The return of Barlennan
Dhrawn was a giant rockball, more than 3,000 times the mass of Earth. Perhaps a planet, perhaps a nearly dead star, the 17 billion square miles of mystery cried out for investigation. But its corrosive atmosphere and crushing gravity assured that no human would ever set foot on its surface.
Those hardy, caterpillar-like Mesklinites, on the other hand, were ideally suited to explore Dhrawn, and their leader certainly knew a good deal when he saw one. So Barlennan, a shrewd sea captain if ever there was one, struck a sharp bargain with the Earthmen for his services in leading the expedition.
But the humans might not have been so pleased with their side of the bargain, if they had known that Barlennan had plans of his own for Dhrawn . . .
The stunning sequel to the classic SF novel Mission of Gravity.
Miscast in the role of assassin, inhabiting the stolen body of a stalwart savage, the star-wanderer from Earth found himself in dangers beyond even his wildest imaginings!
Yes, I’m Max Andrews. I’m one of the guys who fought and bled and worked to get to Mars. I figure what I gave up in those early years gave me the right to pilot the next big jump.
I’ve lied and stolen for that right. I’d have killed, too, but I didn’t have to. Instead, I let a woman give her life so I could have my chance, my door to space.
You think I’d stop at anything, now?
I’ll be on that rocket, blasting away on America’s biggest adventure, the hop out into the stars themselves.
Only Fred Brown could have written this deeply moving science fiction novel about one man’s epic, life-long struggle to open mankind’s pathway to the stars.
In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions – the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses – all see advantages to be gained.
But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago – and why?
White Flag for Earthmen
Man had discovered a means of colonising the galaxy. Through a system of instantaneous matter transmission, men, machines, anything, could be sent light years away in seconds!
Only, men were not the only beings in the galaxy who were expanding, and at 200 light years from Earth the alien Gershmi people made their claims clear, with guns!
It would have been a fair fight between equally matched races, had not the very matter transmitter boxes which had made mankind’s expansion possible, suddenly began to put men back together, 200 light years from Earth, with their will to fight removes, so that Earthmen were marching with white flags of truce straight into Gershmi fire!
In the final volume of this epic fantasy, good is pitted against evil when the worshipers of the God of Light battle the servants of Eternal Night for the future of Thrull.
To see the stars.
This was the great and paradoxical dream. To stand and look upward into space, at the myriad pin-points of light, forever out of reach, just as their forebears on Earth had in the long gone days before the building of the planetary shells.
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn… Shell had succeeded shell, each studded with its captive caged worlds, each progressively populated by men who could look up only into a sky of artificial luminaries and space debris.
Always Zeus, man-created prime mover, was at work beyond them, the giant space machines forming and working the next shell.
Uranus, Neptune, Pluto…The last shell.
Again they journeyed: Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic, to reach the outer shell, to return to the past when Man could see the stars.
There are too many men in a world governed by women. They’re bored and disillusioned and often resort to ‘suicide missions’ – jobs in experimental space research. Jorn applies for such a job, is selected and trained as a navigator for the huge ship Javelin, the first to implement the recently discovered faster-than-light Evrak Effect.
Before the Effect is tested, however, it is discovered that life will be extinct within nine years; the sun is burning up, preparing to explode. The Evrak Effect will save a small percentage of mankind, take civilisation to a yet unknown planet. Production on new ships is given priority, the ruthless selection of passengers begins. Twenty-five billion people will be left behind.
Led by Javelin, thirty ships wander in space through many light years of promises, lost hope and death for the original crew and passengers. But life does survive, children grow and learn, to inherit the beginning of another world, another promise.
James Blish has written a compelling novel of gigantic moral problems and of people who learn to cope with their own limitations in order to deal with them.
Unable to exceed the speed of light, he found ways around the law of nature, twisting space and time to his bidding. But the lure of FTL speeds could would not be forgotten…and the crew of the Flying Cloud – casts-offs from the great civilisations of the galaxy – found themselves breaking through the barriers of the past to discover new worlds – worlds from which they could never return!
Charlie Stuart, young scion of the Scottish royal family, long nourished a secret desire for adventure – an escape from his dreary books, his sheltered life. When his father realized that, for Charlie to grow into the full Stuart heritage he must face the rigors of the real world, the young man’s dreams had a chance of coming true.
But Charlie’s private fantasies had never included Talyina, a planet 200 light-years from earth and ruled by a ruthless usurper. And he had never envisioned himself as a galactic savior. Yet, young Charlie, late the classroom dreamer, suddenly found himself the only man in the galaxy capable of averting inter-planetary war!
Chuck and Jerry, two fun-loving students at an American College discover a faster-than-light space drive and smuggle it into the football team’s plane. They, together with the lovely Sally Goodfellow, crusty Pop and loveable old John view with horror a practical joke gone awry as the plane screams off to Titan, a frozen moon of Saturn.
But that’s only the beginning. When loveable old John’s true and awful identity becomes known, a wild battle across the Universe and through centuries ensues, catapulting friends and deadly foes into the midst of a yarn spun from the grandest tradition of the classic space opera.
The star Mira was unpredictably variable. Sometimes it was blazing, brilliant and hot. Other times it was oddly dim, cool, shedding little warmth on its many planets. Gresth Gkae, leader of the Mirans, was seeking a better star, one to which his people could migrate. That star had to be steady, reliable, with a good planetary system. And in his astronomical searching, he found Sol. With hundreds of ships, each larger than whole Terrestrial spaceports, and traveling faster than the speed of light, the Mirans set out to move in to Solar regions and take over.
And on Earth there was nothing which would be capable of beating off this incredible armada – until Buck Kendall stumbled upon . . .
The Ultimate Weapon . . .
Arcot, Wade, Morey, and their computer, Fuller, put together a ship which will travel faster than light; they gave us what may have been the first space-warp drive. The concept was simple, to make it plausible wasn’t – unless you were John W. Campbell.
With this out-of-space drive they hightail it among the stars. They locate the fugitive planets of the Black Star, find a frozen cemetery-world of a lost race, then head out for another galaxy and wind up in a knock-down-drag-out interplanetary war!
The Mannschenn Drive was the gateway to the stars, but it had one unfortunate site effect: Traveling faster than light, mankind reverted to the bestial form of his own legendary nightmare-the lycanthropic horror that the full moon once called forth from the soul’s depths, now no longer howling at the moon but soaring far beyond it…
A collection of short stories from the award-winning author, Kate Wilhelm. Contains the following:
The Mile-Long Spaceship Fear Is a Cold Black Jenny with Wings A Is for Automation Gift from the Stars No Light in the Window One for the Road Andover and the Android The Man without a Planet The Apostolic Travelers The Last Days of the Captain