To see the stars.
This was the great and paradoxical dream. To stand and look upward into space, at the myriad pin-points of light, forever out of reach, just as their forebears on Earth had in the long gone days before the building of the planetary shells.
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn… Shell had succeeded shell, each studded with its captive caged worlds, each progressively populated by men who could look up only into a sky of artificial luminaries and space debris.
Always Zeus, man-created prime mover, was at work beyond them, the giant space machines forming and working the next shell.
Uranus, Neptune, Pluto…The last shell.
Again they journeyed: Maq Ancor, Master Assassin, Magician Cherry and Sine Anura, Mistress of the Erotic, to reach the outer shell, to return to the past when Man could see the stars.
Charlie Stuart, young scion of the Scottish royal family, long nourished a secret desire for adventure – an escape from his dreary books, his sheltered life. When his father realized that, for Charlie to grow into the full Stuart heritage he must face the rigors of the real world, the young man’s dreams had a chance of coming true.
But Charlie’s private fantasies had never included Talyina, a planet 200 light-years from earth and ruled by a ruthless usurper. And he had never envisioned himself as a galactic savior. Yet, young Charlie, late the classroom dreamer, suddenly found himself the only man in the galaxy capable of averting inter-planetary war!
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.
Hugh had been taught that, according to the ancient sacred writings, the Ship was on a voyage to faraway Centaurus. But he also understood this was actually allegory for a voyage to spiritual perfection. Indeed, how could the Ship move, since its miles and miles of metal corridors were all there was of creation? Science knew that the Ship was all the Universe, and as long as the sacred Convertor was fed, the lights would continue to glow and the air would flow, and the Creator’s Plan would be fulfilled.Of course, there were the muties, grotesquely deformed parodies of humans, who lurked in the upper reaches of the Ship where gravity was weaker. Were they evil incarnate, or merely a divine check on the population, keeping humanity from expanding past the capacity of the Ship to support?
Then Hugh was captured by the muties and met their leader (or leaders), Joe-Jim, with two heads on one body. And he learned the true nature of the Ship and its mission between the stars. But could he make his people believe him before it was to late? Could he make them believe that he must be allowed to fly the ship?
Malevolent aliens, the Mordri Three decide to become so evil that God himself will have to stop them. They can alter flesh with a simple touch, literally turning people inside out or seeding them with cancer. The Three have already destroyed an entire solar system and most of their own race. Their next targets: mankind and Earth!
On Earth, Scott St. John is mourning his wife when he is struck by a golden arrow of light – a fragment of the soul of Harry Keogh, the original Necroscope – and gains powers he does not understand. A mysterious, beautiful woman appears, desperately trying to warn Scott about something . . . then vanishes midword. Scott dreams of a very unusual Wolf, who begs him – in human speech – for rescue.
A fledgling Necroscope, a telepathic Wolf, a beautiful woman from beyond the stars, the ghost of Harry Keogh, the best of E-Branch’s psychic fighting forces, and a dead girl who is not yet ready to seek her just reward must defeat three impossibly strong, psychically gifted monsters whose touch literally melts flesh from bone.
This book contains four striking novellas, and the author’s own philosophy of fiction writing expressed in her speech as a guest of honour at the 38th World Science Fiction Convention.
“The Winter Beach” turns what might be a spy story into suspense of a far different order.
“Julian” begins when its youthful hero trains his telescope on nearby earth rather than the stars and sees a woman who rules the rest of his life.
“With Thimbles, with Forks and Hope” seems to be the dramatic story of a holiday fishing trip, but once on the ocean we are gripped by a different reality.
“Moongate”, set in the mountains of the Northwest, takes its two men and one woman through many dimensions in time and space.
“The Uncertain Edge of Reality” casts a new light on Kate Wilhelm’s many books and short stories. “This is my subject matter when I write,” she says. “I am asking, What actually do we mean by reality, and are we stuck with the one we have? This is what I mean by reality fiction, and usually it is also called science fiction…We are more than simple animals using sophisticated tools in our search for food, security and mates. We are something new on the earth…We can change reality.”
Kate Wilhelm’s writing always has meaning on many levels. Listen, Listen provides a feasts for fans and new readers alike.
Arcot, Wade, Morey, and their computer, Fuller, put together a ship which will travel faster than light; they gave us what may have been the first space-warp drive. The concept was simple, to make it plausible wasn’t – unless you were John W. Campbell.
With this out-of-space drive they hightail it among the stars. They locate the fugitive planets of the Black Star, find a frozen cemetery-world of a lost race, then head out for another galaxy and wind up in a knock-down-drag-out interplanetary war!
One star-chained evening in a Manhattan bathroom, Carl Schirmer spontaneously combusts! His body transforms into light, mysteriously snatched from his banal life by an alien intelligence 130 billion years in the future. There, all spacetime is collapsing into a cosmic black hole, the Big Crunch – and a bold, cosmic destiny awaits Carl. Rebuilt from the remnants of his light by extraterrestrials for a cryptic purpose, he awakens in time’s last world, the strangest of all – the Werld.
At the edge of infinity, Carl discovers the Foke, nomadic humans who travel among the floating islands of the Werld. The Foke teach him how to live – and love – at the end of time, and he loses his heart to his plucky guide, the beautiful Evoë. Their life together in this blissful kingdom that knows no aging or disease brings them to rapture – until Evoë falls prey to the zotl, a spidery intelligence who hunt the Foke and eat the chemical by-products of their pain. In order to save his beloved from a gruesome death, Carl must return to Earth – 130 billion years earlier – where he is shocked to discover that the Earth he’s come back to is not the one he left.
Can he meet the harsh demands of his task before the zotl find him and begin ravishing the Earth?
Author’s Note: The volumes of this series can each be read independently of the others. The feature that unifies them is their individual observations of science fiction’s sub-genre: “space opera,” which the editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer define as “colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, and in space or on other worlds, characteristically optimistic in tone. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues, and very large-scale action, large stakes.”
In a distant future, on an Earth populated by a scant few hundred thousand humans, the Atkins’s Thomas performs without question the duties for which he was genetically bred. Called “Soldier” by one and all, he is a man of honor and ability, responsible for keeping the peace, for maintaining the status quo . . . and, most important, for guarding the great Book House on the hill – a vast repository of Last Culture knowledge presided over by Libary, Soldier’s mentor, the most senior of the mystic Celibate scholars.
Such is Thomas’s life in the serene, semi-primitive world without nations and cities and governments – until the night the starship comes home. Having fled a dangerously overcrowded Earth years before the Collapse and the Twilight that followed, for seven centuries the men and women of the space-going vessel Search have been combing the galaxy for inhabitable planets – their aging processes dramatically slowed by the relative magic of light speed travel and cryogenic sleep. And now, lonely and frustrated, the weary voyagers have returned to a homeworld unrecognizably altered by the relentless tides of time – a world that does not want them back.
A bitter welcome awaits the Searchers, as old Libary gathers Earth’s Ordinands and Elders together to tap the terrifying power of the collective unconscious – in preparation of the Carnival night when they will sweep the helpless intruders back to their lonely sky in the name of Holy Science. And it is Soldier who stands in the middle, silent and alone – bound by duty to evict the homesick star-travelers . . . yet cursed by a preordained genetic destiny that has decreed their eviction will mean Soldier’s death.
The Mannschenn Drive was the gateway to the stars, but it had one unfortunate site effect: Traveling faster than light, mankind reverted to the bestial form of his own legendary nightmare-the lycanthropic horror that the full moon once called forth from the soul’s depths, now no longer howling at the moon but soaring far beyond it…
In the far future Earth is dying. Society has reverted to a more primitive life, much like the Middle Ages. Two men, Matthew and his brother John, who calls himself “Firefly,” set out to find the time traveller, the one person who can give purpose to their existence, the one individual who can still access past technology. The Firefly, he who lights his own way, seeks the age of Man’s greatness, the time when the human race once owned the stars, when great cities stood in places that have now become rust-bowls.
In the aftermath of an interstellar war an enigmatic star is discovered, travelling towards the Solar System from the galactic core. Its appearance adds a new and dangerous factor in the turbulent politics of the inhabited worlds as the rival factions – the power-holders of the ReUnited Nations, the rebels who secretly oppose their power, and the Religious Witnesses – all see advantages to be gained.
But what awesome technology started the star on its journey half a million years ago – and why?
These were the last weeks and days before the end of the world, before total destruction overwhelmed Earth and every living thing on the surface of the planet. No one knew exactly how long they had before the sun turned nova and destroyed not only Earth but all of the other planets in the Solar System. For mankind, the only excape lay in flight to the stars, to Alpha Centauri, more than four light years distant.
The hyperdrive, capable of carrying them there at close to the speed of light had been developed, but as yet had not been perfected. In a world without a future, the starships were the only salvation of mankind and they could save only a minute fraction of the population of Earth.
Panic is there, but temporarily forgotten by most, as the plans for a mass exodus are speeded up, as the long hours of mounting tension draw to a close and Judgement Day, when the world shall be destroyed by fire, is mo longer a hazy time in the far future, but something very close and very terrible. For those who remained behind, there could be no escape; death would come suddenly, eight minutes after the nova explosion. For those who fled the Solar System in the starships, untried and working on principles only partially understood, there was only the long, terrible journey through the endless night, not knowing what lay at the end of it.
The novel that inspired the headline-grabbing ITV series starring John Lynch, Kenneth Cranham, and Christine Kavanagh. A terrifyingly plausible journey into the disturbing nerve-centers of medical science where our secret future is formed today.
When Peter Carson is invited to the pioneering Jenner Clinic by one of the lab assistants, he’s naturally intrigued. But when he arrives at the remote site in the Cumbrian fells to find police roadblocks and official silence, he realises that he’s stumbled onto a story that will do him no good at all.
Dr Jenner’s work matters to the government. Enough to warrant unlimited funding, high security, and the best technicians in the country. But something has gone badly wrong. The project that has no room for mistakes has produced a result so terrible that it must never see the light of day. And now the evidence must be destroyed, whatever the cost.
Unable to exceed the speed of light, he found ways around the law of nature, twisting space and time to his bidding. But the lure of FTL speeds could would not be forgotten…and the crew of the Flying Cloud – casts-offs from the great civilisations of the galaxy – found themselves breaking through the barriers of the past to discover new worlds – worlds from which they could never return!