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?
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.
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…
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.
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 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)
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 . . .
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.
Far from Earth two sister planets, Sainte Anne and Sainte Croix, circle each other. It is said that a race of shapeshifting aliens once lived here, only to become extinct when human colonists arrived. But one man believes they still exist, somewhere out in the wilderness.
In THE FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS, Gene Wolfe brilliantly interweaves three tales: a scientist’s son gradual discovery of the bizarre secret of his heritage; a young man’s mythic dreamquest for his darker half; the mystifying chronicle of an anthropologist’s seemingly-arbitrary imprisonment. Gradually, a mesmerising pattern emerges.
Book Three of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle Darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea: the world and its wizards are losing their magic. Despite being wearied with age, Ged Sparrowhawk – Archmage, wizard, and dragonlord — embarks on a daring, treacherous journey, accompanied by Enlad’s young Prince Arren, to discover the reasons behind this devastating pattern of loss. Together they will sail to the farthest reaches of their world — even beyond the realm of death – as they seek to restore magic to a land desperately thirsty for it.
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.
‘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.
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!
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.
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?