Three extraordinary people in some most extraordinary times:
It’s Dissolution Summer and as the United Kingdom prepares to break up into separate nations, the Counterculturals have gathered for a festival where everything’s allowed. Among them is a talented little brat called Fiorinda, rock and roll princess by birth, searching for her father, the legendary Rufus O’Niall.
Instead, she finds Ax Preston, the softly spoken guitarman with bizarre delusions about saving the country from the dark ages. Together with Sage Pender, techno-wizard king of the lads, they join the pop-icon team that’s supposed to make the government look cool.
Rock Legends. True Romance. A stunning fantasy about England.
A whisperjewel from Gwen Delvano calls Dirk t’Larien across space and beyond the Tempter’s Veil to Worlorn, a dying Festival planet of rock and ice. Warlorn is slowly drifting through twilight to neverending night; as the planet sinks into darkness, so its inhabitants face annihilation.
Seven years ago, on Avalon, Gwen was Dirk’s lover, his Guenevere; now she wears the jade-and-silver bond of Jaantony Riv Wolf high-Ironjade Vikary, a barbarian visionary, an outcast from his own people for his acts of violence. And Garse Janacek, Jaan’s *teyn*, his shieldmate, is also bound to Gwen – in hatred. Dirk, a rogue and a wanderer, is called to be saviour of the three who are bonded together in love and hate.
But in breaking their triangle, he could lose all …
The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then?
ENTER THE ADMINISTRATION
Peretz spends his days navigating the bureaucracy of the Administration, the institute tasked with governing the Forest below. Except no one ever seems to go there, and his attempts only trap him further within the workings of this strange organisation.
ENTER THE FOREST
Candide cannot remember how he got to the Forest, and he is certain he belongs somewhere else. Determined to escape, he finds that all paths lead him round strange bends and into encounters with bizarre creatures.
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
This classic SF novel sees Boris and Arkady Strugatsky meditate on how little man can understand of the wider world, and in doing so produce one of the great literary works to come out of Soviet Russia.
Set in the twenty-second century after the repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment, the novel reveals a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights, and banned from public life. In this world, Earth’s wealth relies on interplanetary commerce, for which the population depends on linguists, a small, clannish group of families whose women breed and become perfect translators of all the galaxies’ languages. The linguists wield power, but live in isolated compounds, hated by the population, and in fear of class warfare. But a group of women is destined to challenge the power of men and linguists.
Nazareth, the most talented linguist of her family, is exhausted by her constant work translating for the government, supervising the children’s language education in the Alien-in-Residence interface chambers, running the compound, and caring for the elderly men. She longs to retire to the Barren House, where women past childbearing age knit, chat, and wait to die. What Nazareth does not yet know is that a clandestine revolution is going on in the Barren Houses: there, word by word, women are creating a language of their own to free them of men’s domination. Their secret must, above all, be kept until the language is ready for use. The women’s language, Láadan, is only one of the brilliant creations found in this stunningly original novel, which combines a page-turning plot with challenging meditations on the tensions between freedom and control, individuals and communities, thought and action.
Acclaimed as one of the most original voices in modern literature, Raphael Aloysius Lafferty has been awarded and nominated for a multitude of accolades over the span of his career, including the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
This collection contains 22 unique tall tales, including:
‘Eurema’s Dam’ – introduced by Robert Silverberg
‘Continued on the Next Rock’ – introduced by Nancy Kress
‘Sky’ – introduced by Gwenda Bond
‘In Our Block’ – introduced by Neil Gaiman
And more stories introduced by other modern masters of SF who acknowledge
R.A. Lafferty as a major influence and force in the field.
While searching for his missing father, Anthony Julian embarks on a terrifying journey into the Earth’s interior. There he discovers a subterranean world, where descendants of the Roman Army suffer under a totalitarian regime in which individualism is completely obliterated by telepathic means. Refusing to join this rigidly controlled society, Anthony must fight to save his father and find a route to the surface – or perish.
First published in 1935, the genre-transcending political and psychological themes of Land Under England put it far ahead of its time.
In the year 2093, human consciousness has expanded to the point that man can visit the past using a technique called ‘mind-travelling’. Artist Edward Bush returns from a lengthy ‘trip’ to the Jurassic period to find the government overthrown by an authoritarian regime. Given his mind-travel experience, he is recruited by the new regime to track down and assassinate a scientist whose ideas threaten to topple the status quo. However, the job of an artist is not to take orders but to ask questions . . .
It is a mysterious city whose sun is switched on in the morning and switched off at night, bordered by an abyss on one side and an impossibly high wall on the other. Its inhabitants are people who were plucked from twentieth-century history at various times and places and left to govern themselves, advised by Mentors whose purpose seems inscrutable. This is life in the Experiment.
Andrei Voronin, a young astronomer plucked from Leningrad in the 1950s, is a die-hard believer in the Experiment, even though his first job in the city is as a garbage collector. As increasingly nightmarish scenarios begin to affect the city, he rises through the political hierarchy, with devastating effect.
When Dr Philip Raven, a diplomat working for the League of Nations, dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of dreams outlining the visions he has been experiencing for many years. These visions seem to be glimpses into the future, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next two hundred years.
This fictional ‘history of the future’ proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicted events such as the Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare, climate change and the growing instability of the Middle East.
Only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of the total annihilation of the universe. They are Arthur Dent, homeless Englishman currently marooned in the deep past; his friend Ford Prefect, temporarily insane to see if he likes it, also marooned; Slartibartfast, once of the planet builders of Magrathea; Zaphod Beeblebrox, ex-confidence trickster and part-time galactic president; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox. In other words: we’re doomed.
‘A rich and complex story of friendship and love’ GUARDIAN
‘It’s a giant thought experiment that’s also a cracking good read about gender’ Neil Gaiman
‘Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new’
Two people, until recently strangers, find themselves on a long, tortuous and dangerous journey across the ice. One is an outcast, forced to leave his beloved homeland; the other is fleeing from a different kind of persecution. What they have in common is curiosity, about others and themselves, and an almost unshakeable belief that the world can be a better place.
As they journey for over 800 miles, across the harshest, most inhospitable landscape, they discover the true meaning of friendship, and of love.