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…
Who will stop the planetary marauders?
For 6000 years the great Carina Empire ruled the galaxy – but slowly, under the remorseless erosion of centuries, the Empire faded as its Imperial bloodline ran out in weaklings who paid tribute to the wild, untamed Barbarians of the Rim. Finally came the day when the Barbarian legions struck at Carina itself, destroying in a single day and night the mightiest empire in galactic history.
In the ages that followed, the rest of the empire decayed, its individual suns and worlds losing contact, isolated Star-Kings fighting to hold their own cultures together . . . and failing. Ironically, only the Barbarians themselves remained the only coordinated power among the Near Stars. Their fleets drifted the star-trails, looting and destroying everything in their way.
One world alone stood against the dark night of savagery that was engulfing the galaxy – Parlion, the planet of the Star Magicians. And at last came the final battle for civilization in the stars.
Morgan Outworlder was born of Centaurus-stock, but two short years on Bargelix had made him almost a native of his adopted world. Trained to be a societic engineer in the Imperium, Morgan found little need for his science on the outworlds . . . but much need for a strong arm and a sharp sword. For Bargelix was a world in struggle, battling the dark forces of magic.
Morgan was marked as an exile because he had been caught up in the Tarsnian struggle for self-government – and when the Freedom Riots failed, he found himself barred forever from the worlds of the Imperium. But the way back to the inner stars lay through the struggle for his adopted world . . . and the man from the stars was hero enough to battle the darkest of magicians!
In the culture of the galaxy, the Star-Pilots of the starships that link the cosmos together have become the great heroes of the day. Grainger, who has become a legend in his own lifetime, is drafted to fly the prototype (the Hooded Swan) of a new ship that could revolutionize space travel. The members of the ultra-ascetic Church of the Exclusive Reward have colonized a number of marginal worlds to exclude themselves from galactic society. On Rhapsody, church members lead a completely subterranean existence. Even closed societies have their rebels, however, so when a major scientific discovery emerges from the caves of the dark planet, everything there falls apart. If Grainger can secure a share in the coming bonanza, he could buy back his freedom from Titus Charlot. Before he can do that, however, he has to find some way of just staying alive . . .
His name was Tharg, but he was not of any life form we know today. He lived so long ago that the planet Earth had not yet shaped itself. Lava seas roiled and churned, volcanoes spouted and grew, and heavy clouds hung in the hydrogen atmosphere, leaving the planet’s surface dark and dangerous.
On that world Tharg met his death, or something very much like it. He became a disembodied, totally nonphysical intelligence, cut off from all contact with the life he had known. He ‘slept’ for hundreds of millions of years, unconnected with the world, unthinking, hardly existing.
But then he began to awake – for there was new life on Earth, creatures called ‘human’, and Tharg, knowing an ancient promise from the stars, had to tell them of it. But . . . how?
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…
The vast federation of outworld states that formed the Terran Empire smarted under the unjust, evil influence of the Emperor Jrun. Daily, his tax-gatherers swooped down on the member planets, wringing the people dry of money and goods.
But away from the decadent shell that Jrun had built up, out among the lonely suns of the Edge, a new power was growing. It had fallen on Kelda, the young star-king of Zandyr to form the union known as the Cosmic Echelon. A fleet of ships that dared to match the armed might of Imperial Terra.
The ultimate weapon belonged to Jrun, a battleship which no power could withstand, and a force that could shatter the bodies of men.
Here, you can follow Kelda and his warrior princess, Irrena, through the star-strewn wastes of Space; across the Dark Gap in which the empty wrecks of once proud vessels floated forever, manned by crews long-dead.
And realise as Jrun did, that there are two kinds of laws. Those made by Man himself, which can be broken – and the laws of the Universe, which are inviolate.
A race of octopoid aliens visits earth to restore man’s dying beliefs, with spaceships containing the very Gods themselves. In the future the rich are allowed a four week holiday – into their own futures. A soldier wounded at the front finds his memories too terrifying to live with once his government-approved drugs are withdrawn. A young girl is convinced that mother-earth is male and dedicates her life to consummating her love for him. God is dead and the Devil makes an offer for the real estate of heaven…
These dark visions of the future by James Tiptree Jr. are a vivid, sometimes frightening foretelling of what may happen.
With hair the colour of the moon, Corleu was different from the other Wayfolk. He alone tried to free his wandering tribe from the unearthly swamp that ensnared them – and he alone dared to cross the forbidden threshold. There he found a strange dark house, a place of legends and gods, foreseen in the stars. And there, to save his people, began Corleu’s search for the heart of the Cygnet – and impossible treasure…
But if legends are real, nothing is impossible.
To the crew of the Exploratory Ship Canopus, outward bound on the first intergalactic voyage to the flaring suns of mighty Andromeda, the evil whisperings that spilled out from the nebula into deep space came as a warning. This was something far beyond their previous experience. Nor were they the only ones to come under the malignant influence of the alien intelligence.
In the empty, murmuring void, virtually half-way between the two galaxies of stars, a solitary sun streaked away from Andromeda, dragging its lonely, ammonia-laden planet with it. And it was here that the explorers first gained their glimpse of the black horror that lay straddled across the intergalactic darkness. Something that had being. Something that existed where it seemed impossible that anything could.
It fell on Klau-Telph, the only non-Terran on board the Canopus, to finally track down and destroy the inhuman monster that threatened to drive the inhabitants of a trillion planets over the red edge of madness. Not until it was done did he find that the hidden reason behind the insidious whisperings was not what it seemed. In fact, it was something that even he, with his strange double mind, had never thought possible…
The City In The Autumn Stars: Being A Continuation Of The Story Of The Von Bek Family And Its Association With Lucifer, Prince Of Darkness, And The Cure For The World’s Pain.
Disillusioned by the excesses of the French Revolution, Manfred von Bek flees to the city of Mirenburg, where a Scottish balloonist, an elusive duchess, and a fallen angel become his companions on a journey to the mystical Mittelmarch – the land between lands- in search of the Holy Grail.
The romantic legend of the Holy Grail is almost without parallel in the stories of chivalry. It has about it a quality of inspiration and a standard of purity that transcends everyday life. It shines like a star through the darkness of the Dark Ages. But what if Satan has his own counterpart? What if – just as the Black Mass of the witches and wizards, is an abominable reversal of the Holy Communion Service of the Christian – what if, then, there is an Unholy grail? A sinister thing of death and terror. A glittering, golden chalice forged in the nethermost chasms of Hell, wrought by the hands of unholy craftsmen. Gilded by demons, decked with gems by jewellers who life with the Prince of Darkness.
A thing that originated below the dark hills where trolls dwell…
That, too, would be the object of many a quest. There would be dedicated heroes searching to destroy it. There would be unscrupulous men who wanted to employ its dark power for their own ends. There would be weak men unable to resist its call. There would be strong men whose wills clashed with the almost irresistible power of the Golden Goblet.
The modern mind usually associates witchcraft with the middle ages. We think of witches as Shakespeare depicted them in Macbeth. We see them as secret, black and midnight hags, doing a deed without a name. We close our eyes and immediately the vision of a cauldron filled with foul ingredients appears before us; here are the fenny snake, adder’s fork, wool of bat, scale of dragon and tooth of wolf.
But this does not go far enough back. There was witchcraft in the world long before medieval times. The Witch of Endor who practiced her strange arts in the reign of King Saul is familiar to all students of the Old Testament. The writings of Homer abound with references to witchcraft and sorcery. The very earliest human societies had witch doctors, medicine men, shamans and priests of the black art.
Perhaps so ancient and widespread a cult has some basis in fact. There are powers beyond science. Ancient occult laws will still hold good. It is not wise to cross the path of a being whose age is measured in centuries and whose dark powers can alter the stars in their courses.
‘The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller’ – Stephen King
A dark, psychological thriller, first published in 1957 as The Executioners and filmed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro.
Max Cady, a brutal rapist, has been in prison for years, nursing his hatred for the man who put him away, attorney Sam Bowden.
When Cady gets parole, he begins stalking Bowden’s family.
As Cady’s campaign of terror mounts, the police are powerless to protect the family who must use their wits to survive a psychopath bent on revenge.
Man has often wondered about the birth of his world. Our remote ancestors told strange tales of parental deities who gave birth to planets, and people.
Primitive religious thought regarded inanimate Nature as teeming with terrifying psychic life. It is a trend which persists in the dark recesses of the modern mind. There is reason for this persistence . . .
Were the ancients entirely wrong?
Science has unlocked many mysteries that terrified our forebears, but there are others which remain just as enigmatically sealed as before.
What strange astrological influences do the dark stars exert as they speed through the heavens on their evil courses? Like a cosmic combination lock their tuning unleashes timeless forces of evil.
The Pantheon of Old Gods rides again to bring hideous terror to the 20th century.