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Search Results for: patterns

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Patterns

Patterns

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Pat Cadigan

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This is a book of science fiction – without galactic fleets or plucky scientists’ daughters; a book of fantasies – without elves, barbarians or wizards; a book of horror – without clichéd mad slashers in hockey masks.

If one must categorize this collection by Pat Cadigan, then the inevitable conclusion would be that Patterns is a book about people, good and bad, noble and monstrous, common and oh so extraordinary. Cadigan’s characters live and breathe in these fourteen astonishing stories, making even the most outlandish ideas seem more than possible.
Fire Pattern

Fire Pattern

Contributors

Bob Shaw

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£4.99
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ebook
When Ray Jerome, a crotchety journalist on the Whiteford Examiner, is asked to investigate a case of spontaneous human combustion, his first reation is to ridicule the idea – but he is not able to back out of doing the story.

To his own surprise, he becomes fascinated by the phenomenon of people who burn up for no obvious reason. It is a fascination which will make 1996 the most unbelievable year of his life.
Pattern of Shadows

Pattern of Shadows

Contributors

Jonathan Burke

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He was suspended alone and unprotected in the sea of forgetfulness where Saturn looked brilliant against the sunless black of deep outer space.

It was like an elusive dream of a past only half-remembered, forever just out of reach amid the shifting galaxies of deep space. Somewhere out there he had lost his memory – space amnesia they called it. But they had found him and brought him back and given him a memory again.

But was it his memory?
The Patterns of Chaos

The Patterns of Chaos

Contributors

Colin Kapp

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Bron is a chaos catalyst. He wreaks havoc and destruction as surely as a hurricane wherever he goes. Commando Central has planted an electrode transmitter-receiver deep inside his brain and infiltrated him into the Destroyer Spacefleet to prevent it from gaining absolute mastery of the galaxy. But Bron’s own brand of chaos is lethally unpredictable. And when whole planets are annihilated by monster hellburner bombs set on course seven hundred million years ago from distant Andromeda, aimed directly at Bron himself, both sides realise something more colossal, more threatening and infinitely more powerful is taking a hand in Bron’s weird destiny . . .
The Chalk Giants

The Chalk Giants

Contributors

Keith Roberts

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AFTER THE APOCALYPSE the hazardous evolution of mankind continues. And in primeval response to the disaster, humanity’s solutions to catastrophe carve the harsh new world in violent patterns of magic and myth, rite and religion. Brave images scar the ancient hills, the clash of swords and the ageless power of sexuality sign-post another, bloodsoaked path to civilisation.
Contrary Pleasure

Contrary Pleasure

Contributors

John D. MacDonald

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£18.99
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Paperback
For years the Delevan family image reflected only the best of everything – wealth, position, influence, and the kind of expensive good looks that take generations to cultivate.

No one dared suspect that their glittering façade, their cherished privacy masked hidden lusts, furtive pleasures and twisted dreams that would soon erupt into a pattern of strange violence that threatened to destroy them all.
The World That Never Was

The World That Never Was

Contributors

Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe, Karl Zeigfreid

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Humanity played with fire once too often. It was atomic fire and its ravages produced an almost complete annihilation, but there were survivors. The radiations had not been entirely malevolent in their influence. Genes and chromosomes danced like dervishes in the gamma bombardments, and settled back into fantastic new patterns. God-like beings strode proudly athwart the devastation. Half-human demons lurked in the shadowy ruins. The twilight of humanity faded into a new heroic epoch, behind which the forbidden secrets of the ancient atom gods bided their time…
The Seedling Stars

The Seedling Stars

Contributors

James Blish

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You didn’t make an Adapted Man with just a wave of the wand. It involved an elaborate constellation of techniques, known collectively as pantropy, that changed the human pattern in a man’s shape and chemistry before he was born.

But the pantropists didn’t stop with biology. Education, thoughts, ancestors and the world itself were changed, because the Adapted Men were produced to live and thrive in the alien environments found only in space. They were crucial to a daring plan to colonize the universe.

And millennia later, it is only fitting that they should return to a long forgotten planetary system to colonise a hostile world called . . . Earth.
The Squares of the City

The Squares of the City

Contributors

John Brunner

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Ciudad de Vados was the pride of Latin America – a gleaming city of the future where only ten years before there had been barren rock and wasteland.

But Vados had problems. When Boyd Hakluyt was called in, his brief seemed simple: reroute the traffic to drive out the shanty towns that disfigured the city. It was an easy job – until Hakluyt found himself unwillingly involved in a web of deadly political rivalries. Then came the first murder . . .

Hakluyt started getting answers to questions he hadn’t asked. Too many people got too interested in him. And the pattern that started emerging was sinister, terrifying – and almost unbelievable . . .

First published in 1965.
Sorrow to the Grave

Sorrow to the Grave

Contributors

Dell Shannon

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‘My favourite American crime-writer’ New York Herald Tribune

In the quiet suburb of Santa Monica, eighty-eight-year-old Mabel Foster loses her husband to a stroke. Rather than move Mabel into a retirement home, the neighbours hire Josephine Slaney to take care of her. The immense nurse is a godsend, the cost of her help is a bargain.

Soon it becomes clear, however, that all is not right with Josephine. Mrs Foster, once bright and alert, falls quickly into a torpor and retreats into seclusion at Josephine’s command. It is up to detective Dan Valentine to uncover a strange, lethal pattern among Josephine’s former patients, and the race is on to stop her before she can strike again.
World of Tomorrow

World of Tomorrow

Contributors

Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe, Karl Zeigfreid

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Everything was ordinary. Men worked in factories and fields. Women were shopping. Children were at school. Then came the four-minute warning. Wires hummed madly between heads of governments. Just before the massive retaliation went into the air the world realised that no-one had despatched the first rocket.

The retaliation was checked with seconds to spare. Experts examined the ruined city. There was something else besides radiation. Deadly bacteria from an unknown source spread across the planet. More alien bombs followed the first. But there was no real pattern in the attacks, if they were genuine attacks.

At last the detectors found the alien ships. They were fighting among themselves and earth was the battle-area. Could the remnants of humanity interfere? What would be the result if they did?
Time-Storm

Time-Storm

Contributors

Gordon R Dickson

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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.
Mark of the Beast

Mark of the Beast

Contributors

Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe, John E. Muller

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Heredity is dependent on the complex patterns of genes and chromosomes, which are particularly vulnerable to radiation. An error in a biological research unit led to the birth of a thing so bestial and so powerful that it became a target so Security.
As it grew, its strategic potential developed until whispers of its monstrous power filtered out to the rest of the world. Other nations were interested and one intrepid agent reached the secret bunker where the powerful thing was kept. His interference shattered a safety device and the thing escaped.
It strode across the world with the fury of a tornado. Nothing seemed able to stand in its path. Mighty cities were shattered like ant-hills as the mutant monster continued its rampage. Dazed, disorganised humanity strove desperately to strike back before it was too late…
The Repairmen of Cyclops

The Repairmen of Cyclops

Contributors

John Brunner

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The Corps Galactica, the Galaxy’s police force, had pledged itself to a policy of non-interference with the backward Zarathustra Refugee Planets.

Langenschmidt, the Corps chief on the planet Cyclops, was content with this ruling. After all, if the refugee planets could form their own civilizations from scratch, logically they would come up with cultures suited to their own needs.

However, when the case of Justin Kolb came to his attention, Langenschmidt was forced to rethink the problem. Kolb’s accident with the wolfshark revealed to the Corps’ medicos the leg-graft that had been performed on him. It was a perfect match – only its gene-pattern wasn’t Cyclopean, and limb-grafting wasn’t practised on Cyclops.

Where had the leg come from, who had been the unknown repairmen, and wasn’t this something that might be violating galactic law?



(First published 1965)
Ivoria

Ivoria

Contributors

Tanith Lee

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Nick Lewis certainly has no liking for his TV historian brother, Laurence. Aside from anything else Nick blames him for the death of their mother, the beautiful actress Claudia Martin. And so, is it possible the off-handedly childish trick played by Nick on Laurence really does cast some kind of curse? Bizarre and unpleasant things begin to happen, without a doubt. And Nick himself is hardly immune. As the pattern of his secure yet eccentric life starts to come undone, he finds himself without remedies. Where has Laurence vanished to? What is the creepy Mr Pond’s part in it all? And who is the apparently sinister Kitty Price? Can repressed hatred cause such disruption, danger, even death? Or has the object caused it, as Nick pretended it could: that little ivory counter from a stolen drawer… This is probably not a supernatural story. It might be less unsettling if it was.
Dirty Work

Dirty Work

Contributors

Pat Cadigan

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ebook
Dirty Work? In a manner of speaking, perhaps, but certainly not along the lines of de Sade or Henry Miller.

“Dirty” maybe because within this remarkable volume of short stories (a follow-up to her award-winning collection Patterns) author Pat Cadigan unflinchingly explores the implications of technology on modern and near-future societies, humorously challenges our perceptions of reality, and chillingly strips away our civilized facades to confront the bestial nature of our souls.

With stories like “Home By the Sea,” “Dispatches from the Revolution,” “No Prisoners,” “50 Ways to Improve Your Orgasm,” and “Naming Names,” Pat Cadigan exhibits an enviable ability to tackle a variety of themes, moods, and perspectives. And makes it all seem easy.

Featuring 18 stunning fictions (including the previously unpublished “Lost Girls” written especially for this book)-as well as intriguing author introduction to each story-Dirty Work is a thought provoking, often funny, never compromising collection by one of America’s most gifted authors.

It doesn’t get any better than this.
Phenomena X

Phenomena X

Contributors

Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe, John E. Muller

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Dolores Foster was walking home from work when she noticed an oddly shaped glittering something at the edge of the pavement. She stooped, fascinated, and picked up a metallic brooch or badge of unusual lightness. The metal was engraved with peculiar semi-geometrical patterns and she thought it was vibrating as she held it…

Captivated by the unusual qualities of her find she wore it at a cocktail party that evening. Either the stranger who approached her and began asking incredible questions was drunk or reality as she knew it could never be the same again…

The finding of the brooch led her to the fringe of a terrifying organisation: a group known simply as “The Engineers”: men who played with the fabric of the three-dimensional world as if it were made of putty.

Dolores had to learn an entirely new set of survival data as she followed one of the Engineers into a new dimension and saw how human society was masterminded.

She had to decide whether to oppose the terrible truth she had discovered or join the strange beings who looked like men…yet ran the solar system as though it were a fairground!
James Blish SF Gateway Omnibus

James Blish SF Gateway Omnibus

Contributors

James Blish

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£18.99
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ebook
Best known for his Hugo Award-winning classic A Case of Conscience, Blish was one of the first serious SF writers to involve themselves with tie-in novels, writing eleven Star Trek adaptations as well as the first original adult Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die. This omnibus contains three of his long out-of-print works: Black Easter, The Day After Judgement and The Seedling Stars.
BLACK EASTER: A gripping story about primal evil: a sinister intermingling of power, politics, modern theology, the dark forces of necromancy, and what proves, all too terribly, not to be superstition.

THE DAY AFTER JUDGEMENT: Develops and extends the characters from BLACK EASTER. It suggests that God may not be dead, or that demons may not be inherently self-destructive, as something appears to be restraining the actions of the demons upon Earth.

THE SEEDLING STARS: You didn’t make an Adapted Man with just a wave of the wand. It involved an elaborate constellation of techniques, known collectively as pantropy, that changed the human pattern in a man’s shape and chemistry before he was born. And the pantropists didn’t stop there. Education, thoughts, ancestors and the world itself were changed, because the Adapted Men were produced to live and thrive in the alien environments found only in space. They were crucial to a daring plan to colonize the universe.
Transcension

Transcension

Contributors

Damien Broderick

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£4.99
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ebook
Aleph is a machine mentality overseeing a future Earth largely bereft of humans, most of whom have sublimed into a virtuality.Remaining are the smug but cautious adherents of science. Amanda, still a teen at age 30, is a skilled violinist and mathematician but craves the applause of the Mall for some daring exploit.

In a nearby enclave live the rustic, non-scientific people who worship the god of their choice. In the center of their poly-religious valley a wicked tower has emerged, surely a tool of evil temptation. Far below, a supersonic railroad is being constructed. Amanda conceives a dangerous feat: to enter the valley and descend to the rushing train, hitching a mad ride to the next city.

Using a cyber “Liar bee,” she buzzes the ear of young Matthewmark, who chafes under the restrictions of his own narrow society. He agrees to aid Amanda and her friend Vikram Singh, but the scheme goes horribly wrong. Vik dies; Matthewmark’s brain is seriously damaged, although he recovers with advanced neurological prostheses. This treatment, condemned by his own people, allows him contact with the AI Aleph.

In a series of startling moves, Amanda graduates to adulthood (and her modish clipped speech patterns give way to this new sophistication), while Matthewmark explores uncanny and sometimes very funny opportunities in the Alephverse, climaxing in the dismantling of the solar system and its embrace by the hyperuniverse beyond ours. This is the Singularity, at last, the Transcension, and everyone lives happily ever after, for rather mindboggling values of “lives” and “happily.”
Keith Roberts SF Gateway Omnibus

Keith Roberts SF Gateway Omnibus

Contributors

Keith Roberts

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£18.99
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Paperback
As author and illustrator, Keith Roberts did more than most to define the look of UK science fiction magazines in the 1960s. In addition to his BFSA Award wins, he was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. He is perhaps best known for his seminal alternate history novel, Pavane, but his work covered a broad range of SF’s tropes and settings, as can be seen from the titles collected in this omnibus: The Chalk Giants, Kiteworld and The Grain Kings.

THE CHALK GIANTS: After the apocalypse the hazardous evolution of mankind continues. And in primeval response to the disaster, humanity’s solutions to catastrophe carve the harsh new world in violent patterns of magic and myth, rite and religion. Brave images scar the ancient hills, the clash of swords and the ageless power of sexuality sign-post another, bloodsoaked path to civilisation.

KITEWORLD: Powerful churches have long kept their grip on the people with a theology of fear that makes formidable demons out of the poor, weak mutants of the surrounding badlands. To ward off these specters, an elaborate, tradition-encrusted system of kites with hex signs or armed observers fly over the realm. The men of this Kite Corps, performing hazardous duty to sustain a myth, are driven to find a separate peace, to transform, if they can, disillusionment into enlightenment, to move forward from an assumption of guilt to an assumption of responsibility.

THE GRAIN KINGS: They call them The Grain Kings. Gigantic mechanical monarchs of the wheat-bearing plains that were once the frozen Alaskan wastes. Whole eco-systems in themselves, they can supply the food so desperately needed by the teeming millions of our overpopulated planet. But even now, as the whole world waits in hungry suspense, the great powers battle for control of the prairies and two competing combine harvesters find they are heading on a course of collision.
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