Three thousand years after Earth’s colonisation of the planet Borthan, stories of self-serving hypocrisy that occured among the first arrivals have bred a culture that forbids emotional sharing and denies the naturally human concept of ‘self’. The result is a lasting peace, but at a terrible price. For it is a peace without love, without self, where even the mention of the word ‘I’ is taboo.
Spurred on by the arrival of an Earthman with a self-baring drug, Kinnall Darival breaks the strict code of the Covenant to record the sordid details of his rebelious life from the days of his royal youth to self-appointed prophet of love. He begins his account with the greatest of heresies:
‘I am Kinnall Darival and I mean to tell you all about myself.’
Winner of the Nebula Award for best novel.
They came in the summer – the longest, hottest summer the village had ever known.
They wouldn’t drink beer – it was ‘grossing’. They fought duels – and although people got killed, nobody got hurt. They dressed in shirts and shorts – but the clothes never got dirty or worn.
And when the inferno began, the holocaust that swept the village from end to end, the giants were right in the middle of it…
If a man from the mid-1920s had picked up today’s paper he would have mistaken it for a science fiction magazine. In the same way, if a man from the mid-1960s could be confronted with a national daily from thirty years hence he would shake his head and regard the whole thing as preposterous. Stop. Think. Wonder. Tomorrow’s commonplace was today’s miracle. Today’s commonplace was yesterday’s miracle. Most things change. Some change faster than others. Human nature changes most slowly of all. The sword has given way to the gun, but the hand that holds the gun is neither braver nor more cowardly than the hand that held the sword. The gun gives place to the heat ray and the energy blaster, but the hand still belongs to a hero or a coward. The greatest drama of the world is human drama. People are still fundamentally people. Spacemen are people. They will still have our human problems a hundred years hence. This is a story of people in the future facing our basic problems in a more complex environment.
Asher Sutton has a book in his hands – a book that would change the history of the galaxy, a book by himself…that he had never written.
Or had he?
Or would he?
14 science fiction shorts covering topics such as the rebuilding of Manhattan in the heart of Leicestershire, seeking help from an angel, enlivening Utopia by taking a demon lover, changing rivals into animals. A fascinating collection from one of the leading lights of feminist SF.
First there was the end.
After weeks of running from pursuers, Gene and Stacy finally found refuge on an isolated island.
But around them the island changed – and so did they.
Each time they awoke from sleep, they lived a different life in a different time. And the farther back they went, the more they lost their anchor to their own world. When at last they were found, the people they had become no longer recognised their pursuers.
And that was the beginning.
The Eurasian world of the 24th Century is in the grip of Rajak the Magnificent, one of the most efficiently ruthless totalitarian tyrants ever produced by history. The dreaded security guards are everywhere. The only escape is the time dimension. But what if the Time Vortex breaks down? To what unknown realms – of past, future or probability – will the travellers be transported?
Mike Grafton, on the run from the security forces, finds himself changing places with Benjamin Bathurst, the true life Missing Diplomat of the early 19th Century, who vanished and was never seen again.
What happens to these men, torn from their environments, into unknown realms? Will the Liberationist forces succeed in destroying Rajak the Magnificent? But perhaps the greatest question of all is the possibility of Time Travel: will man ultimately conquer time as he is even know conquering space?
The day the Time Storm came, Marc Despard was one of the handful to survive – or keep a remnant of sanity. Mist walls moving endlessly across the surface of the Earth, created a devastated, shifting patchwork of temporal anarchy, wrenching both inanimate and living things between the past and the future, beyond all hope of return.
But Despard saw strange, dazzling patterns in his head that he knew were instruments that might enable him to beat the Time Storm.
Travelling through the violent, terrifying landscape of an ever-changing world, slowly gathering others around him, he began to realise his awe-inspiring mission.
He, Marc Despard, must become nothing less than master of the universe – what men call God.
Pursuit Through Time depicts Clifford Marritt’s daring attempt to change the course of history by time-travelling into the past.
In the long twilight if a galactic empire, the old king is dying. He has little choice but to name his callow young son as heir and his wanton daughter as regent. It seems the long decline is destined to continue.
But everything is changed by the appearance of a rival claimant: a long-lost princess, accompanied only by a loyal champion and a mysterious advisor. Will her arrival herald a bright new dawn for the empire? Or drive a once-proud civilisation to the brink of war . . . ?
He thought he knew himself, his strength, weaknesses and limitations.
A frightening encounter with two muggers, however, changed everything.
He had knowledge which he had no conscious memory of learning.
He had faculties which he had never known he possessed.
He had memories beyond those of normal life. A life in which he had a different name.
He could not remember everything but he knew some dreadful alien creatures were hunting him. With his wakening memory, he knew also that the aliens would be able to detect him once more.
There was nothing left but flight.
In this fast-moving science fiction novel, follow the fugitive across the universe to final confrontation with the aliens.
The Very Slow Time Machine arrives on earth in 1985. Its sole inhabitant is old and mad. Soon it becomes apparent that for him, time is going slowly backward. With every day, he is getting younger and saner. The world, and its whole concept of time, science and philosophy, must wait for him to speak. But while the world waits, it changes…
Judith Moffett returns to the future with this moving tale of the Hefn occupation of Earth and how it affects the planet’s native humans – two in particular: Pam Pruitt, a talented young woman from Kentucky, and Liam O’Hara, whose unique friendship with the Hefn Humphrey saved his life. The two teens journey to a special place in remote Kentucky, Hurt Hollow, where the painter Orrin Hubbell and his wife, Hannah, found a way to live in peace with the planet during the twentieth century. The prospects of living peacefully seem distant for Pam and Liam, both of whom must find peace with themselves as well as with the Hefn Directive. The marvelous events that befall them en route to Kentucky and in the Hollow itself beautifully depict the subtle ways in which the world shapes them, and the stunning ways in which they change the world.
Former Air Force officer and NSA agent Ron Moosic thought he had been assigned to be the Security Director for a nuclear power plant – but the power plant was only a cover for a top secret project sending observers back in time.
And terrorists had taken control of the project and sent two of their own back to change the past. Moosic was sent downtime in pursuit, with two considerable handicaps: like all time travelers, he would change upon arrival into a person who was alive at the time – he could find himself changed into a young boy or a woman – and if he stayed too long, his memories would vanish and he would be trapped in the past.
But Moosic quickly discovered that both he and the terrorists were only pawns in the time game, maneuvered by warring humans and… ex-humans in a future struggle that would either conquer the Earth or destroy all life on it…
Four-BEE was an utopian city. If you didn’t mind being taken care of all your long long life, having a wild time as a “jang” teen-ager, able to do anything you wanted from killing yourself innumerable times, changing bodies, changing sex, and raising perpetual hell, it could be heaven.
But for one inhabitant there was always something askew. He/she had tried everything and yet the taste always soured. And then he/she succeeded in committing the one illegal act – and was thrown out of heaven forever.
But forever is not a term any native of that robotic utopia understood. And so he/she challenged the rules, declared independence, and set out to prove that a human was still smarter than the cleverest and most protective robot.
THE CALL OF THE WELL
For uncounted eons, the Well World had regulated and given order to the universe, and throughout the eternity, Nathan Brazil had been the guardian of the Well of Souls, where the universe’s master control lay. Forever wandering and alone, returning to the Well in times of Danger, Brazil had destroyed and re-created the cosmos several times over. But even he wearied of his endless watch, and had enlisted the aid of space pilot and high-tech thief Mavra Chang the last time the universal order required resetting.
But now the universe faced a threat more grave than mere destruction. An unnamed and utterly alien entity had somehow been released from its ancient prison and was bent on the corruption of the Well World itself. If successful, it would cause chaos beyond mortal understanding.
The Well World needed Brazil and Chang. But when it found them, would they once again answer the call? And though Brazil was immortal, could he even fight the force threatening the Well? For the force was not of this universe – and it had plans for Nathan Brazil…
The Translator tells of the relationship between an exiled Russian poet and his American translator during the Cuban missile crisis, a time when a writer’s words – especially forbidden ones – could be powerful enough to change the course of history.
The rift in the fabric of space was fast approaching the Well World, and time was running out. Troops all over the planet were gathering for the final battle.
Nathan Brazil and Mavra Chang somehow had to reach the Well of Souls in time to save the universe and before any of the hostile natives managed to kill them.
At best, a difficult mission. At worst, impossible – especially since there was a price on Brazil’s head and many would be claimants! For Brazil, the difficult was but the work of a moment – the impossible would take a little longer!
Out of body, out of time…
Though basically a skeptic, William Reynolds had known out-of-body experiences in the past. But never before had he floated past the boundaries of Baltimore . . . and across the borders of time. And now, with the fires of Civil War looming on the horizon, the astonished graduate student was hobnobbing with none other than the dark poet Edgar Allan Poe. But their meeting of minds was to have chilling consequences. For a desperate Confederacy planned to use them both to remold the world – and to change history…for the worse.
In his epic adventures in the alternative Twentieth Centuries, Chrononaut Oswald Bastable, member of the League of Temporal Adventurers, has crossed and re-crossed many different time-streams. Some of his previous experiences have been told in The Land Leviathan and The Warlord of the Air.Now, in what may be the last communication from him, he tells of a world in which the Bolshevik Revolution never happened…
The Steel Tsar finds him travelling backwards in time from a shell-shocked Singapore to a Russian Empire seething with conflict and preyed on by motley bands of rogues and adventurers. Here he meets up with fellow-time-traveler Miss Una Persson, and together they change the course of a history whose legendary deeds exceed the bounds of everyday imagination and glitter in the exuberant land of the eternal present.
The planet Kerim must have been Utopia – once. All its inhabitants had to do when they wanted something was to pray out loud for it – and what they wanted would materialise before their eyes. But by the time Jack Waley crashed on it, its best days had long been gone – and its future was strictly limited.
Which was typical Jack Waley luck. He had bungled and blundered his way across the space lanes, messing up everything he tried and being castaway on Kerim looked like the end of the line.
For Kerim’s people were now bands of confused savages and its cities crumbling ruins. And this time Waley knew that he’d have to change a whole world’s luck if he wanted to save his own neck one more time.
It’s jang to be wild and sexy and reckless and teen-age.
It’s jang to do daredevil tricks and even get killed a few times…you could always come alive again.
It’s jang to change your body, to switch your sex, to do anything you want to keep up with the crowd.
But there comes a time when you begin to think about serious things, to want to do something valid. And that’s when you find out there are rules beyond the rules and that the world is something else than all they’d taught you.
Operation Timestop: Post-holocaust Paris is a pretty seedy stand-in for the original, but what can you expect when the goverment’s main function is Orgasm Prevention & when the national hero is wandering around in Nowhen. But things are changing! Rumor has it that the Timetraveler is coming back in a few months. At which point, Time itself will come to an end.
The Road can go Anywhere.
The Road can go Anywhen.
Red Dorakeen has been on the Road for a very long time. For all of time, in fact. It stretches infinitely into the future and past, with exits that take him wherever, or whenever, he wants to go.
But he can’t find the place he wants to be.
He’s not the only one who can travel the Road, and as people join and leave, they can alter the past, or the future, to suit their whims. Exits close off, become overgrown, and working out what to change back to return to old timelines could take, well . . . forever.
Fortunately, Red has all the time he could ever need.
Roadmarks is a fantastically mind-bending novel from one of SFF’s most influential authors. It weaves together linear and non-linear narratives in a compelling tale full of mystery and magic.