In the early years of the twenty-first century, Earth teetered on the brink of ecological destruction. Then the alien Hefn came, determined to save the dying Earth – and to the Hefn, the ends always justified the means. Humans were given nine years to correct their mistakes – alone, with no recourse to the Hefn’s advanced technology. If by then the Earth’s ecology had not stabilized, the Hefn would solve the problem for good . . . by eliminating humans entirely.
But slowly, against their will, some of the Hefn became deeply involved with their human counterparts. And to the handful of people who came to know them, the Hefn made a great difference: as mentors, researchers, rulers . . . and saviors. But could those few friendships sway the Hefn to help save a despoiled planet – and the human race?
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
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.
After the collapse of civilization, when the social fabric of America has come apart in bloody rags, when every man’s hand is raised against another, and only the strong survive.
“Jeebee” Walther was a scientist, a student of human behavior, who saw the Collapse of the world economy coming, but could do nothing to stop it. Now he must make his way across a violent and lawless America, in search of a refuge where he can keep the spark of knowledge alive in the coming Dark Age. He could never make it on his own, but he has found a companion who can teach him how to survive on instinct and will.
Jeebee has been adopted by a great Gray Wolf.
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.