By M. John Harrison
In Viriconium, the young men whistle to one another all night long as they go about their deadly games. If you wake suddenly, you might hear footsteps running, or an urgent sigh. After a minute or two, the whistles move away in the direction of the Tinmarket or the Margarethestrasse. The next day, some lordling is discovered in the gutter with his throat cut. Who can tell fantasy from reality, magic from illusion, hero from villain, man from monster ... in Viriconium? Published here for the first time in one volume, and in the author's preferred order, are all the Viriconium stories, originally published in four books: The Pastel City, A Storm of Wings, In Viriconium and Viriconium Nights.
By W M Thackeray
Vanity Fair in half the timeBecky Sharp is the most alluring yet ruthless heroine ever to climb the social ladder. From sordid bohemian beginnings she moves upwards through Regency society, betraying her husband, her friend Amelia and all who cross her in her determination to acquire power. In post-war London after Waterloo, Becky continues her manipulative schemes but finds herself thwarted by personal and social forces.
Vengeance Of Dragons
By Holly Lisle
Kait Galwiegh is now a fugitive, seeking the Mirror of Souls in order to resurrect her lost family. But to get it she must battle with Crispin Abir, who believes the artefact will make him god. Both are terribly wrong; using the artefact will in fact unleash the souls of the long dead sorcerers who once before conquered the world. Held captive within the mirror, the magicians wait for freedom and the opportunity for vengeance.
By Gavin G. Smith
Three hundred years in our future, in a world of alien infiltrators, religious hackers, a vast convoying nation of Nomads, city sized orbital elevators, and a cyborg pirate king who believes himself to be a mythological demon Jakob is having a bad day:"Nothing gets in the way of a hangover like being reactivated by your old C.O. and told to track down an alien killing machine. The same kind of killing machine that wiped out my entire squad. And now it's in my hometown.My name is Jakob Douglas, ex-special forces. I fought Them. Just like we've all been doing for 60 bloody years. But I thought my part in that was done with. My boss has other ideas. If I didn't find the infiltrator then he'd let the Grey Lady loose on me. And believe me; even They've got nothing on her. So I took the job. It went to shit even faster than normal. And now I'm on the run with this teenage hacker who's had enough of prostitution. The only people I can rely on want to turn the internet into God. And now it turns out that They aren't quite what we'd all thought. I've been to the bottom of the sea and the top of the sky and beyond trying to get to the truth. And I still can't get far enough away from the Grey Lady. All things considered I'd rather be back at home deep in a whiskey bottle."Veteran is a fast paced, intricately plotted violent SF Thriller set in a dark future against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war against an unknowable and implacable alien enemy.
By E.C. Tubb
Earl Dumarest, trans-galactic soldier of fortune, is still seeking his birthplace, the fabled planet Earth. On the distant, decadent planet Dradea, he meets the mysterious, mutant woman Veruchia. She selected him from the gladiators' arena to become her servant. . . and more.Soon, Dumarest discovers that she too is engaged in a quest - and that the fate of her planet hangs in the balance. Fascinated, compelled, he agrees to help her.But then he must face bizarre perils which make the gladiatorial arena seem a haven of safety. . . (First published 1973)
The Very Slow Time Machine
By Ian Watson
The Very Slow Time Machine arrives on earth in 1985. Its sole inhabitant is old and mad. Soon it becomes apparent that for him, time is going slowly backward. With every day, he is getting younger and saner. The world, and its whole concept of time, science and philosophy, must wait for him to speak. But while the world waits, it changes...
Vector for Seven
By Josephine Saxton
". . . and they all moved to the true start, the true airport, the place that was written on the tickets, the place they should all have been at, the place that would lead them to what they expected, the place with speeding planes; the place with organization behind it; the place where officials walked around in splendid hats with badges on; the place where the beginning of their journey was, and perhaps if they had known they would have jumped off the bus screaming or would have bitten ff their own tongues in order to bleed to death or they would have looked at one another merely in doubt and horror, but as they knew nothing of the future, and no person on earth knows anything much of the future which accounts for the extremely low suicide rate, they all sat and moved forwards to the point in time and space which could only logically and positively be called the start of their journey which was called Super Tour."
The Void Captain's Tale
By Norman Spinrad
Welcome aboard the sex-drive void ship . . .Captain Genro commands the giant spaceship Dragon Zephyr - on board are ten thousand passengers in electrocoma, a smaller number of conscious passengers eagerly utilising the ship's dream chambers - and a Pilot.In the context of space travel, the Pilot is merely a biological component in the machine. Always a woman, her function is to launch the ship into the Jump by means of a cosmic orgasm. She is a pariah, shunned by all.Void Captain Genro should never even have spoken to his Pilot, let alone tried to embark on a relationship with her. When he did so, the result was every space traveller's nightmare.A Blind Jump into the Void . . .
By Bob Shaw
Rob Hasson was an Air Patrolman, one of the best, until the day someone jumped him in mid-air and sent him hurtling into a fall that should have killed him. Now his mind, still tormented by memories of the shrieking air and rushing ground, protects his patched-together body by refusing to let him fly again. And what use to anyone is an Air Patrolman who's afraid to fly? Rob Hasson thinks he's a coward. No one could have foreseen the chain of events that would prove him wrong.
By Poul Anderson
He could see from above that this planet was inhabited. He emerged from the ship - to find himself lassoed and captured by a beautiful redhead mounted on a strange, bird-like creature. That was the first shock; the second was to realise that this world of women looked on him as a monster. For while the women of Atlantis had waited for the coming of the Men, they were certain that this creature who had landed on their planet could not possibly be a man.
By Robert Silverberg
'Valentine looked downward. Everything was black, a pool of night rising from the floor. That blackness seemed to be beckoning to him. Come, a quiet voice was saying, here is your path, here is your destiny: night, darkness, doom. Yield. Yield, Lord Valentine, Coronal that was, Pontifex that will never be. Yield . . .'Valentine is now established as Coronal of Majipoor, about to undertake the grand processional, but filled with inexplicable despond, still shadowed by the dark cloud that had passed across his soul in Labyrinth.His foreboding proves to be not without foundation as soon he faces a planetary crisis - the shapeshifting Metamorphs are sabotaging the crops upon which Majipoor's billions depend - and a conflict, about how the suddenly turbulent planet should be ruled, with his protégé and heir-apparent, Hissune.Only after this crisis has been overcome and the conflict with Hissune resolved can Valentine fulfil his proper destiny and succeed to the title of Pontifex.
The Virgin & the Wheels
By L. Sprague deCamp
The Virgin of ZeshIn which a beautiful woman, a mind-drunk poet, and a super-sober scientist must fight for their lives on a planet occupied by weird cultists from the Earth and bizarre varieties of humanoids from all over the galaxy.The Wheels of IfIn which a young lawyer is trapped in a sense-shattering shuttle among alternative worlds of possibility, and lands at last in an America that has been colonised by Norsemen and divided between two great warring empires - one white, one Indian.
The Venom Trees of Sunga
By L. Sprague deCamp
Tortured IntellectualKirk Salazar, devout intellectual, had quite been looking forward to his field research on Sunga. He aimed to discover how the stump-tailed, semiarboreal kusis lived without being injured within the venom tree forest. A fascinating topic!His thesis would have progressed splendidly, save for one thing. A certain lack of financing necessitated that he travel through Sunga with a tour group. Much against his will, he soon became embroiled with a conglomeration of characters even more peculiar than Sunga's natural wonders.First there were the hard-core tourists, always pushing and complaining, desperate to glimpse the rare, birdlike zutas. Worse the Cantemir - a man lewd, rude and dangerous - who had struck a deal with the native Chief to destroy the whole Sunga forest for lumber! But most formidable was Alexis Ritter. She was the high priestess of a Sunga cult dedicated to chastity. But she sure seemed to have a use in mind for Salazar's body!Doggedly Salazar pursued his research through ambushes, sex, and even attempted murder. A determined intellectual does not give up easily - even if he has to go to extremes to defend his thesis!
The Virgin of Zesh
By L. Sprague deCamp
Welcome back to the planet Krishna - a wilderness of blue woods under three moons, where square-riggers sail the treacherous inland seas, where fierce humanoid natives with feathery antennae cross swords in endless war, and where a Terran outside the confines of the spaceport is strictly on his own!The Virgin of Zesh is the fifth of L. Sprague de Camp's Krishna book - interplanetary romance in the tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian Tales.
By James Blish
The glowing ovoid plummeted downward, the whole sky screaming like a metallic banshee as the air boiled away from its sides.A supersonic bang broke over the forest, but the thing was already gliding down to Earth. As the ovoid settled in among the trees, the entire forest burst into flames.A thin black line appeared and etched a perfect circle on the side of the metal egg, then thickened into a door. The air was rent by a searing hiss. Slowly, the strange being - soon to be known to all mankind as VOR - began to emerge . . .
Vandals of the Void
By Jack Vance
In the Foreword, writing fifty years ago, the author describes his vision of a new space age; he predicts that by 1985 the age of space piracy will begin and that a Space Navy will be established, speculating that some of his younger readers might participate: "I hope that none of you serve with the pirates. The pay might not be so good in the Space Navy, but you'll live longer."
Vagabonds of Gor
By John Norman
In the continental war matters proceed apace, to the advantage of Cos. Cabot, and his friend, Marcus, of Ar's Station, who have been spying for Ar in the Cosian encampments, now seek the long-inert forces of Ar, to report acquired intelligence to their commander, Saphronicus, who proves to be of the treasonous party of Ar. Cabot and Marcus are placed under arrest, as spies. Primary forces of Ar, largely inactive in recent months, are now to pursue Cosian forces withdrawing from Ar's Station, through the vast Vosk delta to the sea. The Cosian forces, however, have avoided the delta and the delta campaign is a ruse to decimate the armed might of Ar, to use as a weapon the marshes and swamps of the delta itself, their treacherous, trackless wildernesses and wastes, the quicksand, the insects, the serpents and reptiles, the local populations, to deliver a final decisive blow to what was once the unchallenged splendor and power of Gor's finest infantry. Cabot and Marcus, separated, are sentenced as work prisoners to accompany the forces of Ar as they enter the delta with the expectation of soon overtaking and crushing the withdrawing contingents of the ubarate of Cos. They are thus first-hand witnesses of the tragedies and hazards, the terrors and miseries, of the ill-fated delta campaign. Should they survive the delta both will turn their eyes toward Ar, the seat of treachery. As warriors each will have his business in that place.
Vic & Blood
By Harlan Ellison
Hugo and Nebula Winner Harlan Ellison's classic post-apocalyptic saga of Vic, a Boy, and his dog, Blood, and the telepathic union that binds them together in a struggle for survival.The cycle begins with 'Eggsucker', which chronicles the early years of the association between fourteen-year-old loner Vic and his brilliant, telepathic dog, Blood. The saga continues and expands in 'A Boy and His Dog', in which Blood shows just how much smarter he is than Vic, and Vic shows how loyal he can be. The story continues in 'Run, Spot, Run', the first part of Ellison's promised novel of the cycle, BLOOD'S A ROVER. Here Vic and Blood find surprising new ways to get into trouble - but getting out of it may be beyond even their combined talents.
By Piers Anthony
VISCOUS CIRCLE is a story about a strange and inhuman race of beings and an experimental attempt to transfer into creatures that seem only slightly sapient. They are ultimate pacifists who take the form of magnetic disks that float through space and simply demagnetize and destroy themselves when faced with an unpleasant thought. The bloodthirsty Solarians, in their desperate hurry to find the mysterious Ancient Site, are determined to wipe out the Bands, a strange and beautiful species whose society is an anarchy of peace. Only Rondl, the whirling green Band can save his race, for he has a singular and awesome knowledge. But suddenly Rondl makes a shocking discovery about his identity - a discovery that may cost him his honor, his beautiful lover Cirl, even his very life.
Venus of Dreams
By Pamela Sargent
Iris Angharads, a determined, independent woman, sets herself one massive goal: to make the poison-filled atmosphere of Venus hospitable to humans. She works day and night to realize her dream, with only one person sharing her passion, Liang Chen. It seems impossible to make Venus, with its intolerable air and waterless environment, into a paradise, but Iris succeeds. And in doing so, she also creates a powerful dynasty, beginning with her first born, Benzi Liangharad.