Bleys Ahrens is now a political power on the planet Association, home of the Friendlies. His people – his Others, not Dorsai or Friendly or Exotic, but hybrids – are in place in all the new worlds and are ready to take his message to the greater human public. But within his inner circle is Henry McLean, Soldier of God, and a True Faith-Holder. Henry fears for the soul of his nephew Bleys, and while he guards, he also watches and judges. And beyond Bleys Ahrens’ control is Hal Mayne: the one man in all the human worlds who might successfully challenge Bleys in his bid for power. For Hal Mayne is the true culmination of the Cycle’s grand design. Bleys would give anything to convert Hal Mayne to his cause – or failing that, to destroy him.
Capturing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of science fiction, this unique autobiography by Robert Silverberg shows how famous stories in this genre were conceived and written. Chronicling his career as one of the most important American science fiction writers of the 20th century, this account reveals how he rose to prominence as the pulp era was ending-and the genre was beginning to take on a more sophisticated tone-to eventually be named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
In the royal palace of conquered Luscany, Princess Nette chafes at the bonds that confine her to a life of empty ceremony. Meanwhile, in a less salubrious quarter, Serin Guille’s father scents success in his search for the secret of immortality. Then a gypsy blade flashes at the ice fair. An imperial emissary lies bleeding by the frozen river, and the uneasy peace is shattered. The Eschalan overlords will not rest until they have revenge. Serin saw it happen, saw the blow fall. Now she can never go home . . .
Spinrad examines one of his most compelling obsessions – the possible “futures” of America. Street Meat: In New York City, streeties, zonies and subway cannibals are locked in a nighmarish scrabble for rat meat, sex – and survival. The Lost Continent: group of African tourists visit the ruins of Space Age America – a surreal landscape of abandoned skyscrapers, empty streets and dead, rusted machinery. World War Last: The hashish-smoking Sheik of Koram has a plan to trick America and Russia into war. La Vie Continue: In Paris exiled science-fiction author Norman Spinrad ignores a lucrative – but dangerous – bidding war between the KGB and the CIA for the film rights to his story “Riding the Torch”.
The wizard Alder comes from Roke to the island of Gont in search of the Archmage, Lord Sparrowhawk, once known as Ged. The man who was once the most powerful wizard in the Islands now lives with his wife Tenar and their adopted daughter Tehanu. Alder needs help: his beloved wife died and in his dreams she calls him to the land of the dead – and now the dead are haunting him, begging for release. He can no longer sleep, and the Wizards of Earthsea are worried. But there is more at stake than the unquiet rest of one minor wizard: for the dragons of Earthsea have arisen, to reclaim the lands that were once theirs. Only Tehanu, herself daughter of a dragon, can talk to them; it may be that Alder’s dreams hold the key to the salvation of Earthsea and all the peoples who live there.
One star-chained evening in a Manhattan bathroom, Carl Schirmer spontaneously combusts! His body transforms into light, mysteriously snatched from his banal life by an alien intelligence 130 billion years in the future. There, all spacetime is collapsing into a cosmic black hole, the Big Crunch – and a bold, cosmic destiny awaits Carl. Rebuilt from the remnants of his light by extraterrestrials for a cryptic purpose, he awakens in time’s last world, the strangest of all – the Werld. At the edge of infinity, Carl discovers the Foke, nomadic humans who travel among the floating islands of the Werld. The Foke teach him how to live – and love – at the end of time, and he loses his heart to his plucky guide, the beautiful Evoë. Their life together in this blissful kingdom that knows no aging or disease brings them to rapture – until Evoë falls prey to the zotl, a spidery intelligence who hunt the Foke and eat the chemical by-products of their pain. In order to save his beloved from a gruesome death, Carl must return to Earth – 130 billion years earlier – where he is shocked to discover that the Earth he’s come back to is not the one he left. Can he meet the harsh demands of his task before the zotl find him and begin ravishing the Earth? Author’s Note: The volumes of this series can each be read independently of the others. The feature that unifies them is their individual observations of science fiction’s sub-genre: “space opera,” which the editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer define as “colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes.”
A collection of science-fiction short stories by the author of “Lucky’s Harvest”. They feature dozens of characters, a new way of travelling between the stars, a strange planet, magical powers, bravura set-pieces, and manoeuvres of narrative.
In the town of Trujillo, in Honduras, on the edge of the Mosquito Coast, Dr. Arturo Ochoa, a semi-retired psychiatrist, has a single patient: a troubled young man named Thomas Stearns, the son of a wealthy Atlanta family. Stearns has been found adrift on the Caribbean in a vessel owned by two Nicaraguans, both of whom are missing; he has been alone for eighteen days and has little memory of that time. Suspected of murder, Stearns is unconcerned. He knows his family will buy off the police. But he is reluctant to leave Trujillo, having developed an odd affinity for the town. As therapy progresses, he tells of a mysterious stone figure regurgitated by, improbably, a whirlpool, and Dr. Ochoa – drawn into his pathology – begins to doubt not only Stearns’ sanity, but his own . . .
Lucius Shepard is a grand master of dark fantasy, famed for his baroque yet utterly contemporary visions of existential subversion and hallucinatory collapse. In Dagger Key, his fifth major story collection, Shepard confronts hard-bitten loners and self-deceiving operators with the shadowy emptiness within themselves and the insinuating darkness without, to ends sardonic and terrifying. The stories in this book, including six novellas, are: “Stars Seen Through Stone” – in a small Pennsylvania town, mediocrity suddenly blossoms into genius; but at what terrible cost? “Emerald Street Expansions” – in near-future Seattle, echoes of the life of a medieval French poet hint at either reincarnation or a dire conspiracy. “Limbo” – a retired criminal on the run from the Mafia encounters ghosts, and much worse, on the shores of a haunted lake. “Liar’s House” – in the grip of the legendary dragon Griaule, destiny is a treacherous and transformative thing. “Dead Monty” – a small-time New Orleans criminal ventures outside his proper territory, and poker and voudoun conspire to bring him down. “Dinner at Baldassaro’s” – a gang of immortals debates the future in an Italian resort, only for events to outrun any of their expectations. “Abimagique” – a glib college loser falls in love with a witch, becoming an involuntary part of a world-saving – or world-destroying – magical ritual. “The Lepidopertrist” – a small boy on a Caribbean island witnesses the creation of preternatural beings by a Yankee wizard… “Dagger Key” – off the coast of Belize, the ghost of a famous pirate seems to control a spiral of murder and intrigue; or is someone else responsible?
Gollancz is very proud to present the author’s definitive editions of the saga of Elric, the last emperor of Melniboné. Michael Moorcock and his long-time friend and bibliographer John Davey have collaborated to produce the most consistent and coherent narrative from the disparate novels, novellas, short stories and non-fiction about Elric. From his early life in Melniboné all the way through to his final days, these seven volumes will be the definitive telling of the albino prince’s story. Elric is one of the great creations of modern fantasy, and has inspired legions of imitators. If you know his story already, then this definitive edition will finally let you read the entire saga in the author’s preferred order. If you’ve never experienced the chronicles of the albino with the soul-sucking sword, then this is the perfect place to start.