By Charles Platt
Loose Canon assembles thirty-four essays and reviews and associated texts - originally published in Interzone, Science Fiction Eye, New York Review of Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, among other sources - from the early 1980s to the end of the 1990s.
Less Than Human
By Charles Platt
Burt is a trillion dollars' worth of robot - with a ten minute gap in his programming that renders him virtually useless to his creators. Still, since coming to Earth he has managed to find a snappy new set of clothes, a cure for cancer and a sixteen year old girlfriend.Now he's made some really amazing discoveries about himself and his adopted home. Discoveries ranging from the amazing Presidential robot, to deviant mechanized sex, to mutant wildlife in Lake Michigan, to the truth behind kill-crazed New York City cops. Discoveries that are going to make life a lot harder for the chief programmer and the powers that be . . . and a lot more lethal for Burt and his newfound friends.
The Lure of the Basilisk
By Lawrence Watt-Evans
The overman named Garth sought immortal fame. The oracle told him to serve the Forgotten King to get that fame. But this King sent Garth after a basilisk whose gaze could turn men to stone. What sane use could anyone have for a monster like that?
Look at the Evidence
By John Clute
For more than 50 years John Clute has been reviewing science fiction and fantasy. Look at the Evidence is a collection of reviews from a wide variety of sources - including Interzone, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Weekly - about the most significant literatures of the twenty-first century: science fiction, fantasy and horror: the literatures Clute argues should be recognized as the central modes of fantastika in our times. It covers the period between 1987 and 1992.
The Loveliest Dead
By Ray Garton
Following a sequence of increasingly dire personal tragedies, culminating in the unexplained death of their four-year-old son, Josh, Jenna and David Kella plan to make a new start of their lives on the old family homestead they have inherited just outside Eureka, California, with their surviving son, Miles. What they discover, though, is a nightmare. Ghostly children play on the backyard swings and vanish abruptly. In a cruel and maddening irony, one of the child ghosts resembles Josh. The frights and horrors pile up as psychics, Ouija boards, and poltergeists join the mix.
By Ray Garton
A "lot lizard" is a female hooker who works a highway truck stop as her territory. When trucker Bill Ketter looks for a little relaxation and release, he discovers, too late, that he has bitten off more than he can chew. In fact, his lot lizard is the one who does the biting-she is a vampire, one of a number who move from one truck stop to the next under the watchful and vicious eyes of the repulsive Carsey Brothers. Against his will, Bill becomes one of the undead. He follows the brothers and their cargo to another stop where he meets his ex-wife and children, and Bill finds himself battling the vampires and their age-old leader for the life of his teenage son.
Lost Men in the Grass
By Donald Suddaby
Originally published in 1940, the protagonist of Lost Men in the Grass is a chemist who invents a serum designed to prolong life, but which in fact enormously shrinks its subjects. It precedes Richard Matheson's famous novel The Incredible Shrinking Man (1956).
Last Man on Earth
By Bron Fane, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
The strange thing about THE END was that nobody expected it... The pessimists had been wrong. No atomic war. No nuclear destruction. No fall out. No radioactivity. Disarmament had brought universal peace and sanity. Co-existence had become a reality - not an idealist's dream.Then disaster struck. The desperate weather forecasts were the beginning. The ice was The End.Seas became frozen wastes. Rivers turned to glaciers overnight. The whole planet was in the grip of a cold so intense that millions perished in a few hours... millions more died within the week.Only the bravest and the hardiest survived. Rugged men and courageous women, with the spirits of the earliest pioneers, urging them on to do the impossible.Was the big freeze just a cosmic accident - with man on the unlucky end? Had one of the big powers tried to master weather control, secretly, despite the disarmament talks... and failed disastrously.Perhaps it was the prelude to alien invasion?
Lafferty in Orbit
By R. A. Lafferty
The stories contained in this volume demonstrate the unique and unpredictable imagination, style and vision that earned R.A. Lafferty the 1990 World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The Long Twilight
By Keith Laumer
THE COMBATANTSTwo godlike blood enemies engaged in a war older than history.THE BATTLEGROUNDAn out-of-control nuclear plant whose cataclysmic destruction will spell the end of the Earth.REFUGENone - on a planet swept up in the awesome terror of the last panic.
By Richard A. Lupoff
When unworldly fantasist H.P. Lovecraft was approached by crafty fanatic George Sylvester Viereck to write an American Mein Kampf, the bait was almost irresistible.If Lovecraft would lend his pen and his Anglo-Saxon stock to the fascist cause, Viereck would arrange the publication in proper book form of a volume of his stories, hitherto scattered in pulp magazines.Whilst the famous horror writer had some pretty obnoxious political opinions, his friends didn't really believe he knew what deep waters he was getting himself into. And so began a concerted effort to keep H.P. Lovecraft out of the clutches of the forces of darkness that were to plunge the world into war...
The Last Amazon
By A. Bertram Chandler
Originally, Sparta was an all-male planet - an all-male population with everything that implies: babies - male babies only - produced by the so-called Birth Machine from an almost unending supply of fertilized ova brought by Sparta's founding father, a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist. But unnatural situations rarely stand the test of time, and it wasn't too long before Sparta bowed to Mother Nature.But there was still something rather strange about Sparta when John Grimes landed there to await the arrival of his beloved ship Sister Sue. It seemed to him that among the recently transplanted women of Sparta, there was a strange movement afoot. And when the Archon was kidnapped by a group of militant women the press claimed were men, he knew he couldn't just stand by and watch!
Looking Backward, 2000 to 1887
By Edward Bellamy
A young Boston gentleman is mysteriously transported from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century - from a world of war and want to one of peace and plenty.
The Lost Continent
By Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne
The finest tale ever written of fabled Atlantis, The Lost Continent is a sweeping, fiery saga of the last days of the doomed land. Atlantis, at the height of its power and glory, is without equal. It has established far-flung colonies in Egypt and Central America, and its mighty navies patrol the seas. The priests of Atlantis channel the elemental powers of the universe, and a powerful monarch rules from a staggeringly beautiful city of pyramids and shining temples clustered around a sacred mountain.Mighty Atlantis is also decaying and corrupt. Its people are growing soft and decadent, and many live in squalor. Rebellion is in the air, and prophecies of doom ring forth. Into this epic drama of the end of time stride two memorable characters: the warrior-priest Deucalion, stern, just, and loyal, and the Empress Phorenice, brilliant, ambitious, and passionate. The old and new Atlantis collide in a titanic showdown between Deucalion and Phorenice, a struggle that soon affects the destiny of an entire civilization.
By Tanith Lee
As she says of herself, Jay is a 'chancer'. But she finds she is out of her depth when she meets the beautiful artist, Jilaine Best. Jilaine has everything - looks, talent, and wealth - even so her life is imperfect. In adolescence she lost her mother in circumstances both mysterious and painfully unpleasant. Now, unable to conceive, Jilain's one wish is for a baby - even if another woman gives birth to it. Jay can't resist this opportunity - she tells Jilaine that she, Jay, is pregnant. And so the great lie begins. It seems easy enough - for there conveniently is the handsome young cab driver, only too willing to make love with her... But the spun web is already tangling. Can anything result from it but danger - and destruction?
The Lord of Death and the Queen of Life
By Homer Eon Flint
Two worlds with very different futures for humanity...In The Lord of Death, four scientists, aided by reverse-magnetism, travel to a dead planet where they discover that one human's lust for power destroyed all life there-except for him. In suspended animation, he awaits the newcomers.In The Queen of Life, the scientists travel to a planet encased in a glass sphere to protect the overpopulated planet from the sun's radiation. Conflict leads to a riot.
Lone Star Planet
By H. Beam Piper, John Joseph Mcguire
New Texas: its citizens figure that name about says it all. The Solar League ambassador to the Lone Star Planet has the unenviable task of convincing New Texans that a s'Srauff attack is imminent, and dangerous. Unfortunately it's common knowledge that the s'Srauff are evolved from canine ancestors - and not a Texan alive is about to be scared of a talking dog! But unless he can get them to act, and fast, there won't be a Texan alive, scared or otherwise!
The Lady of the Shroud
By Bram Stoker
The Lady of the Shroud, Bram Stoker's eleventh novel, is an adventure story about a young man who inherits enormous amount of money which he uses to help the people of a small country in the Balkans in their struggle against their more powerful neighbors.
The Lost World
By Arthur Conan Doyle
'Suddenly out of the darkness, out of the night, there swooped something with a swish like an aeroplane. The whole group of us were covered for an instant by a canopy of leathery wings, and I had a momentary vision of a long, snake-like neck, a fierce, red, greedy eye, and a great snapping beak, filled, to my amazement, with little, gleaming teeth.'Desperate for adventure, journalist Ed Malone joins a scientific expedition to the South American jungle led by the larger than life figure of Professor Challenger. But you should be careful what you wish for. After climbing to the summit of a mysterious plateau in the Amazon rainforest the explorers find themselves trapped in a world lost in time, inhabited by carnivorous dinosaurs, giant fish-lizards and murderous ape-men.Arthur Conan Doyle's thrilling tale of adventure and crypto-zoology became a template for an industry of creature features that came in its wake.
By H. Beam Piper
The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet lock stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government. Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene with his family of Fuzzies and the passionate conviction that they were not cute animals but little people.