It began with a blinding light, a divine revelation from a mysterious intelligence that called itself VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). And with that, the fabric of reality was torn apart and laid bare so that anything seemed possible, but nothing seemed quite right.
It was madness, pure and simple. But what if it were true?
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 …
World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn’t ‘retiring’ them with his laser weapon,
he dreamed of owning a live animal – the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life.
Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard’s world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit – and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted …
Mars is a desolate world. Largely forgotten by Earth, the planet remains helpless in the stranglehold of Arnie Kott, who as boss of the plumbers’ union has a monopoly over the vital water supply.
Arnie Kott is obsessed by the past; the native Bleekmen, poverty-stricken wanderers, can see into the future; while to Manfred, an autistic boy, time apparently stops. When one of the colonists, Norbert Steiner, commits suicide, the repercussions are startling and bizarre.
Glen Runciter is dead.
Or is he?
Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out.
If it hasn’t already.
Clarke’s masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel
Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rule the stars.
But then, as legend has it, the invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge. It takes one man, a Unique, to break through Diaspar’s stifling inertia, to smash the legend and discover the true nature of the Invaders.
One Thursday lunchtime Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this is already more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun. And the Galaxy is a very, very large and startling place indeed …
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy became a massive cult success when it was first published and continues to sell all over the world. It introduced such memorable characters as Arthur Dent, Marvin the Paranoid Android, Zaphod Beeblebrox and, of course, the Vogons, and remains one of the funniest, most irreverent and entertaining novels ever.
Ecological disaster has left the English countryside a wasteland. Humanity faces extinction, unless Greybeard and his wife Martha are successful in their quest for the scarcest and most precious of resources: human children.
Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were – that was forgotten.
Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down …
Non-Stop is the classic SF novel of discovery and exploration; a brilliant evocation of a familiar setting seen through the eyes of a primitive.
The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thirty light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the speed of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years’ duration.
Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The ship’s deceleration system is damaged irreperably and soon she is gaining velocity. When she attains light-speed, tau zero itself, the disparity between ship-time and external time becomes almost impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by, and the crew of the Leonora Christine speeds into the unknown.
Jason Taverner has a glittering TV career, millions of fans, great wealth and something close to eternal youth. He is one of a handful of brilliant, beautiful people, the product of top-secret government experiments forty years earlier. But suddenly, all records of him vanish. He becomes a man with no identity, in a police state where everyone us closely monitored. Can he ever be rich and famous again? Or was that life just an illusion?
The Styths, a powerful and aggressive mutant race from the Gas Planets, Uranus and Saturn, have been launching pirate raids on ships from Mars. Earth’s Committee for the Revolution has been asked to mediate, to negotiate a truce between the Middle Planets and the Styth Empire. The task of conducting the talks falls to an intelligent, resourceful and unpredictable young woman, Paula Mendoza. Her initial meetings with the Styth warlord and his unruly band of bodyguards and advisers are not promising.
But then Paula adopts a less conventional approach. The consequences for her are considerable and she finds herself on the Gas Planets, the only tenuous link between Earth and the Styth Empire…