BILL – the army’s made him what he is today – the perfect Starship Trooper, proud possess of two right arms and a lockerful of feet suitable for every occasion.
BILL – this time he’s really put his foot (the Swiss-Army one with the special attachments, secret compartments, collapsible mess-kit and condom dispenser) right in it.
BILL’s been volunteered to join a suicide squad run by Captain Cadaver to the well-known hell-hole planet of Eyerack. The orders are DEATH OR GLORY – and GLORY made a point of never returning the invitation to the war. So. Can this really be IT? The Long Goodbye? Zero Hour? Harmonicas at dawn? The end of a brilliantly undistinguished career of military mishaps? What can I tell you?
This IS BILL’s final incoherent adventure!
This is the story of how a world could be resurrected¿
Mars is a barren planet, almost without atmosphere and with a temperature ranging from near zero to 120 degrees below. No water flows and there is no evidence that life has ever existed there.
Yet Mars is Earth’s near neighbour and has always exerted a powerful hold on our imagination. The astronomer Lowell thought he’d discovered canals on the planet’s surface; H.G. wells (and his near namesake Orson) speculated on the red planet’s inhabitants invading Earth; sf writers have always used Mars as a setting and continue to do so.
In the Snows of Olympus Arthur C. Clarke uses a revolutionary computer program to show, in words and pictures, how the surface of the planet would change as, gradually, scientists created an atmosphere and raised the temperature. Taking as his starting point Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the Solar System, a 27km extinct volcano, Clarke creates detailed ‘photographs’ of the Martian surface and then shows how the landscape would change as vegetation began to thrive and water to flow. He speculates about how this might happen, about the journey to Mars and about what living on the planet would be like. The result is one of the most fascinating, challenging and imaginatively stimulating books of the year.
Arthur C. Clarke has long been hailed as the most visionary and accurate of science fiction and non-fiction writers, having predicted communications satellites years before their development. In this extraordinary booked he chart the next chapter of humanity’s future in space.
Over the long years, ships of the Interplanetary Confederation had scoured the empty wastes surrounding Sol, searching desperately for a sister planet; a companion for the isolated worlds of the Solar System. Of the ships that were sent out, many returned. But always the answer was the same.
There were no planets! The worlds of Sol were alone in the Great Dark that swirled across the boundless heavens.
It was not until Steve Rane and Nick Brodine, in the Exploratory Ship Vega, reached across the yawning gulf of light years to Sirius, that they found the strange planet that rotated in its complicated orbit around the twin sun. It was an event transcending all others.
A discovery that plunged the planets of Sol into the greatest race of all time. For whoever controlled the alien planet, controlled the Solar System. And away from the watchful eye of the IPC it would be possible to build the greatest space armada in history and attack the Interplanetary Confederation without warning.
To Steve Rane, the order came from Earth Central. Zero Point has been set for three months hence. The ship of Jupiter must not reach the new planet first.