The Unwelcome Warlock
By Lawrence Watt-Evans
The Calling. Sooner or later, it claimed every powerful warlock ... a growing magical compulsion to go north to the mysterious land of Aldagmor that nothing could stop. None ever returned.Hanner the Warlock knew his days were numbered. The Calling pulled at him ceaselessly now, and his ability to resist had begun to crumble. So he determined to find a place where the Calling couldn't reach him . . . another world, located through a magic tapestry. Every warlock knew that the farther he was from Aldagmor, the weaker the Calling was - and the weaker his magic was, as well, but that was only a secondary consideration. That weakening had given Hanner the idea to find, or make, a place so distant from Aldagmor that the Call couldn't reach it at all.Unfortunately, the Call took him anyway. And that's where his story really gets interesting. Because the Calling wasn't what everyone believed. And when the warlocks who had been Called over the decades suddenly woke up again beside the object doing the calling - and found themselves without their powers - their world may never be the same!
The Unwilling Warlord
By Lawrence Watt-Evans
A STAR RISES IN THE SOUTHWhen the foreigners confronted Sterren in Ethshar of the Spices he was uneasy; when they all but abducted him, taking him to an obscure kingdom in the south, he knew he was in a terrible predicament.A predicament some might actually find appealing - he was by heredity the Ninth Warlord of Semma, least of the small kingdoms; he was a noble, and his rank afforded him material privileges, even in a place as insignificant and obscure as Semma.But the office also carried certain terrible responsibilities: he was to win the war the stupid King had stirred up by his arrogance. Two larger and stronger Kingdoms were preparing to invade Semma.And if the country lost, the first thing likely to be forfeit was the life of the Warlord.And if it won . . . if it won, the fate and shape of Ethshar would change forever.For deep in the south there are secrets of magic not even Sterren can imagine.A LEGEND OF ETHSHAR
By John Norman
The fourth volume in John Norman's epic Telnarian Histories describes the continuing rise to power of an unsung warrior thrown into the maelstrom of ambition, treachery, and violence that is the galactic empireWhen Filene, a former noblewoman masquerading as a slave, attempts to assassinate the ascendant tribal king, Ottonius, she fails and becomes fully enslaved. The story of her education in proper submission is told in counterpoint to the tale of the powerful but primitive warrior who finds himself drawn into intrigues affecting the destiny of a threatened and crumbling empire.
Up The Walls of the World
By James Tiptree, Jr.
A secret US navy research project is founded to investigate the existence of paranormal powers, bringing together a variety of men and women who have shown indications of telepathic ability. As a result of the experiment they make mental contact with the Tyrenni, strange alien beings resembling winged squids who dwell in the upper atmosphere of their tempestuous world.The aliens' world, Tyree, is being threatened by a huge being, the Destroyer, which is moving inexorably towards them, obliterating whole solar systems in its path. When the Tyrenni realise that it threatens to exterminate life on Tyree, they are forced into the decision - contrary to all their moral beliefs - to take over the bodies of their human contacts in order to preserve their race.
By Randall Garrett
When a super-robot named Snookums discovers how to build his own superbombs, it becomes obvious that Earth is by no means the safest place for him to be. And so Dr. Fitzhugh, his designer, and Leda Crannon, a child psychologist acting as Snookums' nursemaid, agree to set up Operation Brainchild, a plan to transport the robot to a far distant planet.Mike the Angel-M. R. Gabriel, Power Design-has devised the power plant that is to propel the space ship Branchell to its secret destination, complete with its unusual cargo. And, as a reserve officer in the Space Patrol, Mike is a logical replacement for the craft's unavoidably detained engineering officer.But once into space, the Branchell becomes the scene of some frightening events-the medical officer is murdered, and Snookums appears to be the culprit. Mike the Angel indulges himself in a bit of sleuthing, and the facts he turns up lead to a most unusual climax.
The Ultimax Man
By Keith Laumer
"In the next few days you will master the rules and techniques for every activity, skill, talent, sport and art ever mastered by any human being anywhere. You will be as expert at clipping flints as at architectural drawing. You will be able to juggle, walk a tightrope and add the numerals on the sides of passing freight cars as fast as any idiot savant. You'll absorb all the information in all the books - the human race's entire heritage of knowledge..."This was only the beginning of the experiment that was to turn a petty thief into the mos brilliant and powerful man ever to hold the earth in thrall.This was only the first step on the path of conquest mapped out for - THE ULTIMAX MAN.
By R L Fanthorpe, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
Anthropologists argue over the significance of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon remains and vast periods of pre-history remain to be filled satisfactorily. These hidden eras of the long-dead past are as open to speculation and mysterious adventure as the unguessed vistas of tomorrow. How many strange, undiscovered species of man have lived and died leaving no apparent record of their existence?An avalanche on the Swiss-Italian border isolated Marian Sanderson and a frightening assortment of other guests in a peculiar old alpine chateau. Although no human rescue party was able to make the climb, something moved on the precipitous slopes around them.As Marian gradually discovered the truth about her fellow guests she realised the avalanche had been no accident. Something of terrible potential lurked outside the isolated chateau...Dark, supernatural forces were poised on the brink of Ultimate Fear...
Up to the Sky in Ships
By A. Bertram Chandler
Up to the Sky in Ships contains seven undeservedly obscure stories by A. Bertram Chandler, including "Chance Encounter", the first story in which John Grimes (Chandler's most famous character) appears and "A New Dimension", set in an alternate world in which Ned Kelley uses unusual tactics to win Australia's war for independence.
By H. Beam Piper
"ZNIDD SUDDABIT!"So the Ulleran challenge begins, with the rantings of a prophet and a seemingly incidental street riot. Only when a dose of poison lands in the governor-general's whiskey does it become clear that the "geeks" have had it up to their double-lidded eyeballs with the imperialist Terran Federation's Chartered Uller Company. Then, overnight, war is everywhere.How it will end is in the (merely) two Terran hands of the new governor-general, a man shrewd enough to know that "it is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." The problem is, the particular piece of knowledge he needs hasn't been used in 450 years. . . .
By Chad Oliver
Monte Stewart was an extremely intelligent, somewhat contentious anthropologist with a sense of humor and a nonconformist approach to life. As an expert in his field, he was chosen to approach the first apparently human-like form of life ever to be encountered on another planet. Here was the chance he had been waiting for all his life - an opportunity to make contact, to investigate, to ascertain the facts about an altogether new man-like species, with the added knowledge that the peace of the worlds depended upon the establishment of friendly relations. But Stewart and his team of experts couldn't get to first base. They tried for weeks - then vicious unreasoned tragedy struck their camp. What had gone wrong?Who were these 'people'?Why had they attacked the humans?Stewart had failed in his mission; but for his own peace of mind he had to discover the answers, and he had to do it alone.
By Jack Williamson, Frederik Pohl
A missing relative...Something of value was buried beneath the underwater dome city of Marinia...something that had already cost one man's life, caused another man's kidnapping and gravely affected still another man's future.Expelled from the Sub-Sea Academy on trumped-up charges, Jim Eden wasn't about to wait around to prove his innocence. As soon as he leaned that his uncle mysteriously disappeared while mining uranium at the bottom of hazardous Eden Deep, Jim knew what he had to do...and that he had to do it fast.So he headed for the vast dome city - location of the great mining colony at the bottom of the sea - to pick up any clues to his uncle's disappearance. But once he had entered the undersea metropolis, the wrong people had his number...and they were determined that Jim would sink forever without a trace.
By John Russell Fearn, Vargo Statten
Under the cover of darkness and a violent storm, electrical engineer Sidney Cassell thought he'd committed the perfect murder. But immediately after pushing his rival to his death from atop a pylon, he himself is struck by a live high-voltage cable. Cassell survives the accident, only to discover that the electrical shock has affected his body, causing him to glow with a strange inner light. Soon he becomes sucked into a vortex of murders and treachery, hunted by the police and unscrupulous scientists seeking the secret of his weird affliction.
Untouched by Human Hands
By Robert Sheckley
People hunt and kill one another as public entertainment and to win prizes in "Seventh Victim," the short version of Sheckley's novel The 10th Victim, which was made into a movie.The twelve other stories in this collection are "The Monsters," "Cost of Living," "The Altar," "Shape," "The Impacted Man," "Untouched by Human Hands," "The King's Wishes," "Warm," "The Demons," "Specialist," "Ritual," and "Beside Still Waters."
By Robert Sheckley
This collection focuses on Sheckley's horror stories. The sixteen stories included are "A Trick Worth Two of That," "The Mind-Slaves of Manitori," "Pandora's Box-Open with Care," "The Dream of Misunderstanding," "Magic, Maples, and Maryanne," "The New Horla," "The City of the Dead," "The Quijote Robot," "Emissary from a Green and Yellow World," "The Universal Karmic Clearing House," "Deep Blue Sleep," "The Day the Aliens Came," "Dukakis and the Aliens," "Mirror Games," "Sightseeing, 2179," and "Agamemnon's Run."
By Lee Barton, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
Legends of the living dead have filled the pages of mythology since time immemorial. If ninety-nine point nine percent of the stories can be explained as hallucinations, tricks of the light, moving shadows or sheer imagination, a hard core of disquieting fact remains.The vampire lives in the minds of men. When was it born? Perhaps in the dim distance of the remote past when the racial subconscious was being moulded. What keeps the vampire tradition alive in the mind of modern man? The two tiny words of "what if...?"Leroy Thompson met a girl in a dark country lane. He offered her a lift. He met her again and again, but always by night. Then he looked in the driving mirror and saw only his own reflection... She cast no shadow in the headlights... She screamed and leapt from the car before he reached a bridge that crossed a moonlit stream... What if?
By Bron Fane, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
An archaeological party in Mesopotamia found a chest of stone tablets in an unknown script. Disaster struck every man who worked on the tablets, every man save one. The stranger who offered his services to the archaeologists claimed to read the ancient unknown symbols, but the stranger vanished together with the tablets and the mystery deepened. The stranger's claims had not been exaggerated. Incredible events began to take place in unlikely places, as the-man-who-knew slowly gained a mastery of over the Power Tablets. Like all megalomaniacs he over-reached himself and the power of the tablets took over. He no longer controlled them... They controlled him. The vengeance of the ancients was slow and terrible to behold.The Thing was the worst part of their vengeance... a supernatural monster striding like a colossus over the trembling ground. Man's weapons failed to stop it. Only the courage of three priests stood between humanity and annihilation.
By John E. Muller, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
It should have been routine. Nothing could go wrong. The anode and the cathode were behaving perfectly. The meters and dials were recording accurately. A faint effervescence stirred in the chemical solution.There was a subtle change in the speed - the experiment seemed to freeze in its tracks - the stream of gentle bubbles hovered motionless. Something inexplicable was appearing in the solution. The scientist peered harder at the vessel...It couldn't be...It was impossible...It was incredible...but it had happened!A woman's face smiled at him from the depths of the glass tank! But the face was translucent, he could see tank and solution despite its contours."Hello, Earthman," said the face from Nowhere.He clapped a hand to his forehead and collapsed insensible. When he came to, the experiment was back to normal. What had happened? Was it all in his mind? Or had he really made contact with an alien?
By John E. Muller, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
Atomic Alloys Amalgamated could always use a research technician. A man like Rosco Cawdor was sure of a job there. The security department hadn't been terribly keen. Cawdor had no living relatives. No one knew him. A few strands of circumstantial evidence were his only proof of identity. He was a brilliant scientist. His great reason d'etre was the new power sphere. It was his brain child, his creation. It looked like opening a whole new field of undreamt of nuclear research. The sphere could hold the secret of unlimited power. It could also hold unlimited danger.The stranger arrived. He looked disconcertingly like Rosco. He said Rosco was not Rosco! He said a lot more . . . somebody disappeared!They tested the power sphere. The all important cut-out fused together. The experiment went mad. The sphere was out of control. Why could Rosco withstand fatal doses of radiation? Who was the stranger? Why did they look alike? What were they after? Could the power sphere be controlled before it destroyed the planet?
The Unseen University Challenge
By David Langford
University Challenge is one of the world's top quiz shows, enjoyed by millions, both participants and observers. But Discworld fans may feel that not many questions cover the real questions in Life, for example, Who or what could be seen as the inspiration for the near-tragic accident from which nanny Ogg is saved only be a special willow-reinforced hat made for her by Mr Vernissage of Slice? And give a plausible origin for Mrs Rosie Palm, proprietor of the famous House of Negotiable Affection in the Shades. Each Faculty at the Unseen University has provided a set of questions, and answers are included for those who are not sure how the poisonous effects of quicksilver fumes are an occupational hazard of magic-users. The questions have been compiled by Mr David Langford, who knows quite as much - and arguably more - about the Discworld as its Creator, and Terry Pratchett has provided an Introduction.
The Ultimate Man
By John E. Muller, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
Ever since science began seriously investigating the potentials of electronics, man has toyed with the idea of creating robots. The dawn of the robot age has already broken. We have automatic telephone exchanges. We fly planes with robot pilots. We send self-sufficient instruments into the void to record and transmit cosmic information.Frobisher was a brilliant theorist, years ahead of his time. He worked out a scheme that took long patient decades of planning. His great moment came. The robots were a success. Frobisher was a kindly old man. There was nothing evil in his plans. But the world is not entirely inhabited by kindly old men with high visions. Someone else got hold of the plans and the robots embarked on a career of international crime and pillage.Despite his pacifist ideals, the old professor tried to combat the evil which he had unwittingly released . . . the results were staggering.