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...
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 Elizabeth Bear
A frontier world on the back end of nowhere is the sort of place people go to get lost. And some of those people have secrets worth hiding, secrets that can change the future-assuming there is one. . .André Deschênes is a hired assassin, but he wants to be so much more. If only he can find a teacher who will forgive his murderous past-and train him to manipulate odds and control probability. It's called the art of conjuring, and it's André's only route to freedom. For the world he lives on is run by the ruthless Charter Trade Company, and his floating city, Novo Haven, is little more than a company town where humans and aliens alike either work for one tyrannical family-or are destroyed by it. But beneath Novo Haven's murky waters, within its tangled bayous, reedy banks, and back alleys, revolution is stirring. And one more death may be all it takes to shift the balance . . .
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.
The Unreal and the Real Volume 2
By Ursula K. LeGuin
THE UNREAL AND THE REAL is a two-volume collection of stories, selected by Ursula Le Guin herself, and spans the spectrum of fiction from realism through magical realism, satire, science fiction, surrealism and fantasy.Volume Two, OUTER SPACE, INNER LANDS, showcases Le Guin's acclaimed stories of the fantastic, originally appearing in publications as varied as AMAZING STORIES, PLAYBOY, the NEW YORKER and OMNI, and contains 20 stories, including modern classics such as the HUGO AWARD-winning 'The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas', NEBULA-nominee 'Nine Lives'; JAMES TIPTREE, JR MEMORIAL AWARD-winner (and HUGO and NEBULA-nominee) 'The Matter of Seggri'; NEBULA AWARD-winner 'Solitude'; and the secret history 'Sur', which was nominated for the HUGO AWARD and included in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES.
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 Stephen Baxter
Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA.In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua - hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt. And we discover that there are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and they have a plan for us. For some of us. But as we learn the true nature of the universe we also discover that we have countless pasts all meeting in this present and that our future is terrifyingly finite. It's time for us to fight to take back control.This is grand scale, big idea SF of the best possible sort. It is set to build on the massive success of PROXIMA and define Stephen Baxter's work going forward.
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."
The Unreal and the Real Volume 1
By Ursula K. LeGuin
The Unreal and the Real is a two-volume collection of stories, selected by Ursula Le Guin herself, and spans the spectrum of fiction from realism through magical realism, satire, science fiction, surrealism and fantasy. Volume One, WHERE ON EARTH, focuses on Le Guin's interest in realism and magical realism and includes 18 of her satirical, political and experimental earthbound stories. Highlights include WORLD FANTASY and HUGO AWARD-winner 'Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight', the rarely reprinted satirical short, 'The Lost Children', JUPITER AWARD-winner, 'The Diary of the Rose' and the title story of her PULITZER PRIZE finalist collection 'Unlocking the Air'.
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?
By Bron Fane, Lionel Fanthorpe, Patricia Fanthorpe
Innumerable explanations have been put forward for the phenomena, known popularly as U.F.O'S and Flying Saucers. Eminent psychologists explain them as purely mental phantasmagoria - symptomatic of mankind's age-old desire for "saviours from the sky".Enthusiastic arm-chair cosmonauts regard them as irrefutable proof that super intelligences from Out There are watching the Earth. A few un-scrupulous publicity seekers and practical jokers cash in on the public's curiosity and weird stories of little green men and pink ants go the rounds.Amateur military tacticians decide that the saucers are either out new secret weapons or the experimental weapons of some alien power.Interest rises and falls. The Great Debate continues.There are some other possibilities . . . and the implications of some are so horrifying that mere monsters from Beyond would be a pleasant anti-climax. This mature, challenging novel is not recommended for those who like to think of the everyday world in terms of permanence and security with humanity safely established at the head of creation.Elspeth Jermyn came dangerously close to the truth, and slowly but surely gathered a small group of helpers together. They worked in strictest secrecy against the Saucer Phenomena and the invidious menace behind it . . . if they failed, life would have no real meaning.