The universe a creation of thought, a series of mathematical equations being worked out against a background of figurative abstract ether! Three men set out on an incredible voyage to the beginning of Time in search of the Supreme Mathematician who had created the universe-only to discover that He is now striving to destroy it by the ultimate cancellation of all figures, in order to free Himself from an eternity of mental toil! The most audacious story of is author, novelized from the pages of the famous pre-war pulp, Astounding Stories!
“Mankind will cease to exist at 6pm GMT on 28th March 3256”. A computer prediction which threw the world into panic. What to do? Build a starship and take the chosen few to a new home in the stars. Or search for an alternative timestream where mankind goes on forever. Matt Helm is to captain the last space shuttle carrying passengers to the starship, but his irrepressible desire for Fern Angelus corrupts his sense of duty. He agrees to take part in her time experiments. Set against a background of passion and longing, Matt’s uncanny success with mind projection meets unforseen complications. He projects his mind to a future Earth: a world of shallow, extensive seas, mutated trees growing in layers on each other’s branches, and strangely evolved animals like snappersnouts, humpers and energy creatures. Matt’s strange visions eventually meet reality when he discovers that the last load of passengers for the starship has been left behind; and he is one of them.
The Ultimate Egoist, the first volume of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, contains the late author’s earliest work, written from 1937 to 1940. Although Sturgeon’s reach was limited to the lengths of the short story and novelette, his influence was strongly felt by even the most original science fiction stylists, including Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Gene Wolfe, each of whom contributes a laudatory foreword. The more than 40 stories here showcase Sturgeon’s masterful knack with clever, O. Henry-ish plot twists, sparkling character development, and almost archetypal, why didn’t I think of that? story ideas. Early Sturgeon masterpieces include “It,” about the violence done by a creature spontaneously born from garbage and mud, and “Helix the Cat,” about an inventor’s bizarre encounter with a disembodied soul and the cat that saves it. Sturgeon’s unique genius is timelessly entertaining.
Ever since science began seriously investigating the potentials of electronics, man has toyed with the idea of creating robots. The dawn of the robot age has already broken. We have automatic telephone exchanges. We fly planes with robot pilots. We send self-sufficient instruments into the void to record and transmit cosmic information. Frobisher was a brilliant theorist, years ahead of his time. He worked out a scheme that took long patient decades of planning. His great moment came. The robots were a success. Frobisher was a kindly old man. There was nothing evil in his plans. But the world is not entirely inhabited by kindly old men with high visions. Someone else got hold of the plans and the robots embarked on a career of international crime and pillage. Despite his pacifist ideals, the old professor tried to combat the evil which he had unwittingly released . . . the results were staggering.
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 . . .
Stolen as a child and raised in the wood of Evilshaw as servant to a witch, Birdalone ultimately escapes in her captor’s magical boat, in which she travels to a succession of strange and wonderful islands.
The continuing adventures of Tarra Khash, Hrossak, in the Primal Land at the dawn of time. Long before Atlantis and Mu, in olden Theem’hdra the Primal Continent, there existed a world of swords and sorcery, of magic and mayhem, and of wizards, demons, and alien gods from far, dark stars. One of the principal players in this land of myth and legend was Tarra Khash, Hrossak, an inveterate wanderer and adventurer. Join Tarra now in the ultimate challenge, the ultimate quest: to save a world from the menace of pit-spawned demons, called up from hell by Sorcery in Shad!
Originally published in the omnibus Rings, Drunkard’s Endgame follows a group of robots who, 1000 years after rebelling against their human masters and fleeing on a starship, are trying to hunt down mankind’s ultimate weapon.
Another story novelized from the pages of Astounding Stories, telling of the experiments of an alien race who have migrated to the solar system to domicile themselves on Mars. Their experiments result in the death of their leader and lead to the Martians being overwhelmed by an invasion of beings from the microcosm…and, ultimately, to the creation of life on Earth!
Earth was a planet of incompetents, but Simmons was the greatest loser of all. It seemed as if the powers of the Universe were concentrated on grinding his small soul into ultimate insignificance – until the aliens came. To them, Simmons was the most important human on the planet – for only through his mind could they overcome this world.