to stop Quar, the God of Reality, Greed, and Law, from enslaving their people.
But can Khardan and Zohra keep from betraying each other? Can their two peoples maintain their fragile alliance until the long-awaited flowering of the legendary Rose of the Prophet?
Against the powerful legions of the evil Amir, Khardan and Zohra fight to save the desert people – a fight unexpectedly joined by an exiled wizard named Matthew and the mysterious powers of his alien land.
Aggression is out of date.
After one war scare too many the human has suppressed it aggressive instincts by genetic manipulation.
Make love, not war.
Now mankind is faced with an enemy so superior, so ruthless, that it is fight or be wiped out – and humans can no longer fight; they cannot even order their robots to fight.
Violence is decadent.
Only a museum exhibit from a thousand years ago – a Royal Navy submarine complete with commander and crew, their belligerent natures intact – can hope to save the planet from an enemy to whom living space is all-important and human life entirely superfluous.
Flung across space and time by the sorcery of super-science, John Gordon exchanges bodies with Zarth Arn, Prince of the Mid-Galactic Empire 2000 centuries in the future!
Suddenly John is trust into a last-ditch battle between the democratic Empire World and the tyranny of the Black Cloud regime. Only one weapon – the terrifying Disruptor – can win the struggle for the Empire Forces. But it is so powerful that unless John uses it correctly it could destroy not only the enemy but the cosmos.
Could his 20th Century mind cope with the technology of 200,000 years from now?
Slippery Jim di Griz – the Stainless Steel Rat – is still recovering from his efforts to save his beloved Angelina from the notorious Interstellar Internal and External Revenue when he is called upon to perform the impossible. Saving the galaxy. But can he pull it off? The galaxy is being attacked by every kind of alien race – untold billions of tentacled, slimy, green, clawed mutations – and time is running out. Aided and abetted by his wife Angelina and his teenage sons, James and Bolivar, Jim infiltrates the nerve centre of the enemy council chambers. But he hasn’t reckoned on the grey men and their commitment to a ‘holy crusade’ to destroy mankind – permanently!
John of the Hawks was a proud, young man, proud of his people, proud of his heritage, and proud of his ability to count coup on his clann’s traditional enemies. He knew what was right and what was wrong – the four great books had laid down the way things had to be.
Which is why the uncouth ways of the clannless drifters from space outraged him so. Not only did these peddlers know nothing of the finesse of proper combat, they knew nothing of the respect due to such things as the coup stick, the right way to capture a wife, and the sanctity of the clann’s elders.
Worse still, they had some idiotic notion that that cheap silvery metal so commonly used for plumbing and horse-bits, known as platinum, was somehow of special merit.
Well, one could excuse an outrage or two on the grounds of ignorance, but there came a time when any good clannsman, such as John certainly was, must decide to teach these barbarians from space a lesson!
THE LADY A OFFERS AN ALLIANCE
Devastated by alien invasion, one of the Empire’s far-flung planets – Omicron – is the destination for an astonishing mission. For the first time in many years, top SOTE agents Yvette Babol and Jules d’Alembert agree to co-operate with the treacherous and dangerous Lady A. it is strictly an alliance of convenience.
Together with the Empire’s deadliest enemy and two of her followers, the two SOTE agents set off for Omicron – easily the most distant planet ever settled. With them is Captain Paul Fortier of Naval Intelligence. And what they find on Omicron could lead to intergalactic war…
At first it was just another hoax, another UFO story, but the sightings went on increasing.
It couldn’t be an alien, there had been so many false alarms, dramatic news-columnists had shouted ‘wolf’ so many times, that John Citizen shrugged his shoulders and said ‘nuts’ at the very mention of the word space-ship. Then one of them landed…
The things they did were not exactly friendly. In fact by the time they’d finished, they had made an old-time Viking raid seem like a social call from the vicar…
Many other attacks followed. Day after day and night after night the alien ships screamed in on their mission of death. The earth struck back. But no one could track the aliens to their lair.
They seemed to come from Nowhere. They weren’t Martians. They weren’t Venusians, and they weren’t from another system.
That left only one place where they could have originated… yet the truth was so fantastic that none of the earth governments would take it seriously until it was almost too late.
The enemy came from within! From the gigantic caverns at the earth’s core.
The Whims of Destiny
Jorian, the one-time unbeheaded king, was now safely retired from a long career of getting into trouble. But his younger brother Kerin lacked such wisdom. The outraged father of Adeliza had caught him in compromising circumstances with the maiden. So Kerin had to be sent at once on a mission by sea to the Far East.
But Kerin’s talent for trouble was not to be denied. First came Belinka, a sprite sent by Adeliza to bring him back safe for her. The ship captain believed Kerin was seducing his mistress. Though innocent this time, Kerin left hastily in a rowboat. That got him to a hermit-wizard’s island – and a voyage on a pirate ship, where the kidnapped princess Nogiri was held captive. Kerin was unable to save her – until he gained the help of the hermit-wizard, who then betrayed him by seizing the girl and fleeing with her to be used as a human sacrifice.
From then on, events became hectic as Kerin managed to save Nogiri again, helped by a wizard who was the enemy of the first one. Belinka was much distressed by what happened then between Kerin and Nogiri – with cause – as they set out again, this time to the Emperor of the Farthest East.
There Kerin discovered more magic, and the Emperor learned that no man should be absentminded when using a powerful spell. But it was later that Kerin discovered the limitations of roller skates.
THE VAULT IN THE VALLEY
On a far semi-desert world, shunned by trade routes, and unattractive to star travellers, there is a barren and isolated valley. Dominating this valley is a great time-eroded Sphinx-like construction – a mass known to the few who have looked upon it as the Skull of Sykoris.
Cap Kennedy followed a dangerous trail across many worlds – a trail of murder, duels, and evil – to find that it ended there, before the Skull, confronting a mystery older than all mankind.
Beneath that Sphinx lay something desired by Earth’s old enemies. Beneath it lay something that lured the criminal minds of many worlds. But what it was none knew – until Cap Kennedy himself released the frightful power of the Eater of Worlds.
Baron Jim is in the thick of it again. Somehow he’s found himself taking on England’s oldest enemy – the French – who have entered into an unholy alliance with a most fearsome horror: the mighty serpents of the deep underseas. Nobody has battled them before; nobody even realised they could leave the sea. And with the serpents as their allies it’s only a matter of time before the French invasion succeeds – unless Baron Jim can stop them.
Since the beginning of time it had worked its will on humanity, and for as long as man could remember, he had struggled against its power. But in the 21st century the battle was won: the sea, mankind’s age-old enemy, had finally been conquered.
Professionals like Walter Franklin now patrolled the infinite savannahs of the oceans, harvesting from the plankton prairies as crop which kept the world fed. But like that other great frontier, space, the sea had not yet yielded up all its secrets. And men like Franklin would never rest until its every fathomless mystery had been challenged . . .
Commodore John Grimes was finally getting his space wings back. On his old ship, Faraway Quest, Grimes was to venture forth to the very Rim of the known worlds, seeing … The Outsider.
“The Outsider’s Ship … is a storehouse of science and technology … we, and the Federation, and the Shaara Empire, and probably quite a few more, have sent expeditions. Every one has ended disastrously.”
So, it is out to the Rim and find The Outsider. But the mystery ship is not always easy to find. And other worlds, too, yearn for the treasures of the alien technology. What Commodore Grimes finds at the Rim, and what finds him there, sends him racing through time tracks, surrounded by enemies and temporary friends, trying endlessly to discover the secret dangers of … The Outsider.
Conan the Cimmerian: the boy-thief who became a mercenary, who fought and loved his way across fabled lands to become King of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nore demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian age.
Collected together in one volume for the very first time, in chronological order, are Robert E. Howard’s tales of the legendary hero, as fresh and atmospheric today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines of more than seventy years ago.
Compiled by and with a foreward and afterword by award-winning writer and editor Stephen Jones.