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The Last Astronaut

The Last Astronaut

Alex was a pioneer. Like all pioneers he had problems. He had more problems than most; when things start to go wrong in space they go wrong in a big way. One by one the perils of the void took their toll of his companions. Alex was alone, alone with a vision, the vision of a town, home.

Only thoughts of home kept him alive. He remembered trees, houses, shops, churches, peoples…above all people. At last he reached earth…or perhaps it wasn’t earth? Things had changed unbelievably. Perhaps he had changed. How long had he been away? How far had he drifted? There was a sinister possibility that this wasn’t home at all. If the things that looked like people weren’t people but aliens, what was he to do?

Alex was a realist. He knew what space could do to a man’s mind. He was disinclined to trust the evidence of his own senses. A mine that has had far more than it can take can produce from very peculiar perceptions…
Raft

Raft

Stephen Baxter’s highly acclaimed first novel and the beginning of his stunning Xeelee Sequence finally enters the SF Masterwork series!

A spaceship from Earth accidentally crossed through a hole in space-time to a universe where the force of gravity is one billion times as strong as the gravity we know. Somehow the crew survived, aided by the fact that they emerged into a cloud of gas surrounding a black hole, which provided a breathable atmosphere.

Five hundred years later, their descendants still struggle for existence, divided into two main groups. The Miners live on the Belt, a ramshackle ring of dwellings orbiting the core of a dead star, which they excavate for raw materials. These can be traded for food from the Raft, a structure built from the wreckage of the ship, on which a small group of scientists preserve the ancient knowledge which makes survival possible.

Rees is a Miner whose curiosity about his world makes him stow away on a flying tree – just one of the many strange local lifeforms – carrying trade between the Belt and the Raft. And what he finds will change his world…
The Chronoliths

The Chronoliths

Scott Warden is a man haunted by the past – and soon to be haunted by the future.
In early twenty-first-century Thailand, Scott is an expatriate slacker. Then, one day, he inadvertently witnesses an impossible event: the violent appearance of a 200-foot stone pillar in the forested interior. Its arrival collapses trees for a quarter mile around its base, freezing ice out of the air and emitting a burst of ionizing radiation. It appears to be composed of an exotic form of matter. And the inscription chiseled into it commemorates a military victory…sixteen years in the future.
Shortly afterwards, another, larger pillar arrives in the center of Bangkok – obliterating the city and killing thousands. Over the next several years, human society is transformed by these mysterious arrivals from, seemingly, our own near future. Who is the warlord “Kuin” whose victories they note?
Scott wants only to rebuild his life. But some strange look of causality keeps drawing him in, to the central mystery and a final battle with the future.
The Ultimate Jungle

The Ultimate Jungle

“Mankind will cease to exist at 6pm GMT on 28th March 3256”. A computer prediction which threw the world into panic. What to do? Build a starship and take the chosen few to a new home in the stars. Or search for an alternative timestream where mankind goes on forever.

Matt Helm is to captain the last space shuttle carrying passengers to the starship, but his irrepressible desire for Fern Angelus corrupts his sense of duty. He agrees to take part in her time experiments.

Set against a background of passion and longing, Matt’s uncanny success with mind projection meets unforseen complications. He projects his mind to a future Earth: a world of shallow, extensive seas, mutated trees growing in layers on each other’s branches, and strangely evolved animals like snappersnouts, humpers and energy creatures.

Matt’s strange visions eventually meet reality when he discovers that the last load of passengers for the starship has been left behind; and he is one of them.
The Girl From Tomorrow

The Girl From Tomorrow

Thursday began as an ordinary day as far as Estelle was concerned. Breakfast… Tube… Office… Lunch… And then the sane, sane, simple everyday world began to fade. One moment she was walking along the pleasant tree-lined familiarity of her home town… the next she was involved in a strange translucent sphere and life had turned into a nightmare.
Without warning and without explanation she found herself alone in a strange new environment. There were strange stars in the unknown sky above her and the flora and fauna of her new surroundings were disturbingly unfamiliar. Most minds would have yielded to the easy escape of insanity. But Estelle Wilde was made of sterner stuff. She fought back at the strangeness of her new setting and tried desperately to establish a new set of survival data before it was too late.
Piece by piece she collected her information and sat down to the mammoth task of answering the great questions. Where was she? How had she been brought there? And why?
Above all… was it possible to get home?
Companions on the Road

Companions on the Road

The siege was over. The citadel of Avillis had burned, burned through the night, with its terrible Lord and his monstrous children in it. Nothing remained now but broken walls, charred stumps where trees had, grown, tattered lattices open to the sky. But at the heart of the palace the great Cup of Avillis stood untouched: pure gold, crusted with jewels each worth an emperor’s ransom. Small wonder that Kachil, common thief, should covet it. Or Feluce, dapper arrogant climber; riches would mean much to him. But why did Havor of Taon, the hawk, join them to carry the cursed Cup away? For it was Havor who found that the Chalice once stolen could not be lightly cast aside, even in horror and despair. While always, inexorably, half-seen, slipping through shadows, shapes in the mind’s eye, three phantom riders followed after it across the winter-blasted plain.

This chilling tale of flight and inescapable pursuit rises to a confrontation of ghostly powers. Havor thought his story could have only one ending, but the spirit world can summon Forces of Light as well as Dark.
To the Dark Star

To the Dark Star

The Collected Stories Volume 2: To The Dark Star (1962 – 1969)

Winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Robert Silverberg is one of the all time greats of science fiction. A professional writer for more than half a century, his short story output has been prolific and exceptional in quality.

This series of nine volumes will collect all of the short stories and novella-length that SF Grand Master Silverberg wants to take their place on the permanent shelf.

Each volume will be roughly 150,000-200,000 words, with classics and lesser known gems alike. The author has also graced us with a lengthy introduction and extensive story notes for each tale.

Contents:
To See The Invisible Man
The Pain Peddlers
Neighbor
The Sixth Palace
Flies
Halfway House
To The Dark Star
Hawksbill Station
Passengers
Bride 91
Going Down Smooth
The Fangs of the Trees
Ishmael in Love
Ringing the Changes
Sundance
How It Was When the Past Went Away
A Happy Day in 2381
(Now + n, Now – n)
After the Myths Went Home
The Pleasure of Their Company
We Know Who We Are
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