Edmund Cooper - Ferry Rocket - Orion Publishing Group

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Ferry Rocket

By Edmund Cooper

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future.

Philip Shane, journalist for the London Sunday Sentinel and undercover agent for the British Government, sets out, at the Prime Minister's request, to investigate the death of key scientists on the moon. His fellow travellers are Claire Scott, daughter of Sir Fabian Scott, pioneer of Lunar City; Professor Denis Quarles, a one-man Investigating Commission; Gaff Midley, a psychiatrist; the Ferry Rocket Commander and crew.

At Woomera, firing base for the Ferry Rockets in the year AD 2050, Shane is drugged and sabotage occurs. On the Commonwealth Space Station, 1079 miles above the Earth the Ferry Rocket Commander is killed.

Who is responsible, and why?

Biographical Notes

Edmund Cooper (1926 - 1982)
Edmund Cooper was born in Cheshire in 1926. He served in the Merchant navy towards the end of the Second World War and trained as a teacher after its end. He began to publish SF stories in 1951 and produced a considerable amount of short fiction throughout the '50s, moving on, by the end of that decade, to the novels for which he is chiefly remembered. His works displayed perhaps a bleaker view of the future than many of his contemporaries', frequently utilising post-apocalyptic settings. In addition to writing novels, Edmund Cooper reviewed science fiction for the Sunday Times from 1967 until his death in 1982.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780575116610
  • Publication date: 30 Jul 2015
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Gateway
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Zelos seemed an ideal planet for colonization. Possessing one large continent and numerous archipelagos, it had a climate and vegetation comfortably like that of Earth. Captain James Conrad and his crew of Expendables started on their initial reconnaissance of the planet. For the first time they found human beings already in residence. But this was a society remote from anything they had ever before experienced. For the Emperor of this strange world controlled his domain through the great annual War Games. Only the fittest could survive - and only they were allowed to procreate. Through this 'death control' the population was limited to twenty thousand. There was only one way the Expendables could get permission to establish a colony on Zelos. Risking their own lives, they must compete in the dreaded War Games. And, somehow, they must win.

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TEN MEN AND WOMEN ESCAPED IN THE STARSHIP - THE ONLY HOME THEY WOUKD KNOW FOR GENERATIONS - THE SEED FROM WHICH THEY WOULD BUILD A NEW RACE.The Solarian was a hundred metres high and, at its broadest point, twenty metres in diameter. It was designed to carry an initial crew of ten people - five men and five women - with provisions for subsequent children. Yet in that vast hull every cubic metre of space was indispensable, for the ship was a self-contained world, required to support human life independently for centuries.No member of the crew, male or female, could regard themselves as a separate entity, an individual personality. But each person was a part of a total life-unit, a dedicated nucleus that might one day expand into a tribe; that might, phoenixlike, bring forth a new human race.

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Vanessa Smith looked like any normal seventeen year old girl. But Vanessa wasn't normal at all.She possessed extraordinary telepathic powers - and in the 1990s telepathy was the ultimate weapon in psychological warfare. Vanessa, along with other gifted children, was virtually a prisoner at Random Hill Residential School, developing her abilities for Government exploitation.So when she escaped, Vanessa became a political embarrassment. Questions were asked by the Opposition. It was vital for the Prime Minister, the ruthlessly dictatorial Sir Joseph Humbolt, that everything that marked Vanessa's existence should be erased. And orders were given that she should be hunted down - using telepaths like herself - and destroyed.

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This collection contains one long novella, 'The Firebird', which some critics regard this as Edmund Cooper's finest work. Two stories were written especially for the collection and the remaining stories were written and published over a number of years in various magazines but have not been collected together before in book form.The theme of all the stories is fantasy. Edmund Cooper is fascinated by worlds of the imagination as much as the real world which he sometimes satirises in his books. In this collection, there are elements of tragic fantasy and also of humorous and satirical fantasy. Here are the best of his fantasy stories in one volume.This book contains the following:IntroductionThe FirebirdJahwehThe Diminishing DragonThe Snow CrystalsSecond ChanceI Am a Ghost

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The year is 2032 A.D. The Gloria Mundi, a star ship built and manned by the new United States of Europe, touches down on the planet, Alatair Five.Disaster strikes, leaving only one apparent survivor - an Englishman named Paul Marlow, whose adventures in the lair of the strange primeval race known as the Bayani leads him firstly to their God, the omnipotent and omniscient Oruri, and eventually to an unlimited power that is so great it must include an in-built death sentence. The forces that have remained static for centuries overcome both the forces of the future and the quest for unlimited knowledge.

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Five to Twelve

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The twenty-first century is drawing to an end. Earth's social structure has undergone a complete reversal - women dominate society and men have been reduced to the status of manipulated objects. Into this world comes Dion Quern, a self-styled troubadour who refuses to conform to the social norm. But he discovers that women are superior to men in both bodily strength and number. And how can one man hope to change a whole society?

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The Last Continent

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The devastated Earth had only a handful of inhabitants - now even their future was in the balance.The Twenty-Second Century had been and gone - and with it, the worst war in the bloody history of mankind: the War of the Black Rising. The Earth was devastated, the moon blasted out of the sky, it was only on Mars, many millions of miles away, that humanity had survived - in the shape of a few Black colonists.But out of that few had grown a new civilization - a civilization which now, some two thousand years later, had successfully launched its first space exploration - destination, the 'dead' planet Earth.

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A boy's struggle to grasp the forbidden truth about his world...Michael was quite young when he discovered that some of his playmates bled if they cut themselves, and some didn't. For a long time he didn't think about it. Nor did it seem strange to see Zeppelins being attacked by jet fighters above London's force field, or glimpse Queen Victoria walking with Winston Churchill in the Mall. Not at first.But later he thought about these things - he couldn't help it. The world was real, and yet unreal. It was all desperately worrying. So Michael and his friends formed a society to investigate the world around them.Despite the terrible things they discovered, things that made some of them insane, they never actually guessed the truth about the Overman culture. Until Mr Shakespeare told them.

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'Welcome to Heaven', said the voice. 'The acquisition programme is entirely for females; but the occasional enterprising male does not displease us.'Berry, Chief of his clan, knew his people could survive the dangers of the forest; and when winter came he made them build barricades against raiders from other clans. But no barricades were strong enough to hold against the Night Comers - huge silver beings of horrifying strength who carried away the womenfolk and were drastically lowering the human population.Were the Night Comers men, monsters or gods? Berry believed they were men; and when the inevitable night came when the women of his clan were seized, he managed to follow. He followed them to a huge tapering column of metal, which took him away from the world he had known to an island in the sky called 'heaven'.And there Berry realised that he had to defeat the Lords of Heaven if the people on Earth were to survive.

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What happened on Judgement Day? Do we have Martian ancestors? Will we blow up the world? In this collection of his best SF stories, Edmund Cooper gives his own inimitably entertaining answers to these and other such intriguing questions. From The Death Watch to The Brain Child, Cooper 'considers possible scenarios'. Sometimes he is serious, sometimes satirical. Sometimes he is uncomfortably close to the truth.

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At ten-thirty in the morning the skies over London were clear. Then an arrow formation of five bright points became visible. They appeared to be moving at an amazing speed in tight circles. They were spiralling down to about five thousand feet, and at that altitude their nature was easily discernable. They were the tings most of us had discussed and dismissed at one time o another. Flying Saucers. Giant saucers, smooth and lustrous and blinding, more than a hundred yards in diameter. They hung over the city in a neat formation.