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…
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.
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.
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.
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)
In the Well-Built City, Master Drachton Below’s power is absolute, and he will not hesitate to use it. His primary method of control is through his physiognomists, who are trained to read a person’s face and body, perceiving that person’s past and secrets-and even events yet to come. These seers are the judges and jury. Now Drachton has found something that could extend his reign for eternity: a fruit that bestows immortality. To investigate its whereabouts, Below sends cold, collected physiognomist Cley to the remote mining town of Anamasobia. One at a time Cley interrogates the townspeople, performing his usual fact finding without issue. That is, until he meets the beautiful and bright Arla, who harbors a secret that could potentially turn Cley’s world upside down-and topple the Well-Built City itself.
A Kafkaesque journey into the unknown, The Physiognomy is an award-winning trip through a land where the line between reality and imagination is constantly blurred.
Mankind was at war with the hideous Gool…and losing. Then, beyond Ganymead, one man fought the searing brain probe of an alien spy…and won. He mastered the power of its telepathic mind-control, captured the secret of its matter transmitters, and learned how to destroy the Gool Overlords. He called intelligence with news of the victory and headed home.
Straight into a barrage of Terran nuclear warheads.
Past missiles, shells, and assassins, he made it home – alone, badly wounded, and branded a traitor by conventional Terran wisdom that said no one could survive the Gool brain probe. No one, that is, except a brainwashed puppet deliberately allowed to survive to serve the Goos as a spy.
But he must survive Earth’s attempts to kill him – because no matter how much his fellow humans want him dead, he knows that he is the only one who can lead them against the Gool and have a chance at victory.
Aided by the powerful magic of Vagel, the evil Arch-Imager, the merciless armies are marching against the kingdom of Mordant. In its hour of greatest need, two unlikely champions emerge. One is Geraden, whose inability to master the simplest skills of Imagery has made him a laughingstock. The other is Terisa Morgan, transferred to Mordant from a Manhattan apartment by Geraden’s faulty magic. Together, Geraden and Terisa discover undreamed-of talents within themselves-talents that make them more than a match for any Imager…including Vagel himself.Unfortunately, those talents also mark them for death. Branded as traitors, they are forced to flee the castle for their lives. Now, all but defenseless in a war-torn countryside ravaged by the vilest horrors Imagery can spawn, Geraden and Terisa must put aside past failures and find the courage to embrace their powers-and their love-before Vagel can spring his final trap.
The first novel in the acclaimed VAN DER VALK series – now a major new ITV series starring Marc Warren
‘Masterful’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Freeling’s Inspector Van der Valk is less rugged than Rebus, less parsonical than Dalgliesh, more Morse than Frost, and more Maigret than any of them. Marvellous’ – Anita Brookner
‘Freeling is a joy to read’ TLS
‘You’re in for a treat’ COSMOPOLITAN
A woman, Elsa, is brutally murdered in her Amsterdam apartment. Her ex-lover, Martin, is seen outside the building around the time of the crime. The witness who saw him? A policeman.
It looks like a straightforward case – but police inspector Van der Valk is not convinced. Despite all the evidence – and the fact that Martin originally denied he was at the apartment – he believes Martin is not guilty of murder. Instead of charging him, Van der Valk takes him on a tour: a tour of the investigation; a tour of Martin’s own past; and a tour into the darkly obsessive world of Elsa…
From Harry Turtledove, bestselling author and critically acclaimed master of the short story, comes a classic collection of science fiction tales and what-if scenarios. In narratives ranging from fantastic to oddly familiar to eerily prescient, this compelling volume illustrates Turtledove’s literary skill and unbridled imagination.
FORTY, COUNTING DOWN: With the help of his time-travel software, computer genius Justin Kloster returns to the past to stop himself from making a terrible mistake – but all actions have their consequences.
THE MALTESE ELEPHANT: A legendary detective finds himself in grave danger when a noir masterpiece takes a stunning new twist.
GODDESS FOR A DAY: Taking a page from history, a young girl dares to challenge the gods – and is richly rewarded for her efforts.
DECONSTRUCTION GANG: Mired in unemployment and despair, an academic finds happiness and intellectual fulfillment in a most unexpected place.
TWENTY-ONE, COUNTING UP: Justin Kloster’s college life and romantic dreams are rudely interrupted – and irreversibly disrupted – when forty-year-old Justin arrives from the future to save himself from himself.
Plus twelve more thrilling, unforgettable tales of wonder!
The Collected Stories Volume 2: To The Dark Star (1962 – 1969)
Winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Robert Silverberg is one of the all time greats of science fiction. A professional writer for more than half a century, his short story output has been prolific and exceptional in quality.
This series of nine volumes will collect all of the short stories and novella-length that SF Grand Master Silverberg wants to take their place on the permanent shelf.
Each volume will be roughly 150,000-200,000 words, with classics and lesser known gems alike. The author has also graced us with a lengthy introduction and extensive story notes for each tale.
To See The Invisible Man
The Pain Peddlers
The Sixth Palace
To The Dark Star
Going Down Smooth
The Fangs of the Trees
Ishmael in Love
Ringing the Changes
How It Was When the Past Went Away
A Happy Day in 2381
(Now + n, Now – n)
After the Myths Went Home
The Pleasure of Their Company
We Know Who We Are
“LAMB HOUSE is in Rye, an ancient town of East Sussex, England. It is very much a real place, even a famous one, yet The Haunting of Lamb House is as elusive to review as it must have been to write. It is safe to say that no one but Joan Aiken could have written it, not only because she was born in Rye and has the town in her bones as it were, but also because she has the power — shown in her other books — of evoking strange, often eerie events of the past and making other times, places and people vividly alive. This book goes further: She has taken the real history of Lamb House and interwoven happenings that are purely imaginary, working so skillfully that even those who have lived there can hardly tell which is which!”
So wrote novelist Rumer Godden, who also lived in Lamb House. She went on:
“For those who do not sense such things, The Haunting of Lamb House is a most skillful and intriguing interweaving of fact and fiction; to those who do, it is a memorable evocation. In either case it is a little masterpiece.”
Lamb House in Joan Aiken’s birth town of Rye in Sussex is said to be haunted. This is her story of what might have happened to cause the haunting: using the imagined diary of an earlier Mayor of Rye, Toby Lamb, whose father built the handsome Georgian house, and later episodes that might have occurred during the occupancy of two of its famous literary tenants – Henry James and E.F. Benson.
Joan Aiken was born in another haunted house owned by her father Conrad Aiken: Jeake’s House, just around the corner in Mermaid Street, Rye, which she also wrote about in Return to Harken House.
“Joan Aiken has written a clever book, kindling a whole world of feeling out of small macabre details, presenting to the senses a series of apprehensions of reality which seem to touch a completeness beyond themselves. An impressive achievement; I shivered as I admired” Robert Nye, The Guardian
“Joan Aiken’s artful web of truth and fancy is divided into three histories of haunting – the first employs Aiken’s considerable skill in a vivid evocative rendering of the old town of Rye when the house was built…followed by the twenty years of Henry James’ residence. The end is worth waiting for…where E.F.Benson encounters hideous apparitions and even an exorcism in the last enthralling twenty pages” Miranda Seymour, T.L.S.
“Aiken has conjured up a deliciously scary ghost story…her mastery of style serves her well in the creation of three separate voices. Those familiar with Henry James’s writing especially The Turn of The Screwwill derive special enjoyment from this novel, but there are shivers enough for any reader willing to acknowledge the possibility of ghosts and the reality of evil” U.S. Library Journal
“In three interlocking ghost stories this veteran British novelist places a fictional haunting within the history of a real house, and displays a masterly way with several contrasting narrative styles, sympathetically evoking some ghostly presences…the wayward spirit of the house and the growing number of literary presences which gradually take possession” Publisher’s Weekly