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. . . .
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."
By Dave Duncan
The old Imperor was dead at last. His popular soldier grandson, known as Shandie, had succeeded him... Hadn't he? No, he hadn't. The man who sat the opal throne was not Shandie, but an illusion created by the mad dwarf, Xinixo. Year after year he had stealthily been ensorcelling sorcerers, turning them into loyal minions. Now, wielding their combined power, he was irresistible. He ruled the Impire, so he ruled the world. He would continue to rule it for centuries. Anyone who knew the truth or opposed him in any way, he would destroy or enslave. That especially included his old enemy, King Rap of Krasnegar. And Shandie, the rightful Imperor, of course. And all their supporters, their friends, their families. All of them! First he had to catch them. With his infinite magic, that ought to be easy. Rap and Shandie had other ideas, but even they could see that their cause looked hopeless.