Land and Overland – twin worlds a few thousand miles apart. On Land, humanity faces a threat to its very survival – an airborne species, the ptertha, has declared war on humankind, and is actively hunting for victims. The only hope lies in migration. Through space to Overland. By balloon. The Ragged Astronauts – first volume in an epic adventure filled with memorable characters, intense action, engaging notions, exotic locales.
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1986
From the vaults of The SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to the work of the award-winning Bob Shaw. Best known for his extraordinary novel of ‘slow glass’, Other Days, Other Eyes, Bob Shaw was a fan favourite at conventions for his hysterical ‘serious scientific talks’. This omnibus contains three of his finest works: Orbitsville, A Wreath of Stars and The Ragged Astronauts.
Racing from the certain vengeance of Earth’s tyrant ruler, space captain Vance Garamond flees the Solar System. And discovers the almost unimaginably vast spherical structure soon to become famous as ‘Orbitsville’ – a new home for Earth’s huddled masses.
A Wreath of Stars:
Thornton’s Planet is an anti-neutrino planet detected on its approach to Earth. It can be seen only through the newly developed magniluct lenses and its arrival causes a wave of panic. When its course carries it past the earth, interest in Thornton’s Planet wanes. But the visit of Thornton’s Planet has had effects on Earth further-ranging than anyone could have imagined.
The Ragged Astronauts:
Land and Overland – twin worlds a few thousand miles apart. On Land, humanity faces a threat to its very survival – an airborne species, the ptertha, has declared war on humankind, and is actively hunting for victims. The only hope lies in migration. Through space to Overland. By balloon.
The opening of The Fugitive Worlds finds Toller Maraquine II – grandson of the hero of The Ragged Astronauts and The Wooden Spaceships – bemoaning the fact that life on the twin planets of Land and Overland has become dull and uneventful compared to the stirring times in which his illustrious forebear lived. Then, while on a balloon flight between the worlds, he makes an astonishing discovery – a rapidly growing crystal disc, many miles across, is creating a barrier between Land and Overland. Precipitated for personal reasons into investigating the enigmatic disc, Toller – armed with only his sword and boundless courage – becomes a pivotal figure in events which will decide the future of entire planets and their civilizations.
Warren Peace joined the Space Legion to forget – and forget what it was he wanted to forget. In his quest to find out who he’d been he got turned into an Oscar by a symbiotic alien parasite.
Oscars are invulnerable superbeings, immune to everything and with no need for air, food or drink, let alone sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. Marooned on an airless planet with a whole bunch of them, Warren is bored witless.
Then a chance encounter with a lump of pryktonite turns him back into a human, and Warren embarks on a new career- as a galactic troubleshooter. His first mission takes him (with a couple of Oscars providing the muscle) to a water-covered planet where a company producing a mind-blowing drug is having trouble with its alien work force. It seems they’re smuggling alien porn mags on to the planet, and are too…tired to work. Warren sets out to find the solution…
Warren Peace is the second bizarre episode in the series that began with Who Goes Here? By the acclaimed author of Orbitsville and the Ragged Astronauts trilogy.