The first coming was the Man:
The second was Fire to burn Him;
The third was water to drown the Fire;
The fourth is the Bird of Dawning.
Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain’s seven island kingdoms.
Now his namesake, Tom, bearing the Boy’s own pipes and perhaps himself imbued with the spirit of the White Bird, is wandering Europe in company with the girl, Witchet. But disaster overtakes them and Tom, in a fury of vengeance, breaks his vow of Kinship.
A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.
They’re on the run! Now that their monstrous vampire ‘gardens’ under London, in Australia, and on the Greek island of Krassos have been razed, two ‘Lords’ and a ‘Lady’ of the Wamphyri Malinari the Mind, Lord Szwart, and the hag Vavara have joined forces, leaving a trail of undead destruction as they flee headlong from Ben Trask’s E-Branch and the dead-waking Necroscope, Jake Cutter.
But headstrong Jake has problems of his own. In the metaphysical Mobius Continuum, it appears that his blue life-thread – the emblem of his humanity – is gradually fading, changing to red. And not only red but blood red, dreaded insignia of the Great Vampire!
Could this be the downside of Harry Keogh’s legacy? And if so, are Necroscope and Trask’s ESP-talented Avengers – his team of precogs, telepaths, and locators – hastening in pursuit of their own hideous doom? Earth’s fate is undecided, mankind’s destiny on hold, the future a page as yet unwritten.
And the future was ever a devious thing…
For the people in this novel, the concerns of everyday life are beginning to transmute into the extraordinary and to reveal the forces, dark and light, that truly govern their lives. So it is for Pierce Moffett, would-be historian and author, who has moved from New York to the Faraway Hills, where he seems to discover – or rediscover – a path into magic, past and present. And so it is for Rosie Rasmussen, a single mother grappling with her mysterious uncle’s legacy and her young daughter Samantha’s inexplicable seizures. For Pierce’s lover Rose Ryder, another path unfolds: she’s drawn into a cult that promises to exorcise her demons – the same cult that Samantha’s father has joined. It is the dark of the year, between Halloween and the winter solstice, and the gateway is open between the worlds of the living and the dead. A great cycle of time is ending, and Pierce and Rosie, Samantha and Rose Ryder must take sides in an age-old war that is approaching the final battle…Or is it?
The last humans from the planet Snowglade have taken flight from the genocidal mechs aboard the spaceship Argo. As the shop hurtles toward the Galactic Center, hunger and desperation are taking their toll among the refugees, who are beginning to question the leadership of Captain Killeen. Convinced that his people’s only hope of survival lies in the True Center of the galaxy, he is determined to find it, with a will bordering on obsession.
As the crew of the Argo, an even Killeen’s own son Toby, find their faith in their captain’s brilliance tested to the limit, Toby faces his own perilous journey into the unknown, into the mysterious of adulthood. Like the others in this Family of voyagers, Toby’s spine contains microchip implants holding the memories – the legacy – of his race. But just as the technology is designed to save his people may tear Toby himself apart, so his father’s desperate gamble to save the Argo may plunge the ship and its inhabitants into a cosmic fit of all-consuming fire.
Harry Keogh, Necroscope, is no more . . .
And the Wamphyri are back – not only in the Vampire World, where the ancient northern ice has melted to release the original, the most evil, most powerful vampires of all time, but in our world, too. Without Necroscope – the one man who could talk to the dead and undead alike – only Ben Trask and the weirdly talented espers of his secret organisation, E- Branch, stand between Mankind’s survival and its domination by terrible invaders from Starside.
Trask: human lie-detector; David Chung: locator of all things evil; Ian Goodfly: precog, whose glimpses of the ever-furtive future have so often saved the lives of his E-Branch colleagues. Three men, their technology and the esoteric talents against shape-changing challengers from a parallel universe. The odds don’t look good, and Harry Keogh is dead and gone, his motes scattered throughout the Universes of Light. But as Harry himself was witness, death isn’t like that . . .
Harry may be dead, but his legacy lives on.
England, 1967: ruled by the power of the Catholic Church, as it has been since the failure of the Protestant Reformation. In this England there are steam trains, but no internal combustion engine; rifles but no electricity; heresy but no democracy.
And in this England, magic works.
England, 1967; young Tobias Oakley, out on an illicit nighttime expedition, meets an elven woman – and is chosen for initiation into the secrets of necromancy. Tobias has a powerful talent and his injudicious use of it brings him to the attention of the Church – whose Thaumaturgical Division soon recruits him.
And so Tobias enters the Church, beginning his career amid the brothels and taverns of the teeming slums of the diocese of Southwark. From there his progress, if not steady – there is something about Tobias that arouses unease in his superiors – is generally upwards. As a curate, as a priest, as a soldier in the bloody war against heresy and finally as an eminent expert on diabolism, Tobias becomes a power in the English Catholic Church.
And as he does so, he pursues his second career: as liar, drug smuggler, rakehell, mass murderer, betrayer, vicious libertine and consorter with demons. For the elf legacy that has shaped his life has robbed him of something vital. And when Tobias, in an effort finally to discover some meaning in life, embarks on a fantastic and perilous quest through supernatural realms he finds himself at the last confronting a savage irony.
From the vaults of the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to one of the unique voices of British science fiction, John Middleton Murry, Jr, who wrote his best work under the pen name Richard Cowper.
The son of the famous critic John Middleton Murry, Cowper announced himself to the science fiction world in 1967 with BREAKTHROUGH, which found favour for a subtlety and richness of characterisation not seen in most contemporary SF. The idea of a transformed future England became his signature leitmotif and it is this theme that informs the Corlay tales contained in this omnibus. This is the complete Corlay sequence, featuring introductory novella ‘PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN’ and novels THE ROAD TO CORLAY, A DREAM OF KINSHIP and A TAPESTRY OF TIME.
THE ROAD TO CORLAY:
On the Eve of the Fourth Millennium a slowly-building civilization, struggling out of the rubble of the Drowning, was crushed beneath the sceptre of a powerful and repressive Church. But on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the sound of a magical pipe was heard, and the air was filled with songs of freedom and enlightenment. And on the Eve of the Fourth Millennium the Boy appeared, bringing the gift of sacrilege, a harbinger of the future, heralding the arrival of the White Bird of Dawning. It is the coming of a New Age. A glorious future bearing the presents of the past!
A DREAM OF KINSHIP:
They came to destroy! The treacherous Falcons, uniformed in the black leather tunics of the fanatic Secular Arm, descended on Corlay to burn and kill. Commanded by Lord Constant, ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, they were determined to crush the religious heresy of Kinship. But a new dream rose from the ashes… When four Kinsmen escaped the carnage of their beloved land, each helped to fulfill the miracle that had been foretold: the coming of the Child of the Bride of Time.
A TAPESTRY OF TIME:
Twenty years have passed since the martyrdom of the Boy-piper at York, twenty years in which his legacy, the movement of Kinship, has challenged the tyranny of the Church Militant in Britain’s seven island kingdoms. Now his namesake, Tom, bearing the Boy’s own pipes and perhaps himself imbued with the spirit of the White Bird, is wandering Europe in company with the girl, Witchet. But disaster overtakes them and Tom, in a furry of vengeance, breaks his vow of Kinship. A terrible path lies before him, one that transcends his own world. As he travels it, Tom must come to understand the true nature of the wild White Bird, of The Bride of Time and her Child, and of the Song the Star Born sang.