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.
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”.
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 . . .
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 Star Above It and Other Stories is volume 1 of a collection of Chad Oliver’s SF, containing the following: Blood’s a Rover The Land of Lost Content The Ant and the Eye Artifact Any More At Home Like You? Rewrite Man The Edge of Forever The Boy Next Door A Star Above It The Mother of Necessity Night Technical Advisor Between the Thunder and the Sun The One That Got Away Transfusion Guardian Spirit The Gift To Whom It May Concern A Stick for Harry Eddington Old Four-Eyes
For is latest invention, physicist Mason Brooks needs financial backing. To this end, he invites his wealthy sister Vera and her fiancé, Dr Douglas Ashfield, to witness a demonstration. There is an explosion and the experiment goes horribly wrong, and Vera is not only blind but has lost her eyes entirely. Then, to restore her sight, Vera undergoes a dangerous surgical experiment which results in plunging all three of them into an astonishing web of mystery and intrigue…
Change the Sky is a collection in which you will find: – A man who has spent his life searching for the world of his dreams and got exactly what he wanted – A women who found the people around her so boring she changed them – A righteous minister who preached an old-fashioned Christmas and started an energy crisis – 2000 years in the future
This second collection of Watson’s short stories further demonstrates his seemingly inexhaustible imagination. In ‘The Thousand Cuts’ the entire human race finds its consciousness blanked out for varying periods, but life seems somehow to have gone on in the missing days, and indeed, previously intractable problems have moved towards a solution. In ‘Sunstroke’ a doctor blinded accidentally during the voyage to a seemingly benign new world becomes gradually aware of disturbing changes afflicting her sighted companions. These stories, and many others, confirm Watson’s place in the forefront of contemporary SF writers.