“If it pleased Ruethen of the Long Hand to give a feast and ball at the Crystal Moon for his enemies. He knew they must come. Pride of race had slipped from Terra, while the need to appear well-bred and sophisticated had waxed correspondingly. The fact that spaceships prowled and fought, fifty light-years beyond Antares, made it all the more impossible a gaucherie to refuse an invitation from the Mersian representative. Besides, one could feel delightfully wicked and ever so delicately in danger.”
It is the common fate of empires to grow old and jaded: Rome, Byzantium, Britain, America, and so on to the Empire of Terra itself, each has near the end succumbed to the same weary “sophistication” that allows a warlord of Merseia to make a mock of a race whose star-conquering ancestors found the Merseians a race of pre-technic barbarians huddled in stone piles – and saved them from extinction. Flandry himself has come to understand that there is no more point to all his victories than that a few trillion of his fellow creatures may live out their lives before the coming of the Long Night of galactic barbarism. That he will not have shortened that coming Dark Age one bit – only postponed it. That the barbarians always win in the end, and are always followed by a new round of civilisation.
Without setting foot on another planet, people like Shep Blaine were reaching out to the stars with their minds, telepathically contacting strange beings on other worlds. But even Blaine was unprepared for what happened when he communed with the soul of an utterly alien being light years from Earth. After recovering from his experience, he becomes a dangerous man: not only has he gained startling new powers – but he now understands that humankind must share the stars.
Hunted through time and space by those who he used to trust, Blaine undergoes a unique odyssey that takes him through a nightmarish version of small-town America as he seeks to find others who share his vision of a humane future. Blaine has mastered death and time. Now he must master the fear and ignorance that threatened to destroy him!
From the opening reared a head, wide, flat, huge. Below it stretched a body beautiful with iridescent scales of gold edged with ruby. Nictitating membranes lifted over enormous eyes, deep, limpid pools of ancient wisdom, catching and reflecting the light of the miniature sun, turning the glowing orb into a scatter of stars shimmering in an ebon sea. From open jaws a forked tongue flickered with a soft susurration. Its scent was dry, acrid, tinged with that of living fur on a summer’s day. The head rose higher, swaying over the three men on the ledge, the sinuous length of the body almost filling the passage through which it had come. From it radiated an impression of incredible age.
“A serpent,” whispered Thagamista. “A creature from the beginning of time. Somehow surviving to find this place and feast on those who well here. It was inevitable they should think it a god.”
THE SLEEPING CITY continues the dynamic saga of the Chronicles of Malkar, E.C. Tubb’s newest fantasy hero!
Starfarers is the story of an expedition into the far reaches of the galaxy, where answers to mankind’s greatest questions await.
The saga begins when evidence of an advanced civilization is discovered by SETI astronomers. “Trails” observed in the sky are thought to be from starships travelling at the speed of light, an enigma that spurs scientific minds until this breakthrough is achieved by mankind as well. An expedition is then mounted and an eclectic team of scientists chosen to journey into the sector where the intelligent life is allegedly located.
But because the destination of the starship, Envoy, and her crew is 60,000 light-years away, the time required to reach the point of origin of the signals and return is 120,000 years – longer than Homo sapiens has been on Earth. And though the crew is ready to face the ramifications of such a trek, no one is prepared for what awaits them at the outer edge of the cosmos – or back at the planet they once called home.
Starfarers is a story of patience and immediacy, but most of all of courage. It is a saga for anyone who has ever felt the emptiness of life on Earth and found the missing substance in the spaces between the stars.
White Flag for Earthmen
Man had discovered a means of colonising the galaxy. Through a system of instantaneous matter transmission, men, machines, anything, could be sent light years away in seconds!
Only, men were not the only beings in the galaxy who were expanding, and at 200 light years from Earth the alien Gershmi people made their claims clear, with guns!
It would have been a fair fight between equally matched races, had not the very matter transmitter boxes which had made mankind’s expansion possible, suddenly began to put men back together, 200 light years from Earth, with their will to fight removes, so that Earthmen were marching with white flags of truce straight into Gershmi fire!
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.
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?