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 . . .
First published in 1965, this brilliant, prescient book is divided into three sections: The first concerns space travel and other aspects of the new space age: how our concept of time must be modified when we travel long distances, the space seas of tomorrow, uses of the moon, how lower gravity will affect the sports of space colonists and other fascinating ideas. The second part is about communications satellites, a field in which the author has already played the role of true prophet. The third section ranges widely over the side implications of the space age – scientific meddling, the lunatic fringe and the moral obligations of scientists.
One of Dick’s earliest books but his last to be published, this is the story of one man’s descent into depression and madness – and his escape to the other side Stuart Hadley is a young radio electronics salesman in early 1950s Oakland, California. He has what many would consider the ideal life. He has a nice house, a pretty wife, a decent job with prospects for advancement – but he still feels unfulfilled. Something is missing from his life. Hadley is also an angry young man – an artist, a dreamer, a screw-up. He tries to fill his void first with drinking, then sex, and then with religious fanaticism, but nothing seems to be working and it is driving him crazy. He reacts to the love of his wife and the kindness of his employer with anxiety and fear. Is there anything that can bring him back to the world? Winner of both the HUGO and JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARDs for BEST NOVEL, Philip K. Dick is widely regarded as the premiere science fiction writer of his day. The object of cult-like adoration from his legions of fans, he has come to be seen in a literary light that defies classification in much the same way as Borges and Calvino. With breathtaking insight, he utilizes vividly unfamiliar worlds to evoke the hauntingly and hilariously familiar in our society and ourselves.
“I’ll need your help. Come night and the Oracle again, I’m going to try the final couplet.” “Jinian,” Murzy breathed while Dodie looked white-eyed at me. “Dangerous.” “And fatal not to,” I said, still smiling at them all… I wove by forest and meadow, branch and leaf. I wove by stream and pool, by river and fall. I wove by cloud and air, by thunder and sunset glow. I wove by depths of the earth, rock and gem, glittering ores and crystals blooming in the dark, old bone and new. Beside me the others wove as well… “And all within sound of my voice or reach of the wind,” I cried, thrusting my voice like a Sending, like a magic spear, driving it upward. “And all within sound of my voice or lick of the wave, or all within sound of my voice or stretch of the soil, or all within sound of my voice where green grows and leaf springs up. Named or unnamed, silent or speaking. Let this message be brought, By the Eye of the Star, Where Old Gods Are!”
Paul Heisenberg is mysteriously endowed with the ability to jump through time. Together with thousands of eventual followers, he begins a journey that eventually takes him a billion years into the future. The Earth has been devastated by war with an alien race, and the changes that have resulted from the degradation of the world’s biosphere force him–and others–to rethink their own humanity. His pilgrim’s progress through the coming time is beset by doubts, distractions, and temptations as various voices attempt to distract him from his determination to follow the process through to its end. He eventually witnesses the complete transformation of the Earth, and the evolution of a single omnipotent but mindless Gaean organism. Is intelligence itself just a brief candle, forever doomed to burn out? Or can Paul find some other alternative for his race.
In a semi-tropical London, surrounded by paddy-fields, the people feed off the sun like plants, the young are raised in Child Gardens and educated by viruses, and the Consensus oversees the country, ‘treating’ non-conformism. Information, culture, law and politics are biological functions. But Milena is different: she is resistant to viruses and an incredible musician, one of the most extraordinary women of her age. This is her story and that of her friends, like Lucy the immortal tumour and Joseph the Postman whose mind is an information storehouse for others, and Rolfa, genetically engineered as a Polar Bear, whose beautiful singing voice first awakens Milena to the power of music.
‘Welcome to Heaven’, said the voice. ‘The acquisition programme is entirely for females; but the occasional enterprising male does not displease us.’ Berry, Chief of his clan, knew his people could survive the dangers of the forest; and when winter came he made them build barricades against raiders from other clans. But no barricades were strong enough to hold against the Night Comers – huge silver beings of horrifying strength who carried away the womenfolk and were drastically lowering the human population. Were the Night Comers men, monsters or gods? Berry believed they were men; and when the inevitable night came when the women of his clan were seized, he managed to follow. He followed them to a huge tapering column of metal, which took him away from the world he had known to an island in the sky called ‘heaven’. And there Berry realised that he had to defeat the Lords of Heaven if the people on Earth were to survive.