Rod was a television reporter with the ultimate gimmick. Thanks to the marvels of microsurgery, TV cameras were implanted in his eyes. He could broadcast people’s actions without them even knowing it. But when he was forced to spy on a dying woman, he deliberately blinded himself by overloading his sensitive circuits.
Rod thought that he could opt out of the tough choice that society was forcing him to make. He was wrong, of course. Dead wrong . . .
A collection of short stories from the award-winning author, Kate Wilhelm. Contains the following:
The Mile-Long Spaceship Fear Is a Cold Black Jenny with Wings A Is for Automation Gift from the Stars No Light in the Window One for the Road Andover and the Android The Man without a Planet The Apostolic Travelers The Last Days of the Captain
One night Ed Smith thought he was having a waking nightmare when he saw a monstrous face at his window, but in the morning his neighbors were missing. The people who later turned up were not quite right, and gradually Smith realized they not only weren’t his neighbors, but weren’t even human – they were the creatures he had seen . . .
The aim of Laurie Paton and his colleagues was a goal which no other scientists had ever attained – the creation of a living entity by means of synthetic biological structure. But, working on their isolated island base, they unleashed a force for which they had never bargained, and against which they found themselves powerless. They created, not the entity they aimed at, but a window in Time, and, unexpectedly, a channel through which the Forces of Darkness assailed them.
The Gliding Wraith: If he was really asleep in his chair why did he glide across the street?
Twilight Ancestor: Her evil power held the tribe in terror … only the stranger dared to oppose her.
The Man Who Never Smiled: The stranger never parted his lips, as though afraid of what he would reveal.
Fangs in the Night: Something evil and dangerous lurked in the shadows below the window.
An Eye for an Eye: He had forgotten about the hare in the trap … until his own life was in danger.
The second book in the Urban Nucleus series, containing the following:
Prelude: The Domes (1978)
If a Flower Could Eclipse (1970)
Interlude: The Testimony of Leland Turner (1979)
Old Folks at Home (1978)
Interlude: The City Takes Care of Its Own (1979)
The Windows in Dante’s Hell (1973)
Interlude: Volplaning Heroes (1979)
The Samurai and the Willows (1976)
Interlude: First Councilor Lesser (1979)
Interlude: The Cradle Begins to Rock (1979)
At the Dixie-Apple with the Shoofly-Pie Kid (1977)
Interlude: The Fall of Saganella Lesser (1979)
Death Rehearsals (1979)
In his fourth short-story collection, Watson again demonstrates the extraordinary scope of his imagination. The title story has ancient witchcraft meeting complacent modern suburbia in a tale of spine-chilling horror, while ‘When the Timegate Failed’ casts an unexpected light in the dangers of space travel and man’s powers of self-delusion. Alien matters of a different kind crop up in ‘Windows’, in which mysterious artefacts found on Mars prove to be something of a problem for their chic human owners. Evil Water is a highly inventive collection which is a delight to read.
Garry Kilworth’s first collection shows him to be one of the most original and enjoyable writers in the field. The thirteen stories in The Songbirds of Pain mix science fiction and fantasy, with a dash of unclassifiable strangeness. Kilworth is particularly adept at evoking colourful and exotic locales in distant parts of the world, as in ‘The Dissemblers’, a story set in the Arabian deserts, about a man resorting to bizarre self-torture in his attempts to see beyond the veil of death. ‘Blind Windows’ is an adventure set in the Far East, reminiscent of an updated Rider Haggard: a group of Westerners searching for some fabled crystals find their way into a hidden underground world. ‘Scarlet Fever’ is about an artist in a sterile future society who gives himself the disease in an attempt to stimulate creativity. And the titled story tells of a woman who undergoes a strange and painful series of treatments in order to achieve perfect beauty.
THE DAUGHTER OF KAIFENG
The world was haunted. Every sunset the natives went home, locked their doors, and pulled down the window blinds. Ghosts didn’t scare Kennedy. As an agent of FATE, it took more than superstition to shake him. But Epidoris was the real thing. Monsters did appear in the darkness, people did vanish at night – a whole MALACA barracks had vanished, garrison, weapons and building.
That’s what brought Kennedy to Epidoris. That and one thing more – a creature of the infamous Dr. Kaifeng had turned up. A beautiful woman, a princess she called herself – but Kennedy had seen her before – lying in a processing vat on a Kaifeng planetoid of warped genetics. Between the scientific machinations of the galaxy’s most perverted mind and the spectral realities of a disputed world there had to be a meaning that boded no good for Terra – and that’s where Kennedy came in.
Welcome to a haunted world; the world of Keith Roberts’ powerful and unique imagination. These stories show Roberts’ fascination for the curious and unclassifiable; and as ever, his mastery of character and detail. ‘Susan’ introduces the reader to a schoolgirl with awesome psychic powers; but the sensitive treatment turns a shock situation into a brilliant fable, while ‘The Scarlet Lady’, predating Stephen King’s Christine, has the genuine stench of petrol, oil and demons. ‘The Eastern Windows’ chillingly continues the theme; by contrast, ‘Winderwood’ introduces us to a fearsome locale that Roberts insists is real. ‘Mrs. Cibber’ transports the reader, with complete conviction, to the smog-ridden London of the fifties and unfolds the strange tale of a young graphic designer haunted by a woman from the eighteenth century. ‘The Snake Princess’, equally atmospheric, tells the story of a boy’s doomed, bizarre love, while ‘Everything in the Garden’ presents the tour de force of a haunting within a haunting.