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An Alien Heat

An Alien Heat

The universe is dying; at the End of Time the last remnants of Humanity live amoral lives of decadence, constantly seeking new diversions and sensations. So when Mrs Amelia Underwood is mysteriously transported to the End of Time Jharek Carnelian decides to fall in love with her, but when Amelia returns to her own period of history, Jherek follows her and finds himself plunged into the strange world of Victorian London.
Ancient Echoes

Ancient Echoes

Jack Chatwin has visions, which leave tangible evidence – sounds and smells, which linger afterwards. What he sees are two primitive figures, with painted faces – Greyface and Greenface, a brother and sister. He calls them bullrunners.
John Garth is a city dowser, searching for the mythical pre-Roman city of Glanum. He hopes to find an entryway to the elusive city beneath Exburgh, Jack’s home town. And he thinks Jack’s bullrunners may be connected to Glanum . . .
Years later, Jack, now grown up, agrees to take part in experiments to investigate his bullrunners – until Greyface, the male, breaks free of Jack and takes corporeal form. The bullrunner kidnaps Jack’s young daughter so Jack will force Greenface to follow her brother-husband, even against her own wishes. Though Greyface returns the daughter, he keeps a shadow of her, which takes on a life of its own. If Jack refuses to co-operate, the shadow will drain his daughter’s vitality and personality – and her very future.

The story of Jack’s search for Greenface is interwoven with the connections between the bullrunners and the mystical city of Glanum in this resonant tale of ancient mythic wonder.
Ancient Light

Ancient Light

This gracefully written sequel to Golden Witchbreed powerfully depicts the impact of a high-technology civilization on a decaying planet. Ten years after having served as Earth’s first envoy to Orthe, which is struggling to survive after a planetwide holocaust millennia ago, Lynne de Lisle Christie returns there as an advisor to PanOceania, one of Earth’s giant multinational companies, which is seeking to discover the technological secrets of the Goldens, the ruling race that had destroyed itself while almost obliterating Orthe. Christie seeks to help the native people, some of whom have been her friends, some her enemies, but all closely bound in her memories and loyalties. Instigated by the last of the Golden, a madwoman seeking domination, war between the poor and starving hiyeks of the Desert Coast and the land-loving telestres of the north is aggravated by smuggled high-tech weapons. Christie, while holding a dreadful secret from the Orthe’s past, attempts to mediate. Gentle creates moving, different, yet recognizable societies and people that catch the reader’s emotions as they struggle to save themselves.
Ancient of Days

Ancient of Days

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.
Appointment at Bloodstar

Appointment at Bloodstar

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.
Araminta Station

Araminta Station

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.
Ash

Ash

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
At the Earth's Core

At the Earth's Core

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…
Axis

Axis

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.
Aye, and Gomorrah

Aye, and Gomorrah

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.
Aztec Century

Aztec Century

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

Big Planet

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.
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