The Zardalu were the greatest menace ever known to the worlds of the spiral arm, enslaving entire races and exterminating others, guided by an unswerving belief in their own supremacy. Then their slaves rose up against them, and for eleven thousand years the Zardalu had been extinct and the spiral arm had known a kind of peace. But now the Zardalu are back . . . The search for the Builders, the legendary alien race whose unfathomable constructs continued to perplex scholars and explorers alike, had led Builder expert Darya Lang, adventurer Hans Rebka, and treasure hunters Louis Nenda and Atvar H’sial to an unknown Builder artifact far outside the spiral arm. There they found the Zardalu – just a few who had been trapped in stasis all those millennia, held there for purposes known only to the Builders. And in the struggle that ensued the Zardalu had been set loose, transported by Builder technology to to galactic parts unknown – free to ravage any world and any race within their grasp. The only chance to eliminate the Zardalu threat was to find them and wipe them out before they had time to breed back up to strength and once again threaten civilized beings everywhere. The problem was that no one believed the story. Only Darya Land and her companions had actually seen the aliens – and no evidence existed to support their claims. And so the course seemed clear: get a ship themselves and search out the Zardalu. But the way would not be easy. Even once they managed to locate the Zardalu, they still had the Builders to deal with. For the closer they got to their quarry, the more clear it became that the Zardalu and their world were closely entwined with the fate – and the plans – of the Builders themselves.
Flinx is the only one with any chance of stopping the evil colossus barrelling in to destroy the Humanx Commonwealth (and everything else in the Milky Way.) His efforts take him to the land of his mortal enemies, the bloodthirsty AAnn, where chances are excellent that Flinx may be executed. And he must also seek out an ancient sentient weapons platform wandering around the galaxy and then communicate with it, a powwow that could very well fry his brain. Then there are the oblivion craving assassins determined to stop Flinx before he can prevent total annihilation. With a future that rosy, it’s no surprise that Flinx is flirting with disaster. Still, he’s no quitter. Now he’s going to need every once of his know-how, because he’s venturing to places where no one’s every been, to do what no one’s ever done, and where his deadliest enemy is so close it’s invisible.
Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind’s potential is determined by its location in space – from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these ‘zones of thought’, but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artefact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence. Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines – an alien race with a harsh medieval culture – and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue party, not entirely composed of humans, must free the children – and retrieve a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.
While searching for his missing father, Anthony Julian embarks on a terrifying journey into the Earth’s interior. There he discovers a subterranean world, where descendants of the Roman Army suffer under a totalitarian regime in which individualism is completely obliterated by telepathic means. Refusing to join this rigidly controlled society, Anthony must fight to save his father and find a route to the surface – or perish. First published in 1935, the genre-transcending political and psychological themes of Land Under England put it far ahead of its time.
With their homeworld in ruins, ten thousand brave colonists set out for the stars. Among them is Marianne O’Hara – who survived a baptism of cataclysmic fire to emerge as the last hope of her doomed race. But madness, mysterious deaths and irreversible sabotage threaten their mission – propelling the crippled starship Newhome blindly toward an unimaginable future, and hurtling Marianne toward an astonishing confrontation that could mean the end or the transcendent rebirth of humankind.
It is the 29th century and the universe of the Human Hegemony is under threat. Invasion by the warlike Ousters looms, and the mysterious schemes of the secessionist AI TechnoCore bring chaos ever closer. On the eve of disaster, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set fourth on a final voyage to the legendary Time Tombs on Hyperion, home to the Shrike, a lethal creature, part god and part killing machine, whose powers transcend the limits of time and space. The pilgrims have resolved to die before discovering anything less than the secrets of the universe itself. Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1990
The Maze was, is, and will be. When the magnablock exploded into infinity, the Maze was formed. “There was light” – and the light shone upon the Maze. Coeval and coexistent, neither of the same substance nor the same essence; having the attributes, the incidents, the accidents of neither terrene nor contra-terrene matter, the Maze is both immanent and transcendent of both. It traverses space, it transects time. Ancient of years, the worlds form around it… Generation after generation, generation before generation, north and south and up and down, the early and the latter rains, and the great red slow-rolling sun of the End of Days, have seen, see, and have yet to see the Masters of the Maze at their work. They explore, they plot their courses, they watch. Perhaps this above all. They watch. They guard.
After withstanding the power of the Black Jewel and saving the city of Hamadan from the conquest of the Dark Empire of Granbretan, Hawkmoon set off for the Kamarg, where friendship and love await him. But the journey is beyond treacherous. With his boon companion, Oladahn, the beastman of the Bulgar Mountains, Hawkmoon discovers the peaceful city of Soryandum, which holds the power to transcend the confines of time and space. This power, which keeps the city from falling to the Dark Empire, could keep the Kamarg safe. But alas his love Yisselda is now a prisoner of the Mad God, whose powerful amulet is linked to Hawkmoon’s ultimate destiny: a power that began at creation and calls heroes to arms throughout existence. Hawkmoon must rip this amulet from the neck of the Mad God if he hopes to save the Kamarg and free his friends and his one true love from the Dark Empire’s relentless wrath.
In a vastly changed world, thirteen centuries from now, Sumner Kagan searches the earth to find the godmind, a malicious being with reality-shaping powers. In this strange and beautiful world – eerily alien, yet hauntingly familiar – Kagan will change from an adolescent outcast to a warrior with god-like abilities and, in the process, take us on an epic and transcendent journey. Author’s Note: The volumes of this series can each be read independently of the others. The feature that unifies them is their individual observations of science fiction’s sub-genre: “space opera,” which the editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer define as “colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes.”
Mase Everard is a man with a mission. As an Unattached Agent of the Time Patrol, he’s to go anyplace – and anytime! – where humanity’s transcendent future is threatened by the alteration of the past. This is Manse’s profession, and his burden: for how much suffering, throughout human history, can he bear to “preserve”? Wanda Tamberley is a Patrol member in search of her mission. Recruited from sunny California in the late 20th century, she’d rather serve as a scientist in the research branch, exploring Earth’s flora and fauna in epochs long past. But as hints accumulate from the Patrol’s mysterious leaders uptime, it’s beginning to look as if a lot of human history depends on her personal decisions – and Manse’s. Meanwhile, the Exaltationists are on the loose, determined to revise human history and rule Time forever and Manse Everard is sworn to stop them, no matter what the heartbreaking cost!