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…
When the starship Meteor crash-landed on a strange world orbiting a solitary sun in the vast darkness outside the galaxy, her crew of Earthmen had no idea of what to expect. The planet was Earthlike in gravity, air, animal and vegetable life – but what of the native races they glimpsed from a distance?
What kind of culture would evolve on a planet whose sky was dominated by the glow of an entire galaxy – and with no other stars save its own dim sun? What kind of gods would they worship?
The Earthmen had to find the astounding answers to these questions on a planet split by a world-wide war.
The Collected Stories Volume 2: To The Dark Star (1962 – 1969)
Winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Robert Silverberg is one of the all time greats of science fiction. A professional writer for more than half a century, his short story output has been prolific and exceptional in quality.
This series of nine volumes will collect all of the short stories and novella-length that SF Grand Master Silverberg wants to take their place on the permanent shelf.
Each volume will be roughly 150,000-200,000 words, with classics and lesser known gems alike. The author has also graced us with a lengthy introduction and extensive story notes for each tale.
To See The Invisible Man
The Pain Peddlers
The Sixth Palace
To The Dark Star
Going Down Smooth
The Fangs of the Trees
Ishmael in Love
Ringing the Changes
How It Was When the Past Went Away
A Happy Day in 2381
(Now + n, Now – n)
After the Myths Went Home
The Pleasure of Their Company
We Know Who We Are
‘The explosion was painfully bright against the dark backdrop of the moonless New Mexico sky. To those who looked up at that precise moment – and there were many who happened to look up – it was as though a new star had momentarily blossomed in blue-white incandescence.’
Only three human beings would ever know that the blinding flash in the sky on that night in 1982 was an exploding flying saucer. Only they would learn the truth about THOSE WHO WATCH – about the alien observers who came into this world in a crash landing from the stars. THOSE WHO WATCH is the strange, seductive story of three accidental colonists from outer space whose chance encounter with Earth brought revelation to three earthly counterparts – and triggered interplanetary conflict. It is a remarkable story by one of science fiction’s most remarkable writers.
The general theme of this collection is an ironic and sometimes bitter comment on man’s stupidity to man. But Tenn’s humor is irrepressible and bursts forth in a joyous political satire on the wars of the sexes titled “The Masculinist Revolt” – which may yet bring codpieces back into fashion. The Wooden Star contains the following:
Generation of Noah
The Dark Star
“Will You Walk a Little Faster”
It Ends with a Flicker
The Masculinist Revolt
Quayle, the master of a British spy ring in World War II, is faced with the task of dealing with a man who has come from Morocco with what he says is important information about German troops there. But is the man what he seems?
Quayle puts his agents into action, not hesitating to risk their lives to discover the answer, but it is Quayle who ends up doing most of the work – and who is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause of war.
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.
James Bolivar ‘Slippery Jim’ diGriz, Special Corps agent, master conman and interstellar criminal (retired), is living high on the hog with his lovely, vivacious wife Angelina on the luxury planet Moolaplenty when long-lost Cousin Elmo arrives. And Cousin Elmo’s not alone: he’s got a ship full of porcuswine and their keepers, and they’re all looking for a new home. And before he’s even finished his first cocktail, his bank account’s been drained and he and Angelina are off wandering the stars on a sabotaged ship.
In this darkly satiric work Harry Harrison brings his most famous character out of retirement for a grand tour of the galaxy, cocktail in hand, his luscious wife by his side, a smile on his lips and larceny in his heart. He’s in search of adventure, gravitons, and a way to get the porcuswine out of his life … for ever!
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.
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.
On the surface, they seem like three very different people: Danny Bronson, a cunning ex-con struggling to go straight; his brother, Lee, a former Gridiron star turned college professor; and Johnny Keefler, a crooked parole officer who lives for revenge. But they all grew up in the same corner of town, a grim little slum known as ‘The Sink’, where life is cheap and might makes right.
And a story that’s just as dark unfolds when their paths cross as men – at the intersection of brutal violence, illicit liaisons, a ‘foolproof’ scam and the intoxicating allure of cold, hard cash.
For something like two hundred and fifty years Earth had been dominated by humanoid aliens from the star world of Alishang. But man’s spirit refused to be conquered. There was a world-wide underground planning for the day of final liberation. And there were four leaders who knew the secret that would guarantee victory – the secret of ZI.
Rupert Clinton, intelligence man for this underground, was not one of those four; yet somewhere deep in the recesses of his subconscious mind, he knew ZI’s secret.
Avram Davidson was widely regarded as one of the most outstanding authors of short fantasy fiction in our time. This collection comprises his distinctive historical fantasies – tales of strange Mitteleurpoas, of magic in Victorian England and on the American frontier. Here are “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire”, “Traveller from an Antique Land”, and “What Strange Stars and Skies”; here are dragons, cameras, and “The Singular Incident of the Dog on the Beach”. Witty, whimsical, dark, and strange, these tales of times and places that almost were will leave even the most jaded readers amazed. No one has ever written like Avram Davidson, before or since.
The death-stars had come, and they had kept on coming for hundreds of thousands of years, falling upon the Earth, swept upon it by a vagrant star that had passed through the outer reaches of the solar system. They brought with them a time of unending darkness and cold. It was an event that occured every twenty-six million years, and there was no turning it aside.
But all that was done with now. At last the death-stars had ceased to fall, the sky had cleared of dust and cinders, the sun’s warmth again was able to break through the clouds. The glaciers relinquished their hold on the land; the Long Winter ended; the New Springtime began. The world was born anew.
Now each year was warmer than the last. The fair seasons of spring and summer, long lost from the world, came again with increasing power. And the People, having survived the dark time in their sealed cocoons, were spreading rapidly across the fertile land. But others were already there. The hjjks, the somber cold-eyed insect-folk, had never retreated, even at the time of greatest chill. The world had fallen to them by default, and they had been its sole masters for seven hundred thousand years. They were not likely to share it gladly now . . .
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.