Earth was programmed for destruction in the mad war of the computer worlds – unless the Solarians could stop the machines!
Three hundred years ago the Solarians retreated to the safety of their Fortress as Earth became embroiled in the first of the computer wars with the dread Duglaari Empire.
The Solarians’ final word to all humanity was a promise to reappear one day and bring it to victory. Suddenly, with Earth on the verge of becoming a helpless victim of the merciless Duglaars, the Solarians made contact with Fleet Commander Jay Palmer. It was an offer of aid.
But the Solarians’ plan was so cunning, so fraught with danger, that Jay faced the greatest decision of his life – and that of Earth’s:
Accept their ingenious strategy as a stroke of genius or reject it as a trick designed to destroy human life forever.
In 1861 the American Civil War was in its first lethal year. Britain favoured the Confederacy – and the United Kingdom’s hostility to the North increased to a flashpoint when a Union warship stopped a British vessel at sea. At that moment, there was a very real risk of war between Britain and the Union.
Would Britain have invaded the United States? And if she had – what would have happened? This brilliantly envisaged alternative history shows on a truly epic scale the terrible consequences of such an action. For by the middle of the last century, warfare was already industrialised. Steam-powered ironclad ships at sea and trench warfare, powerful cannon and rapid firing guns on land had revolutionised the business of mass slaughter. Men died in battle on a scale never before seen.
Earth was finished, devastated by nuclear and biological war. The inhabitants of the artificial asteroid colonies looked down on it and knew that humanity’s old home would soon be gone forever.
But Earth would not loose its ties so easily. And for Marianne O’Hara there was work that had to be done among the stricken ruins before she could at last look outwards to the stars.
This stunning collection showcases 11 of Haldeman’s best stories. They range through time and space from planets beyond our wildest dreams to a nightmare future Earth all too close to home.
Lindsay and the Red City Blues: A story of revenge – with a heart-stopping twist in the tail.
Blood Brothers: A ‘Thieves World’ story.
You Can Never Go Back: A self-contained story from the original version of ‘The Forever War’, never before published in book form.
And ten more sharp and startling visions of tomorrow.
The 21st century.
Europe is divided between the First World bourgeoisie, made rich by nanotechnology and the cheap versatile slave labour of genetically engineered Dolls and the Fourth World of refugees and homeless displaced by war and economic upheaval. In London, Alex Sharkey is trying to make his mark as a designer of psychoactive viruses, whilst staying one step ahead of the police and the Triad gangs. At the cost of three hours of his life, he finds an unlikely ally in a scary, super-smart little girl called Milena, but his troubles really start when he helps Milena quicken intelligence in a Doll, turning it into the first of the fairies.
Milena isn’t sure if she’s mad or if she’s the only sane person left in the world; she only knows that she wants to escape to her own private Fairyland and live forever. Although Milena has created the fairies for her own ends, some of the Folk, as fey and dangerous as any in legend, have other ideas about her destiny …