Dawn of a new Doomsday
It was in the light of the swift star “God’s-Eye” – said to have been thrown aloft by the Ancients before the Desolation – that Beatra was captured by raiders from under the Earth.
Armed with only a psi-kinetic sand-sword and a Dire Wolf’s eyes, Jeremy Wolfhead followed, and found a strange city ruled by the descendants of an ancient government that had escaped the Desolation – a city that was preparing to emerge and bring to Earth a second, even more horrible, Doomsday!
Alice Hastings Bradley Sheldon – better known to the world as science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr – produced just two novels, in a glittering but tragically short career. Gollancz is delighted to present them together in this omnibus edition:
UP THE WALLS OF THE WORLD
A secret US navy research project is founded to investigate the existence of paranormal powers, bringing together a variety of men and women who have shown indications of telepathic ability. As a result of the experiment they make mental contact with the Tyrenni, strange alien beings resembling winged squids who dwell in the upper atmosphere of their tempestuous world.
The aliens’ world, Tyree, is being threatened by a huge being, the Destroyer, which is moving inexorably towards them, obliterating whole solar systems in its path. When the Tyrenni realise that it threatens to exterminate life on Tyree, they are forced into the decision – contrary to all their moral beliefs – to take over the bodies of their human contacts in order to preserve their race.
BRIGHTNESS FALLS FROM THE AIR
Sixteen humans have come together on Damien, a distant world where once, dreams were stolen and atrocities took place. They have gathered to view the last rising of a manmade nova, the testament to a war none can forget.
Soon, time will warp and masks will fall. Soon, violence will erupt anew – along with treachery, horror, murder, release and love.
Soon, some will find justice . . . and others, judgement. Soon.
Now, sixteen humans have gathered – to await the light of the Murdered Star.
Without setting foot on another planet, people like Shep Blaine were reaching out to the stars with their minds, telepathically contacting strange beings on other worlds. But even Blaine was unprepared for what happened when he communed with the soul of an utterly alien being light years from Earth. After recovering from his experience, he becomes a dangerous man: not only has he gained startling new powers – but he now understands that humankind must share the stars.
Hunted through time and space by those who he used to trust, Blaine undergoes a unique odyssey that takes him through a nightmarish version of small-town America as he seeks to find others who share his vision of a humane future. Blaine has mastered death and time. Now he must master the fear and ignorance that threatened to destroy him!
“Variety is the soul of pleasure,” And variety is what this comprehensive new collection of Connie Willis is all about. The stories cover the entire spectrum, from sad to sparkling to terrifying, from classics to hard-to-find treasures with everything in between – orangutans, Egypt, earthworms, roast goose, college professors, mothers-in-law, aliens, secret codes, Secret Santas, tube stations, choir practice, the post office, the green light on Daisy’s dock, weddings, divorces, death, and assorted plagues, from scarlet fever to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And a dog.
Famous for her “sure-hand plotting, unforgettable characters, and top-notch writing,” Willis has been called, “the most relentlessly delightful science fiction writer alive,” and there are numerous examples here. Among them, Willis’s most famous stories – the Hugo- and Nebula-Award-winning “Fire Watch” and “Even the Queen” and “The Last of the Winnebagos” – along with undiscovered gems like Willis’s heartfelt homage to Jack Williamson, “Nonstop to Portales.” Her magical Christmas stories are here, too, from “Newsletter” to “Just Like the Ones We Used to Know…” which last year was made into the TV movie, Snow Wonder, starring Mary Tyler Moore.
We’ve collected stories from throughout Willis’s career, from early ones like “Cash Crop” and “Daisy, in the Sun,” right up to her newest stories, including the wonderful “The Winds of Marble Arch.” There’s literally something for everyone here. If you’re a diehard Willis fan, you’ll be delighted with hard-to-find treasures like the until-now uncollected, “The Soul Selects Her Own Society…” If you’ve never read Connie Willis, this is your chance to discover “A Letter from the Clearys” and, well, “Chance.” To say nothing of, “At the Rialto,” the funniest story ever written about quantum physicists. And Willis’s chilling, “All My Darling Daughters.”
And…oh, there are too many great stories here to list and pleasures galore. So enjoy!
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 . . .
On the murky outskirts of our solar system, a lonely star has exploded, emitting monstrous doses of radiation . . .
The year is 1983. The exploding star Briareus Delta, 132 light years away, provokes only mild interest from planet Earth. Suddenly, appalling tornadoes and storms ravage the cities and countryside, leaving death and desolation in their wake. Then mankind realises another terrifying side-effect – every adult in the world has been rendered infertile.
Schoolteacher Calvin Johnson discovers he is one of the select few to have acquired strange psychic powers. Termed ‘Zetas’, these people experience mental flashes of the future – a future of freezing isolation, snow-swept landscapes and bleak, ice-bound cities.
A second ice-age is imminent as man faces the ultimate horror . . . extinction.
From the opening reared a head, wide, flat, huge. Below it stretched a body beautiful with iridescent scales of gold edged with ruby. Nictitating membranes lifted over enormous eyes, deep, limpid pools of ancient wisdom, catching and reflecting the light of the miniature sun, turning the glowing orb into a scatter of stars shimmering in an ebon sea. From open jaws a forked tongue flickered with a soft susurration. Its scent was dry, acrid, tinged with that of living fur on a summer’s day. The head rose higher, swaying over the three men on the ledge, the sinuous length of the body almost filling the passage through which it had come. From it radiated an impression of incredible age.
“A serpent,” whispered Thagamista. “A creature from the beginning of time. Somehow surviving to find this place and feast on those who well here. It was inevitable they should think it a god.”
THE SLEEPING CITY continues the dynamic saga of the Chronicles of Malkar, E.C. Tubb’s newest fantasy hero!
STAR TREK is one of the world’s most popular and enduring science fiction franchises, spanning decades’ worth of TV, film, comics, books and more. This book – originally published just as DEEP SPACE NINE was first being produced – analyses the rebirth and renaissance of the series in the nineteen eighties and nineties.
Along with masses of factual information – plot synopses, cast and crew and, uniquely, British transmission dates – this Programme Guide casts a gently critical eye over the series’ continuity (and lack of it) and lingers over the moments of humour (intentional and otherwise).
In sum, this is a light-hearted, detailed and affectionate overview of the revitalised version of the classic STAR TREK. Please note that it has not been updated since its original publication.
Riverworld was a planet of Eden whose people possessed the power of dreaming the future. Kyreol, daughter of a Healer, pierced the vision veil to discover the ultimate truth – that her home world unknowingly hosted the way station of a vast interstellar civilisation.
An evil star shone on Kyreol’s first mission as an interplanetary agent. Her ship fell out of space, cracking on a lonely, mysterious moon. Rising from its endless plains was the white city – awesome, abandoned, eons-dead – a silent world of secret wonders.
Only her prophetic dreams linked Kyroel to Riverworld, but she was hopelessly marooned light-years away. And she was not alone…
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
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 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.
It was rarer and more beautiful and more precious than any piece of mineral, and its dark glory outshone the lights of the heavens. The Gods had wrought it in the Country of the Immortals, and no other thing like it had ever been upon the earth.
No emperor could hold the Throne without the Black Star. And now it was missing.
The evil Green-Robed One who had usurped the Throne would use his darkest powers to reclaim it – and the young warrior fleeing across the embattled land with his beautiful lady to save this treasure of all the world would know the torments of the damned…
The Lexman Spacedrive gave man the stars – but at a fantastic price.
Interstellar exploration, colonisation, and trade became things of reality. The benefits to Earth were enormous but, because of the Fitzgerald Contraction, a man who shipped out to space could never live a normal life on Earth again. Travelling at speeds close to that of light, spacemen lived at an accelerated pace. A nine-year trip to Alpha Centauri and back seemed to take only six weeks to men on a spaceship. When they returned, their friends and relatives had aged enormously in comparison, old customs had changed, even the language was different.
Alan was a spacer, just like his whole family – until, suddenly and without intending to, he in turn jumped ship and remained on Earth. There were times he regretted that. Earth was a bewildering and utterly hostile place. To stay alive, he had to play a ruthless game – and he couldn’t even find anyone to tell him the rules. . . .
First published in 1958.
Starfarers is the story of an expedition into the far reaches of the galaxy, where answers to mankind’s greatest questions await.
The saga begins when evidence of an advanced civilization is discovered by SETI astronomers. “Trails” observed in the sky are thought to be from starships travelling at the speed of light, an enigma that spurs scientific minds until this breakthrough is achieved by mankind as well. An expedition is then mounted and an eclectic team of scientists chosen to journey into the sector where the intelligent life is allegedly located.
But because the destination of the starship, Envoy, and her crew is 60,000 light-years away, the time required to reach the point of origin of the signals and return is 120,000 years – longer than Homo sapiens has been on Earth. And though the crew is ready to face the ramifications of such a trek, no one is prepared for what awaits them at the outer edge of the cosmos – or back at the planet they once called home.
Starfarers is a story of patience and immediacy, but most of all of courage. It is a saga for anyone who has ever felt the emptiness of life on Earth and found the missing substance in the spaces between the stars.