The golden planet of Astrobe, made in the image of Utopia, now faced a crisis which could destroy it forever; and yet, no one could understand it: In a world where wealth & comfort were free to everyone, why did so many desert the golden cities for the slums of Cathead and the Barrio? Why did they turn away from the Astrobe dream and seek lives of bone-crushing work, squalor and disease?
The rulers of Astrobe didn’t know, so they sought in humankind’s past for a leader who could give them the answers. They brought to life the one man out of history who would most want to destroy Astrobe!
Even before the renegade pirates of the giant spaceship Thunder had collected all five of the rings that would eliminate the threat of Master System forever, Hawks knew that they still faced even greater problems.
The shapechanger, Vulture, was lost on the watery planet of Chanchuk, his fate unknown. Master System’s space fleet dogged the renegade’s every step. Hawks suspected that the group was harbouring a traitor, but he was powerless to act. And, most important, the rebels had not yet figured out how the rings were used – a riddle that seemed to have no solution!
Somewhere back on Earth lay the original computer interface, and somewhere in the distant past lay the secret to Master System’s demise. As a historian, Hawks had the knowledge to solve the riddle; yet he had to be absolutely sure – for one misstep would destroy them all.
A mothballed space fleet, the great ships were silent and shut down. Each up to fourteen kilometres long, they had been circling Jupiter in their hundreds for nearly a millennium.
To the little band of fugitives, they were both their hope for the future and a terrible reminder of the past. Once they had been the slave ships of their time, transporting whole populations of unwilling humans to the star colonies at the behest of the Master System.
Now, reactivated, one might not only help them escape the Master System but take them in search of the five gold rings that were the key to its control and their freedom.
Cautiously, nervously, their craft edged towards the huge empty hull that loomed in the sky before them…
When the past comes back to haunt you, there is no escape.
A dead dog, a green alligator wallet, a burned book and a series of cryptic notes send Ellery Queen on the trail of a murderer.
Laurel Hill, daughter of Hollywood jeweller Leander Hill, believes that her father was frightened to death, and asks Ellery Queen to investigate. Someone is still out to get Hill’s business partner, Roger Priam, but he’s not talking. And it appears that a mysterious and violent incident in the men’s past may be at the heart of the matter.
When Priam begins to receive a series of less than pleasant ‘gifts’, master detective Ellery Queen must discern the pattern that connects the clues and the notes, and entrap the criminal.
Acclaimed as one of the most original voices in modern literature, Raphael Aloysius Lafferty drew more from traditional oral storytelling techniques than from the usual pulp roots of SF. His inventive style and fondness for tall tales marked him out from his contemporaries, and writers of the calibre of Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe acknowledge him as a major influence and force in the field. His fiction has garnered numerous award wins and nominations and he has been given the prestigious SFWA Grand Master Award and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
This volume contains three of his early novels: the Hugo- and Nebula-shortlisted Past Master, space opera re-telling of The Odyssey, Space Chantey, and Fourth Mansions, also shortlisted for the Nebula.
Avram Davidson’s six Jack Limekiller stories create a rich and colorful world where the magical and inexplicable coexist with the outboard motor and the escalation of the American war in Vietnam. British Hidalgo is “a place that you can put your arms around,” welcoming and friendly to the visitor, but uncanny beings dwell in the bush and roam along its coast. Afloat and ashore, Jack Limekiller, master of the working sailboat Saccharissa, encounters ghosts of the colonial past and monsters far older.
By the bestselling author of The Far Pavilions, a superb, classic crime fiction novel from the author described as “outdoing Agatha Christie in palming the ace”
Miranda Brand was uneasy even before the train left to take her to stay with her army cousin in divided Berlin. Then a story of a missing fortune in war-looted diamonds, told to pass the time on the journey, brings back nightmares of her past. And causes murder.
This is dazzling entertainment from a master of suspense.
Karen White can open ‘doors’ between universes. This power, which she shares with her brother and sister, has been suppressed since childhood. But now it appears in her teenage son, Michael, who is approached by a mysterious figure known only as the Grey Man, a figure who has haunted Karen’s dreams for decades.
Fleeing to her sister Laura’s reality, Karen and Michael undertake a terrifying and painful journey into the past, to discover the secret of their power – and the truth about the Grey Man and his masters.
Endless Things is the fourth and final installment in Crowley’s Aegypt sequence.
Spanning three centuries, and weaving together the stories of Renaissance magician John Dee, philosopher Giordano Bruno, and present-day itinerant historian and writer Pierce Moffitt, the Aegypt sequence is as richly significant as Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet or Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time. Crowley, a master prose stylist, explores transformations physical, magical, alchemical, and personal in this epic, distinctly American novel where the past, present, and future reflect each other.
ENTER DR. KAIFENG . . .
Of all possible enemies, Cap Kennedy had yet to cross swords with the legendary master of galactic villainy, Dr Kaifeng. In the struggle for the mind of the tyrant of Papan, they finally met – and Kennedy was the loser.
There was only one chance to save the situation and that was to pay the price of the enigmatic super-surgeons of the Kraid. He would have to take a role in their eternal play-acting. The stage would be the past, a barbaric world of swords and sorcery. Kennedy would be just a sword-wielding freebooter with a crew of murderous puppets at his back. And if he survived, Kaifeng would be waiting at the stage door.
Being the adventures of W. Wilson Newbury, mild-mannered – and mildly ensorcelled – gentleman banker.
L. Sprague de Camp, winner of the Gandolf Award as a Grand Master of Fantasy, reveals within these pages the curious story of his friendship with W. Wilson “Willy” Newbury, for whom the realm of the super-natural seems to have a strange affinity.
– A horse discloses its violent – non-equine – past.
– A manufacturer reveals a particularly unacceptable form of non-union labour.
– Formaldehyde is shown to be a better preservative than even its inventor would have hoped.
– A game of chances takes on serious overtones, and all for a most unlikely prize.
Two monstrous armies stand opposed: Vormulac Unsleep’s undead legions out of Turgosheim, and Wratha the Risen’s Renegades, masters of the last great aerie of the Wamphyri. The spoils of war will be revenge, territory, and human flesh! And blood, of course – the sweet blood of Sunside’s Szgany. For the blood is the life, and when life or land are threatened there’s only one course of action for a vampire: battle to the death!
Trapped in the middle: Nathan Keogh, Necroscope. And the espers of Earth’s E-Branch, Trask and Zek, Goodly and Chung: Guardians of the Gate against a vampire invasion of Earth! The Necroscope holds the keys; he is the only one who can close the Gates to end the crimson carnage of the Bloodwars!
But the past holds many a secret, and the future was ever a devious thing!
The day the Time Storm came, Marc Despard was one of the handful to survive – or keep a remnant of sanity. Mist walls moving endlessly across the surface of the Earth, created a devastated, shifting patchwork of temporal anarchy, wrenching both inanimate and living things between the past and the future, beyond all hope of return.
But Despard saw strange, dazzling patterns in his head that he knew were instruments that might enable him to beat the Time Storm.
Travelling through the violent, terrifying landscape of an ever-changing world, slowly gathering others around him, he began to realise his awe-inspiring mission.
He, Marc Despard, must become nothing less than master of the universe – what men call God.
To see the stars.
This was the great and paradoxical dream. To stand and look upward into space, at the myriad pin-points of light, forever out of reach, just as their forebears on Earth had in the long gone days before the building of the planetary shells.
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn… Shell had succeeded shell, each studded with its captive caged worlds, each progressively populated by men who could look up only into a sky of artificial luminaries and space debris.
Always Zeus, man-created prime mover, was at work beyond them, the giant space machines forming and working the next shell.
Uranus, Neptune, Pluto…The last shell.
Again they journeyed: Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic, to reach the outer shell, to return to the past when Man could see the stars.
‘We won’t be landing anywhere just yet’, Waters said to the other passengers on the spaceship Fulmar. ‘I was pretty mystified by this story of mechanical breakdown, so I’ve been checking up.’ He hefted his little box. ‘I’ve spent the past half hour successfully tapping your subspace circuits, Captain, so I know the truth and I propose to share it with everyone. We’re not to land. We’re to orbit in space, indefinitely.’
Beloved Sister Dorcas’s screams pierced the quiet.
‘You see,’ Waters continued, holding up his hand for silence, ‘this is being done on the direct orders of Master Brand . . . you don’t know the name?’ He glanced inquiringly around. ‘No? Well, he happens to be one of the powers of Earth, and there is nobody in the galaxy to overrule him.’
(First published 1965)