When Carson Napier, astronaut from Earth, attempted to help Duare, princess of Vepaja, find her homeland on an unmapped cloud-shrouded planet, they found more trouble than they had ever desired.
They found it in Mypos, the country of amphibian people; in the land of the Brokols, whose young grow on trees; and in Voo-ad, the city of the human amoebae. How they escape from their strange predicaments is a thrill-a-page novel of Venus by the author of the famous Tarzan novels.
Shrouded by its shell of drifting lunar fragments, the planet Mnemosyne is a refuge for creative artists and poets, a place isolated from the desperate, losing struggle of the humans against the Syccans.
But then COMsac, theFederation’s High Command, come to Mnemosyne, and suddenly the planet is more a military colony than a place for artists.
For Mack Taverner, the dilemma is stark: either go along with the brutal military visitation or join the hopeless resitance and become a ‘traitor’. His choice has awesome and extraordinary consequenses . . .
Xalia was old when the Pyramids were built. Xalia was a woman when Gaza was an untouched coastal plain. Xalia was a woman when Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees. She was not alone. There were others like her. Human, yet more than human. Some were good. Others were evil. Others, like Xalia, still retained some human qualities. Even a goddess can fall in love and when she does Time and Space become meaningless. Xalia was prepared to go to any lengths to accomplish her strange purpose. What of those who got in her way? What of those who opposed her? Could Martin Slade resist the advances of a goddess? If not… what would happen to a man who was loved by an Immortal? What happened to those who tried to save him?
Lord Dunsany, Irish master of fantasy, was the author of more than a dozen novels, hundreds of short stories, poems, and essays, and dozens of plays. In this powerful and moving novel, written in 1955, a futuroscope – a device that allows a viewer to see into the near or distant future – reveals an awful fate for humanity: a nuclear holocaust has destroyed nearly all human life on the planet. The great city of London is now merely an immense crater, filled in with water from the Thames. The pitiful remnants of humanity have been reduced to a Stone Age existence. The narrator, obsessively looking through the futuroscope, focuses upon the plight of a single family in their struggles to survive and fend off the many enemies, both animal and human, that surround them. When one of their number is kidnapped by a band of gypsies, we can only wonder at her fate in this brave new world of the distant future. Gripping, horrifying, touching, and fascinating, The Pleasures of a Futuroscope shows that Lord Dunsany retained his literary powers undiminished to the end of his life.
Death is everywhere. A child in a playground. A playboy in a cheap hotel. A John Doe in a freight yard. A nanny and her two charges in a church pew.
After twenty-six years in homicide, Lieutenant Luis Mendoza knows death is all in a day’s work. But in the heat of a Los Angeles summer, even the predictable becomes bizarre. And for a hard-boiled cop with a decidedly soft centre, nothing is more implausible than human nature – especially when it comes to murder . . .
‘A Luis Mendoza story means superlative suspense’ Los Angeles Times
A frontier world on the back end of nowhere is the sort of place people go to get lost. And some of those people have secrets worth hiding, secrets that can change the future-assuming there is one. . .
André Deschênes is a hired assassin, but he wants to be so much more. If only he can find a teacher who will forgive his murderous past-and train him to manipulate odds and control probability. It’s called the art of conjuring, and it’s André’s only route to freedom. For the world he lives on is run by the ruthless Charter Trade Company, and his floating city, Novo Haven, is little more than a company town where humans and aliens alike either work for one tyrannical family-or are destroyed by it. But beneath Novo Haven’s murky waters, within its tangled bayous, reedy banks, and back alleys, revolution is stirring. And one more death may be all it takes to shift the balance . . .
For sixteen-year-old Jane, life is a mystery she despairs of ever mastering. She and her friends are the idle, pampered children of the privileged class, living in luxury on an Earth remade by natural disaster. Until Jane’s life is changed forever by a chance encounter with a robot minstrel with auburn hair and silver skin, whose songs ignite in her a desperate and inexplicable passion.
Jane is certain that Silver is more than just a machine built to please. And she will give up everything to prove it. So she escapes into the city’s violent, decaying slums to embrace a love bordering on madness. Or is it something more? Has Jane glimpsed in Silver something no one else has dared to see – not even the robot or his creators? A love so perfect it must be destroyed, for no human could ever compete?
HUMAN VS INHUMAN
To the reptilian mind – especially the intelligent type of planets like Sergan and Obrac – the lives of others were as nothing to the need for status.
To the feline mind – especially to the clever advisor of the master of Sergan – the agonies of others were not only of no consequence, they could even be a source of joy.
So when these two types of inhuman intelligences got together to defy the Terran orders against interplanetary kidnapping, space hijacking, and human slavery, it was definitely a case for a top-notch secret agent. Because Earth could not afford a showdown with more than one alien species at a time.
The secret agent was Cap Kennedy, Free Acting Terran Envoy, and his pursuit of the SLAVE SHIP FROM SERGAN turned out to be one of his most dangerous single-handed adventures.
Colonising a new planet requires much more than just settling on a newly discovered island of Old Earth. New planets were different in thousands of ways, different from Earth and from each other. Any of those differences could mean death and disaster to a human settlement.
When a ship filled with refugees from a cosmic catastrophe crash-landed on such an unmapped world, their outlook was precarious. Their ship was lost, salvage had been minor, and everything came to depend on one bright young man accidentally among them.
He was a trainee planet-builder. It would have been his job to foresee all the problems necessary to set up a safe home for humanity. But the problem was that he was a mere student – and he had been studying the wrong planet.
(First published 1974)
From the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal sample introduction to the fantastic imagination of Theodore Sturgeon, one of the great names in science fiction.
Highly acclaimed for his short fiction, Sturgeon is nevertheless best known for his 1953 novel, MORE THAN HUMAN, and for scripting the STAR TREK episode ‘Amok Time’, which introduced the Vulcan mating ritual, the pon farr. This omnibus contains three of his finest works: THE DREAMING JEWELS, TO MARRY MEDUSA and VENUS PLUS X.
Featuring man’s staggering journey to the stars…
In a Tenn’s-eye view of the world, “staggering” can be interpreted in more ways than one, of course.
The warm, human interpretation
The feminist interpretation
The green-transparent-bubble interpretation
The man-in-the-street interpretation
Mr. Tenn has included a charming witch tale, a really delicious vampire item, and a superior machine (intergalactic hit) story. These have nothing to do with man’s staggering journey to the stars. They are simply here to add to the confusion.
Then again, why couldn’t they have something to do with the square root of man?
The magician’s eyes gleamed with emerald hellfires as he looked at the council of nine.
“Let us enact upon Thongor of Valkarth the most terrible punishment conceivable to the human intelligence…the eternal slavery of the soul to Chaos.”
If the curse is carried out, Thongor’s body and soul will suffer throughout eternity. But much more than only Thongor’s fate is at stake. The Magicians of Zaar plan the conquest of the whole of Lemuria – and only Thongor stands in their way.
Can Thongor’s mighty sword keep his world from being enslaved by the sinister servants of Chaos?
After Richard Garrison lost his sight in a terrorist explosion, he developed vast mental powers that more than compensated for his blindness. He mastered the Psychomech machine, then used it to conquer his enemies and restore his dead love to full and vibrant life. Psychomech also revealed to Garrison the Psychosphere, a startling reality where mental powers reigned supreme and could influence people and events on Earth.
Once he was nearly godlike – or demonic, if one dared become his enemy – but now Garrison’s mental abilities grow weaker with each use. He tries desperately to conserve his energies, but he has begun to have strange visions of a mind so different from his own as to be other human, and knows he must stay alert and strong.
Charon Gubwa has invaded the Psychosphere. Twisted and evil, sexually and mentally warped, physically corrupt, Gubwa’s desires are simple: More. More drugs. More sex. More power. More of the Earth under his dominion.
Richard Garrison must battle Gubwa in the Psychosphere and on Earth. And he must win, no matter the cost to himself or those he loves, or all mankind will be lost.
Admiral Slovo was a man of his time, but of more than one dimension..In his sixteenth century, a pirate might be followed by the corpse of his victim, walking across the ocean, until putrescence claimed it. Or an interview with the Pope might be mirrored, exactly, by one with the Devil. Reality shifts could cause a King to see his capital city shimmer into another Realm entirely.
Through such scenes of macabre hallucination, mayhem and murder, Slovo is a man alone, set apart by his stoic beliefs from the rigours of human fears and passions. As such, he was a valuable find for the Vehme, a clandestine, subversive society that ensnared its members from an early age, securing loyalties by the expedient methods of blackmail, bribery and barbarism.
But Slovo is more than a Vehmist puppet, and whether as a brigand on the high seas, or emissary to the Borgias, or as the Pope’s Machiavellian Mr Fix-it, he plots a course that suits his own ends as much as those of his paymasters. He knows that, in the words of his mentor Marcus Aurelius, “in a brief while you will be ashes of bare bones; a name, or perhaps not even a name”. And there are few things that cannot be solved by a stiletto in the eye.
A hundred years in our future, the first expedition from Earth reaches Alpha Centauri only to discover a vast human empire, long-established and sternly ruled by the aristocratic High-born. In a stroke Earth becomes merely another primitive outpost, its people dubbed “wolflings” by the rulers of the Throne World. Painstakingly chosen and meticulously trained, Jim Keil was sent merely to observe conditions on the Throne World.
The High-born would consider him no more than a diversion until Keil cast away his orders from Earth and proved a Wolfling indeed.
Returning to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge after a spell at the nuclear research labs of CERN in Geneva, Professor Isaac Newton is plunged into the centre of a baffling mystery. One of his research students, Mike Howarth, has picked up strange signals on his satellite telemetry equipment, signals that appear to emanate from a passing comet. Not long after he has passed the vital data into Isaac Newton’s hands, Howarth is found dead. Soon after that, it becomes clear that some people in very high places – including the Kremlin and the White House – are more than a little interested in the remarkable events taking place at the Cavendish. But with the arrival of that most majestic of all celestial bodies, Comet Halley, a third and infinitely more powerful superpower enters the scene. And the Comet’s extraordinary intentions – not to mention its devastating methods of communicating them to Earth – promise a new dawn for humanity.
The return of Barlennan
Dhrawn was a giant rockball, more than 3,000 times the mass of Earth. Perhaps a planet, perhaps a nearly dead star, the 17 billion square miles of mystery cried out for investigation. But its corrosive atmosphere and crushing gravity assured that no human would ever set foot on its surface.
Those hardy, caterpillar-like Mesklinites, on the other hand, were ideally suited to explore Dhrawn, and their leader certainly knew a good deal when he saw one. So Barlennan, a shrewd sea captain if ever there was one, struck a sharp bargain with the Earthmen for his services in leading the expedition.
But the humans might not have been so pleased with their side of the bargain, if they had known that Barlennan had plans of his own for Dhrawn . . .
The stunning sequel to the classic SF novel Mission of Gravity.
Roderick wasn’t exactly happy, but at least he was holding down a job, even if it was only as a bowl-washer at Danton’s Doggie Dinette. He didn’t know they were out to get him. He didn’t know that in the whole wide world of lunatic game-shows, maniacal religious cults, tentacular business corporations, murderous governments, crazy consumerism and pill-popping people, there was no place for one mild-mannered robot.
Phenomenally inventive, bitingly satirical, a masterpiece of modern comic writing, Roderick at Random is the second dazzling novel by John Sladek to feature the more-and-less-than-human robot.
He was designed to be the perfect man. And at first the experiment seemed a success. John Shaw – the product of secret government research into enhanced intelligence – was from birth far beyond anything human. Brilliant and charismatic, John could have been anything he wanted – except that which he longed for more than anything. To be normal.
So John created Benjamin: an alternative persona, a way of coping with people who hated what they could not understand. He was everything that John wasn’t – but now those very differences are killing him. Benjamin has become the dominant personality, more and more often in control. John’s altered body has left his mind at risk – and unless he can discover the truth that will fuse both parts together, both he and Benjamin will die.
Robert Charles Wilson spins one of his most stirring, tightly woven tales with The Divide. Reminiscent of Flowers for Algernon, it is at once an adventure story and a sensitive look at the consequences of man’s actions – and of one man’s quite literal search for himself.
Laredo Space Base hadn’t sent a ship to Earth for hundreds of years before the Project Deep Green survey craft was launched. Only one thing was known: the planet humankind had so long ago vacated was a wasteland with nothing on it but poisonous flora and small, murderous denizens.
That’s what they taught astronaut Ferrer Burgoyne and as a result he was totally unprepared for the teeming jungle stretching farther than his eyes could see. He was even moer unprepared for the slightly green humanoids who greeted him. Obviously the scientists of Old Earth had done more in their labs than just mess around mixing human and plant cells. As sure as Ferrer Burgoyne was an astronaut the new men of Earth were the descendants of those hidden, forbidden experiments.
How then could Burgoyne continue his mission: to defoliate Earth with the deadly chemical Deep Green and prepare Earth for the return of his species?
As an orphan growing up in the slums, Loren read her clandestine copy of Jane’s Story over and over, relishing every word. But Loren is no Jane. Savvy and street-smart, Loren could never be stirred by a man of metal, her passion never ignited by an almost-human – even one designed for pleasure.
Still, when the META corporation does the unthinkable and brings back updated versions of robots past-Loren knows she must see Silver. And just like Jane, it is love at first sight. But Silver is now Verlis. If he was perfection before, he is now like a god. Yet he is more human than his creators think – or fear. While Loren doesn’t quite trust him, she will follow her twice-born lover into a battle to control his own destiny – one that
will reveal to her the most astonishing illusion of all.
Once there was a Hero who confronted the dreaded Daggertooth and slew it. Unfortunately he was also slain by it – but the legend persisted. If it could be done once, then another Hero could be raised to do it again. Because the Daggertooth was dangerous to hibernating humanity. All people – all that anyone knew of – lived far underground in tunnels built for safety and hibernation. The Daggertooth was a mass killer – more so even than the hideous Oddlies, the outcasts of the darker tunnels.
So this is the story of John-A, the “vatkid” who was trained to be a second Hero. And the story of “trukid” Shirl who taught John-A what to do. And Threesum, the Oddlies’ leader, who scoffed at heroes. And the Elders who frowned at all the risky goings-on. This is the story of a mighty strange world and a mighty strange future…
The Plague’s origins were mysterious, but its consequences were all too obvious: quarantined cities, safe-sex machines, Sex Police, the outlawing of old-fashioned love. Four people hold the fate of humanity in their hands…A sexual mercenary condemned to death as a foot soldier in the Army of the Living Dead; a scientist who’s devoted his whole life to destroying the virus and now discovers he has only ten weeks to succeed; a God-fearing fundamentalist on his way to the presidency before he accepts a higher calling; and a young infected coed from Berkeley on a bizarre crusade to save the world with a new religion of carnal abandon. Each will discover that the only thing more dangerous than the Plague is the cure.
Baby Is Three is the sixth volume in the series devoted to the complete works of one of science fiction’s titans. Like others in the series, this one includes extensive notes and background information on each story by editor Paul Williams. The early 1950s, during which this material was written, was the beginning of Sturgeon’s greatest creative period. The title story for this collection was later expanded into the International Fantasy Award winning novel More Than Human. Sturgeon’s whimsical, sardonic sense of humor lifts his work out of the mundane realm of genre science fiction. This wide-ranging collection shows precisely why he has been cited as a primary influence by authors as varied as Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Carl Sagan.