Time travel spelled problems for the couriers of the Time Service. Shuttling backwards and forwards over the centuries they had to be wary of creating paradoxes – like meeting themselves watching the sack of Rome, or sleeping with their own ancestors.
Of course, it also gave them the chance to amass wealth by the discreet use of their prior knowledge. The penalties were fierce and the Time Police implacable in their pursuit of lawbreakers. But it was still worth taking the risk.
Jud Elliot took it when he met the marvellous transemporal paradox called the Pulcheria. He couldn’t resist her charms – the effects spanned generations, and set the Time Police on his trail!
Jack Crane arrives in Paradise City to find a job lined up for him by his ex-boss Bernie Olson. Bernie, a bomber pilot turned personal pilot to multi-millionaire Lane Essex, wants Jack to fly Essex’s new luxury plane in a hijack plan.
Planning a hijack shouldn’t be that difficult, but they soon discover they didn’t account for every eventuality. There’s a stowaway passenger on board – Lane’s gorgeous wife Victoria – who decides to join the party …
Stuart Howell is a promoter with a million-dollar proposition on the line.
Jean McVeigh is young, wealthy and lonely. Very lonely.
With Jean’s self-loathing making her prone to suicide attempts, Stuart sees a neat way to make a lot of money. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, and Jean is at first ecstatic to have landed herself such a catch.
Jean starts to doubt Stuart’s real intentions – doubt that goes into overdrive as he tests her accident-proneness on a balcony and forges her signature on a $100,000 note. And when confronted, exposed and humiliated, Stuart becomes a more desperate, and deadly, opponent.
But Jean starts to wise up to his treachery . . .
Murder, politics and Nazi sympathisers – Arthur Crook has his detection skills pushed to the limit., with a most unlikely conspirator…
Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club
‘The lobby of the House of Commons was very full on the momentous afternoon that Miss Sarah Bennett, a composed and amused spinster, torn from her happy obscurity by an energetic and enterprising Minister of Labour, came from the Temporary Pass Office, up the stairs, through a corridor lined with effigies of the great . . .’
Arthur Crook, and valiant conspirator Miss Sarah Bennett, secretary to Allen Wilkinson Stout MP, adventure through murders, Nazi incitement and parliamentary happenings to save a wing commander arrested for murder.
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.
Far out on the frozen outer limits of the thranx/humanx Commonwealth, on the permafrosted plant of Tran-ky-ky, lay the chilly trading outpost of Brass Monkey.
Inward bound on the interstellar transport Antares, Ethan Frome Fortune, space travelling salesman with a neat line in perfumes, jewelled knick-knacks and up market gadgetry, ran into grizzled, galactic hell raiser Skua September for the first time.
Kidnapped, knocked unconscious and crash landed – all quite accidentally – they were about to find out that life on the sub- zero wasteland was full of incident. Bored they would not be. Dead they might well be – particularly if Sagyanak, Chief of the nomadic Horde, could lay hands on them.
The great adventure has just begun and early retirement was not an option.
One-way ticket to death . . .? In the four years since she arrived in Los Angeles, Kitten Agnew has become a star. Not all by herself, of course; though beautiful and talented, Kitten would be lost without her director, the acclaimed and powerful Vivien Spender.
But Spender is a dangerous man. Kit knows that, and has heard all the stories – of discarded stars that have ended up in a chorus line, or a sanatorium, or worse.
Spender knows that Kit knows, and wouldn’t dare destroy her glittering career. But he may be willing to kill her . . .
On a train from LA to Chicago, Kit makes a discovery that could have her fighting not just for her career, but for her life.
It’s 1953, and Pierce Duncan leaves college an innocent. Seeking the freedom of the road, Dunc sets off to see America. His road trip brings strange, fateful encounters: with a savage Georgia chain gang; with a killer on a lonely Texas road; and with the darker side of the Las Vegas fight game. Finally, Dunc reaches San Francisco, a city seething with the unexpected.
In the backstreets and along the freight lines, Dunc meets beautiful women, dangerous men . . . and murder. In California, home of the lost and the outcast, he joins up with the hard-nosed head of a private investigation agency, and his life changes for ever.
A violence-marked love letter to a time in America now lost, Cases is as vivid as a lightning storm over a deserted highway, as unforgettable as a first kiss, as haunting as a dead woman’s eyes.
Another 87th precinct novel from ‘the undisputed master – and there’s nobody who does it better’ DAILY MIRROR
Irritating though he was, Lester Henderson had it all when he strode up to rehearse his keynote address in the darkness of a downtown theatre. Widely tipped to be the next mayor and possessing a nice line in catalogue-casual daywear, Henderson stood four-square facing his glorious future. But five shots later and his lifeblood was seeping away – gunned down by person or persons unknown from stage-right…
At that point he became Ollie Weeks’ problem. But this savage crime is suddenly overshadowed by a deed even more repugnant. Ollie’s life’s work is his novel. Honed by countless rejection letters, it is finally ready to be released to the general populace. But then the one and only manuscript disappears, leaving Ollie to head off in pursuit of the thief. A thief who is convinced that Ollie’s work contains the secret location of a hoard of hidden diamonds…
Dirty Work? In a manner of speaking, perhaps, but certainly not along the lines of de Sade or Henry Miller.
“Dirty” maybe because within this remarkable volume of short stories (a follow-up to her award-winning collection Patterns) author Pat Cadigan unflinchingly explores the implications of technology on modern and near-future societies, humorously challenges our perceptions of reality, and chillingly strips away our civilized facades to confront the bestial nature of our souls.
With stories like “Home By the Sea,” “Dispatches from the Revolution,” “No Prisoners,” “50 Ways to Improve Your Orgasm,” and “Naming Names,” Pat Cadigan exhibits an enviable ability to tackle a variety of themes, moods, and perspectives. And makes it all seem easy.
Featuring 18 stunning fictions (including the previously unpublished “Lost Girls” written especially for this book)-as well as intriguing author introduction to each story-Dirty Work is a thought provoking, often funny, never compromising collection by one of America’s most gifted authors.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
When Commander Herries of the Space Line began to sell the water of Mars as a ‘potion’ for lengthening life he had no idea that he was going to create the world’s greatest thirst and produce havoc among the two social grades of Earth – the Inelligentsia and the Normals. But produce it he did.
Among the confusion thus produced one man thinks clearly for his own ends – Vance Unthra, the leading scientist of the world – and he sees in the crisis which has hit Earth a way to be rid of all those who do not measure up to what he thinks as an intellectual standard. By his orders two synthetic worlds are created – Alpha and Omega – and to these are ruthlessly evacuated all the victims of the Martian water, there to rebuild there shattered fortunes and never cross the ‘Dark Boundaries’ which exist between those worlds and Earth.
Despite his careful planning, however, Unthra makes one mistake. In destroying the power of the Martian water over the evacuated thousands he miscalculates the strength of cosmic radiation on Omega with the result that the leader – the Controllix – of this world, Sylvia Grantham, becomes a far greater power in the grand scheme of things than her former lover, Dexter Carfax. Through the machinations of the wily Unthra open hostility breaks out between Dexter Carfax and the girl, and eventually their worlds are destroyed through the influence of a deadly chain reaction ‘disease’ from the Great Red Spot of Jupoter.
Both of them, however, through the various experiences they undergo, hold to one objective – to be avenged on Vance Unthra for his viciousness.
Ed Carter, a New York reporter on his way to his home town in Omaha for a short vacation, saw the missile in the last moments in its journey back to earth. A sweller on the brink, like all of us, he had no doubt about what it was; Oh God, he thought, this is it. The blast of the impact flung him some distance, and when he regained consciousness, his first reaction was one of surprised to find himself still alive, and not, it seemed, even badly hurt. Presumably the missile had been directed at the big Air Force base nearby, and should have destroyed everything and everyone within a radius of miles. Could it have failed to explode?
Carter sees the remains of part of the missile in an adjacent field and hobbles over to it. A minute or two later several Air Force officers arrive. They examine the remains, and find the burned-up body of a pilot. In other worlds, the missile was not Russia’s first shot in the Third World War, but a failure to launch a man into space. But Carter knows that the Distant Early Warning line will have reported the missile; that the senior Air Force officers, in accordance with plan, will have taken to the air – in the country’s interest, their lives must, of course, be preserved if possible; that by now the retaliatory American bombers will have passed the point of no recall; and that the Third World War has begun. Not so, Colonel Ben Goldwater tells him: “I called the bombers back.”
Goldwater, the man who had been left in command, has saved the world – for at least a little longer. So he becomes a world hero? Not a bit of it. On the contrary: a nightmare looms ahead both for him and for Ed Carter, and the reader watches it all with growing fury…