Against the Fall of Night
The Roman Empire had spread order, knowledge, and civilisation throughout the ancient world. When Rome fell, the light of reason flickered out across the Empire. The Dark Ages had begun; they would last a thousand years. Could a man from the 20th century prevent the fall of Rome? When lightening struck and he was hurled backward into the sixth century, the question became anything but academic to Martin Padway, but even forearmed with a knowledge of 20th century technology and of events to come, what could one man do? But Padway must try, lest darkness fall.
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.
This is the tale of Earl Dumarest. Space-wanderer, gladiator-for-hire, seeker of Man’s forgotten home.
Dumarest’s search begins on the ghost-world of Gath, where he becomes unwilling champion of the Matriarch of Kund, and must undergo a fight-to-the-death at stormtime.
Victory could give Dumarest his first clue to the whereabouts of the planet he fled from as a child – an obscure world scarred by ancient wars, which lies countless light years from the thickly populated centre of the galaxy; a world no-one else in the inhabited universe believed exists.
Earth, the birthplace of Man.
(First published 1967)
From the opening reared a head, wide, flat, huge. Below it stretched a body beautiful with iridescent scales of gold edged with ruby. Nictitating membranes lifted over enormous eyes, deep, limpid pools of ancient wisdom, catching and reflecting the light of the miniature sun, turning the glowing orb into a scatter of stars shimmering in an ebon sea. From open jaws a forked tongue flickered with a soft susurration. Its scent was dry, acrid, tinged with that of living fur on a summer’s day. The head rose higher, swaying over the three men on the ledge, the sinuous length of the body almost filling the passage through which it had come. From it radiated an impression of incredible age.
“A serpent,” whispered Thagamista. “A creature from the beginning of time. Somehow surviving to find this place and feast on those who well here. It was inevitable they should think it a god.”
THE SLEEPING CITY continues the dynamic saga of the Chronicles of Malkar, E.C. Tubb’s newest fantasy hero!