Like two giants the old enemies faced each other across the reaches of the galaxy – the Terran Empire and the Ythrian Domain. Terra was a Leviathan, encroaching ever further among the stars, promising peace and prosperity – but at the price of freedom. Ythri was smaller, but an empire in its own right, peopled by birdlike beings with a civilisation and intellect that easily matched Terra’s own. And between the adversaries lay Avalon. One single planet, inhabited by human and Ythri alike. Both sides wanted to claim Avalon, by persuasion or by force, for it was a key world that could turn the tide of the war. But Avalon had developed a unique culture, a powerful blend of human and Ythrian thought. And Avalon had ideas of its own….
Stolen from Earth by Ithaqua the Wind-Walker and transported to the alien world of Borea, a team of ERP-talented earthmen are faced with a terrible choice: join with the Thing That Walks on the Wind in his eternal war with Armandra and the People of the Plateau, and become his mindless slaces or side with Armandra and risk the perils of the Plateau – especially its Cavern of Madness! Such a choice might seem easy, for at least the People of the Plateau are human…but is Armandra herself human As Ithaqua’s daughter, who can say which way her loyalties will turn when the chips are down and Ithaqua walks on the wind?
Where once the mighty Kane has passed, no one who lives forgets. Now, down the trail of past battles, Kane travels again. To the ruins of a devastated city peopled only with half-men and the waif they call their queen. To the half-burnt tavern where a woman Kane wronged long ago holds his child in keeping for the Devil. To the cave kingdom of the giants where glory and its aftermath await discovery. To the house of death itself where Kane retrieves a woman in love. The past, the future, the present – all these are one for Kane as he travels through the centuries. Contents: “Undertow” “Two Suns Setting” “The Dark Muse” “Raven’s Eyrie” “Lynortis Reprise” “Sing a Last Song of Valdese”
The wizard Alder comes from Roke to the island of Gont in search of the Archmage, Lord Sparrowhawk, once known as Ged. The man who was once the most powerful wizard in the Islands now lives with his wife Tenar and their adopted daughter Tehanu. Alder needs help: his beloved wife died and in his dreams she calls him to the land of the dead – and now the dead are haunting him, begging for release. He can no longer sleep, and the Wizards of Earthsea are worried. But there is more at stake than the unquiet rest of one minor wizard: for the dragons of Earthsea have arisen, to reclaim the lands that were once theirs. Only Tehanu, herself daughter of a dragon, can talk to them; it may be that Alder’s dreams hold the key to the salvation of Earthsea and all the peoples who live there.
Nantucket Slayrides contains the two short novels “How the Wind Spoke at Madaket” and “Nomans Land” by Shepard and Robert Frazier’s “The Summer People”.
Thirty billion people from throughout Earth’s history have been resurrected along the great an winding waterways of Riverworld. Most began life anew – accepting without question the sustenance provided by their mysterious benefactors. But a rebellious handful burned to challenge the unseen masters who controlled their fate Now, these adventures of Riverworld have penetrated the great tower which rises from the amazing planet’s north polar seas – and within it is the mighty computer which controls the resurrection of billions of human beings. It is inside this giant tower that Sir Richard Burton, Alice Liddell Hargreaves, Peter Frigate and Li Po meet their greatest challenge – and their deadliest foe. The incredible secret behind the Riverworld is about to be unveiled . . .
Shon knew that the Taken must die. Death had touched them, and the evil spirits which issued from Death’s Place to the east beyond the valley Took away the souls of the living. It was the law of Shon’s people, who seldom ventured far from their simple huthouses in Pine Walk, except to hunt boar in the forest. And even the forest was not completely safe, for across the river at its eastern edge lay Crow Mork, Death’s Place, and in the stories Crow himself, who was Death, rode there with Crow’s People, Death’s children, on strange four-legged beasts shod with white metal and swift as the wind. Lost in the dark forest, Shon encountered Death’s Children. ‘Don’t go home,’ the dead girl told him – he was almost sure it was a girl, though her face was a black void in the night. But there was nowhere else to go. They would kill him, of course; being Taken, they would have to. Yet Shon escaped that death – though he was to meet Death in Death’s Place, and learn the extraordinary truth about it.
ALLIANCE CENTRAL: the world once called Earth. Nothing breathes upon it but man and the wind, and the wind is tamed beneath great domes. From here humanity rules a vast stellar empire. FIRSTISM: the belief that the universe is made for humanity. Therefore be fruitful, and multiply, and replace all other creatures with humankind and its domesticated beasts, and replace all other green things with plants useful to human life… HERMES SECTOR: the remote frontier system where colonists are abruptly wiped out by an alien visitation. As a deadly threat to the countless billions of humans swarming outward from Alliance Central, the aliens must be identified. One planet alone in Hermes Sector was spared. But that planet is Dinadh, the strangest and most secretive of all populated worlds. Firsters are not welcome on Dinadh, nor Firster technology. The only people from Alliance Central qualified by blood to visit Dinadh are a lone woman and her severely disabled five-year-old son. Their journey to Dinadh marks the beginning of a terrifying ordeal pitching mother and son beyond the shadow cast by human civilization. Astounding sights, extraordinary aliens and colossal dangers await them…
Ladies from Hell contains five long stories. “The Shack at Great Cross Halt” describes a Britain dominated by motorways, juggernauts and a tyranny, in which the unfortunates of society eke out a miserable existence scavenging items that fall off lorries. “The Ministry of Children” shows comprehensive schools having become terrifying battlegrounds dominated by vicious gangs. “The Big Fans” concerns an experiment in wind-powered electricity which accidentally unleashes an apocalyptic storm of effects. “Our Lady of Destruction” ironically depicts a future in which a Stalinist British government taxes ‘non-productive’ people (i.e. artists) at over 100% and assigns them individual Overseers to regulate their work. “Missa Privata” shows an opera singer in a communist-dominated Britain making a defiant individual gesture which will bring about her own ruin. These are not stories of spaceships and alien worlds; rather they are studies of imminent social change, written out of passionate concern about the directions in which our society may be heading – stories, in fact, in the great Orwellian tradition. Most importantly, they are stories about people: believable, defiant individuals struggling against oppressive forces.
THE EPIC FANTASY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND CONTINUES . . . Kieto’s destiny, set in the heavens, is to conquer the Land-of-Mists, the mysterious island discovered by Kupe, one of the great Polynesian voyagers. But he knows it won’t be easy: the wild native tribes, particularly the Scots and Picts, have two formidable advantages – iron and horses. But Kieto has heard of a magnificent warrior race, the Maori, who live in another world and from whom he hopes to learn the secret of success in war. The gateway to this world is on the island of giants, and Kieto and his friends, Boy-Girl, Seumas and Dorcha, themselves taken years before from the Land-of-Mists, leave the safety of Rarotonga and embark on an epic voyage of discovery aboard THE PRINCELY FLOWER. Pursued by sea-fairies, vengeful gods, power-hungry priests and, in Seumas’s case, by a murderously angry son, confronting their worst fears and supernatural horrors, the friends finally face the awesome wrath of the mighty Maori. THE PRINCELY FLOWERS is the second wonderful volume of THE NAVIGATOR KINGS, set in the richly imaginative world of Polynesian life and myth.