Imagine a living specimen of a multimillion-year-old hominid species, Homo habilis, encountering the contemporary world.
Told in the first-person narrative of Paul Loyd, divorced owner of a small town restaurant, Ancient of Days tells the story of a habiline man found wandering in a Georgia pecan orchard, a living descendant of a habiline tribe, brought from Africa via Haiti as a slave. Paul’s ex-wife, RuthClaire, takes in the living fossil, appropriately naming him Adam, and as an artist she discovers Adam’s mute but vibrant artistic sensibility, falls in love with him, and marries him – much to Paul’s confusion and dismay.
And then the story begins to widen out onto a broader canvas, as Adam first faces persecution by small town Georgia Klansmen, then, surviving that, moves with RuthClaire to Atlanta and encounters the whole spectrum of American culture, from art critics and media spectacles to evangelists and punk clubs.
Throughout the peregrinations and travails of Adam, however, runs a rich and developing strain of self-conscious spiritual, intellectual, and artistic growth, interwoven with Adam’s genuine anguish over the problematic nature of his true humanity.
In the end, the central characters come together on the Haitian island of Montarez in the aftermath of crisis, and in a moment of illumination and revelation meet the mysterious and extraordinary origins of Adam and his race in human prehistory.
The Empire’s boldest agents – Jules and Yvette d’Alembert – blast off against the most dangerous conspiracy in the Galaxy. But even the lightning-powers inherited from their triple-gravity planet are no match for their adversary, the beautiful and ruthless star-warrior called…Lady A.
Travel out along the galaxy’s Perseid Arm. Branch off to follow the ten thousand stars of Mircea’s Wisp. Eventually you will come to the Purple Rose System – three stars, Lorca, Sing and Syrene, that seem about to drift away into the void. Three planets circle Syrene. On one, Cadwal, there is Life. Long ago the Naturalist Society of Earth had listed Cadwal as a natural preserve. An administration centre had been set up and staffed to protect the planet from all exploitation. Araminta Station. Now, centuries later, the young Glawen Clattuc is beginning to wonder what the future may hold for him in the hierarchic, carefully ordered hereditary society that is life on Cadwal.
For the beautiful young woman Ash, life has always been arquebuses and artillery, swords and armour and the true horrors of hand-to-hand combat. War is her job. She has fought her way to the command of a mercenary company, and on her unlikely shoulders lies the destiny of a Europe threatened by the depredations of an Infidel army more terrible than any nightmare.
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 2000
When Abner Perry invents a vehicle that essentially drills through the earth, he takes it to his good friend (and independently wealthy man about town) David Ennis. And what else can they do? Drill down into the earth, of course. What they find there isn’t what we’d expect: it’s an inner world called Pellicidar, a place where the sun neither sets nor rises – because what appears to be the sun is no sun at all, but the molten core of the earth. Pellucidar is a great fun fantasy world, full of dragons, apes, and reptiles and Weird Things. It’s ruled by sorcerous royalty (the princess falls in love with Our Hero, of course) and of course our heroes end up hip-deep in dragons…
The World Next Door.
Engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, it’s connected to Earth by way of the Arch that towers hundreds of miles over the Indian ocean. Humans are colonizing this new world – and, predictably, exploiting its resources, chiefly large deposits of oil in the western deserts of the continent of Equatoria.
Lise Adams is a young woman attempting to uncover the mystery of her father’s disappearance ten years ago. Turk Findley is an ex-sailor and sometime drifter. They come together when an infall of cometary dust seeds the planet with tiny Hypothetical machines.
Now Lise, Turk, a Martian woman, and a boy who has been engineered to communicate with the Hypotheticals, are drawn to a place in the desert where this seemingly hospitable world has become suddenly very alien indeed – and the nature of time is being once again twisted by entities unknown.
A father must come to terms with his son’s death in the war. In Venice, an architecture student commits a crime of passion. A white southern airport loader tries to do a favour for a black northern child. The ordinary stuff of fiction – but with a difference! These tales take place twenty-five, fifty, a hundred and fifty years from now. Men and women have been given gills to labor under the sea. Huge repair stations patrol the cables carrying power to the ends of the earth. Telepathic and precocious children yearn so passionately to visit distant galaxies that they’ll kill to go. Brilliantly crafted, beautifully written, these are Samuel Delany’s award-winning stories, like no other before or since.
Britain has fallen to the technological might of the Aztec Empire whose armies have rampaged across the globe. Now, for the first time in a millennium, the British are a subject race.
Inevitably there is resistance – and among those determined to fight the invaders is Princess Catherine, elder daughter of the British monarch. But she is torn between her patriotism and her growing involvement, political and personal, with the Aztecs – and with one Aztec in particular. Then her sister is arrested and exiled for her part in an alleged terrorist attack – and Catherine finds herself walking a perilous tightrope…
Sweeping from occupied Britain to the horrors of the Russian front and the savage splendour of the imperial capital in Mexico, Aztec Century is a magnificent novel of war, politics, intrigue and romance, set in a world that is both familiar – and terrifyingly alien.
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1993
Big Planet is Jack Vance’s first major sf novel, and in the words of the Encyclopedia of SF, “provided an sf model for the planetary romance which has been of significant use for forty years”. The huge world of the title is home to a range of colourfully detailed and imaginative human societies, which Vance explores with the zest and humour which are hallmarks of his work.
All Jack Vance titles in the SFGateway use the author’s preferred texts, as restored for the Vance Integral Edition (VIE), an extensive project masterminded by an international online community of Vance’s admirers. In general, we also use the VIE titles, and have adopted the arrangement of short story collections to eliminate overlaps. Big Planet was cut almost in half for its first publication, but sadly the excised pages are lost.
It is the 22nd century. Interstellar travel is possible, but colossally expensive, so humankind’s efforts are focused on the only nearby Earth-like world. Isis is rich with plant and animal life, but every molecule of it is spectacularly toxic to humans. The whole planet is a permanent Hot Zone.
Zoe Fisher was born to explore Isis. Literally. She has been cloned and genetically engineered to face its terrors. But there are secrets implanted within her that not even she suspects – and the planet itself contains revelations that will change our understanding of life in the universe.
A gripping story about primal evil: a sinister intermingling of power, politics, modern theology, the dark forces of necromancy, and what proves, all too terribly, not to be superstition.
Gifted novelist Fowler (Sarah Canary and The Sweetheart Season) delights in the arcane, and, as a result, these 15 clever tales are occasionally puzzling but never dull.
In the long title story, temperance activist Carry Nation is resurrected in the 1990s (“We’re talking about a very troubled, very big woman,” says one shaken barman to reporters) and becomes such a nuisance that the DEA is forced to dispatch her with voodoo. Other plots are only slightly less outrageous in conceit. In “Lieserl,” a lovesick madwoman dupes Albert Einstein into believing he has a daughter; in “The Faithful Companion at Forty,” Tonto admits to second thoughts about his biggest life choice (“But for every day, for your ordinary life, a mask is only going to make you more obvious. There’s an element of exhibitionism in it”). “The Travails” offers a peek at the one-sided correspondence of Mary Gulliver, who wants Lemuel to come home already and help out around the house. The homage to Swift makes sense, for, when Fowler doesn’t settle for amusing her readers, she makes a lively satirist. The extraterrestrials who appear in her stories (whether the inscrutably sadistic monsters in “Duplicity” or the members of a seminar studying late-1960s college behavior in “The View from Venus: A Case Study”) seem stand-ins for the author herself, who, in elegant and witty prose, cultivates the eye of a curious alien and, along the way, unfolds eccentric plots that keep the pages turning.
Black Glass (1991), Contention (1986), Shimabara (1995), The Elizabeth Complex (1996), Go Back (1998), The Travails (1998), Lieserl (1990), Letters from Home (1987), Duplicity (1989), The Faithful Companion at Forty (1987), The Brew (1995), Lily Red (1988), The Black Fairy’s Curse (1997), The View from Venus (1986), Game Night at the Fox and Goose (1989)
Pip and Flinx: Book Two.
Repler was a humanx-controlled planet, a minor outpost of the flourishing Commonwealth. It housed two of the most terrible threats ever to have faced the material universe.
First was the Vom. A vast mass of liquid blackness, it had waited half a million years to be discovered. The wait was over.
Second there was Bloodyhype, a killer drug with no known antidote. It caused instant addiction, followed by excruciatingly slow death.
Flinx was a sanitation engineer, strictly on the sidelines. But his role in the affairs of the planet soon took on a more ominous aspect.
Kane. The Mystic Swordsman becomes the living link with the awesome power of a vanished superrace.
In the dark swamp where toadmen croak and cower, slumbers a secret relic of the days when creatures from the stars ruled the Earth. In the booty captured in a savage raid, Kane discovers a ring, a bloodstone, which is key to the power that lies buried, inactive but not dead, within the forest.
Now Kane, whose bloody sword has slashed and killed for the glory of other rulers, can scheme to rule the Earth – himself!
Unrivaled in the history of artillery and unsurpassed in its ability to reason, Bolo replaced man in that most human of endeavors: war.
In these scintillating tales of the ever-advancing Dinochrome Brigade, the most effective weapons ever devised ell their own story in action-packed chronicles of extra-terrestrial adventure.
Bolo: fighting in proud combat as monster saviors of their human creators.