By Damon Knight
The Futurian Society was founded in 1938 by thirteen science fiction fans; it never numbered more than twenty, including wives, girl friends and hangers-on; yet out of this small group came seven of the most famous names in science fiction: Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Damon Knight, Cyril Kornbluth, Judith Merril, Frederik Pohl and Donald A. Wollheim.Brilliant, eccentric and poor, the Futurians invented their own subculture, with its communal dwellings, its folklore, songs and games, even its own mock religion. In later years many of them became influential novelists, editors, anthologists, literary agents and publishers.The author has interviewed ten of the surviving Futurians and has traced down the widow of one member whose tragic fate was unknown until now. Drawing on correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, and amateur publications (including a collection of Futurian wall newspapers which had wound up in Australia), he has written a fascinating narrative of the early days of the Futurians, the feuds and lawsuits that divided them, and their later careers.
By Robyn Williams
Thinking about the future is not a normal human activity.Since we first came down out of the trees, most of our waking hours have been preoccupied with staying alive - life expectancy was so short, it was hard to seriously plan ahead. The religions we concocted taught us that the future was in the hands of our gods and we should concentrate mainly on the afterlife.Future Perfect is a book for those who believe we can shape the future of our earth, and that there is a moral responsibility for us to do just that. It's difficult to disembark once you're here, after all. Written in Robyn Williams' characteristically whimsical and provocative style, it conjures up the possibilities before us-in our cities, our employment, our transport and even our sex lives. It confronts the challenges before us and does not shrink from the hard answers.
By James E. Gunn
Master of science fiction James Gunn explores the infinite possibilities of the unknown world in his collection of short stories, FUTURE IMPERFECT. From planets where social status is based on poverty to a human zoo that serves as a refrigerator for a bloodthirsty monster, Gunn tests the limit of human imagination. Step inside and feel free to browse. This Venusian factory in Jersey manufactures only the finest women on the market. Each is flawless in her beauty and poise, but there is one malfunction that may prove deadly for the future of this company and the owner of the lovely lass. Enjoy this tale and more, in this collection of alternate realities.
By Dave Duncan
In a place called Nextdoor - the farthest flung outpost of British imperialism - earthborn mortals possess the power of gods. Young Englishman Edward Exeter has spent five years trying to escape the magnetic and powerfully magical pull of The Great Game which has designated him as its most important player. But war and bloodthirsty intrigues rage on both sides of magical portals and across worlds and Exeter can resist his destiny no longer. He accepts the mantle of Liberator that has been thrust upon him and the decision turns old friends into foes and old enemies into acolytes as he is surrounded by murderous plots and betrayals But this is not the uninformed Edward Exeter who came naked into this hidden realm years ago. He has lived the Game and learned it well - and he intends to play it boldly to its shocking, worlds-shattering conclusion.
By Henry Kuttner
This is no story for the lily-livered. FURY is a novel of violence. It describes the tortured struggle of the human race to aspire to the stars from the deeps of the Venusian seas. The struggle is organised around the career of Sam Reed, an Immortal. It is a career which finally, through chicanery, desire for self-aggrandizement and murder - and yet, beyond it all, a distorted vision of the glowing future of man - brings all the human race up from the safe Venusian seas and out into the open terrors of the biologically furious land surface of the planet, there to struggle and achieve once again a noble destiny. FURY shows how under conditions incomprehensibly different from those we now experience, mankind once again starts up the long climb from decay to greatness.
The Furthest Station
By Ben Aaronovitch
There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call.It's PC Peter Grant's speciality . . .Only it's more than going 'bump'. Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow up interviews rather difficult. So with a little help from Abigail and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter and Jaget are heading out on a ghost hunting expedition.Because finding the ghost and deciphering their urgent message might just be a matter of life and death.
The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl
By Belle de Jour
What Belle de Jour did next... this is the sparkling, witty and titillating follow-up to the bestselling INTIMATE ADVENTURES OF A LONDON CALL GIRL.''She lists like Hornby. She talks dirty like Amis. She has the misanthropy of Larkin and examines the finer points of sexual technique as she is adjusting the torque on a beloved but temperamental old E-type...It's hard to believe that this clever and candid new voice has no more to say. Whoever the author is, she should give up the day job. Only then will we find out what the real Belle de Jour is made of.' IndependentThis follow-up to the hugely successful 'Intimate Adventures' will be just as bold, funny and brilliant. Peppered with agony-aunt letters and advice, and stories from her 'working' life, it's also the story of a young woman making her way in the world - told in Belle's inimitable voice.
The Further Side of Fear
By Helen McCloy
Lydia Grey, an American returning to London after many years, is woken by footsteps in the night. There is someone in her room - of that she is sure. But that is also impossible. There is only one door and it is bolted shut. The windows are eight floors up, and are locked against the winter night.As the noise recedes she switches on her bedside lamp. No one is there. Was it a dream? An illusion of a half-awakened state? Or is someone out to get her?
Furnished for Murder
By Elizabeth Ferrars
When Meg Jeacock let out the furnished cottage next to her house she did not care that her new tenant had certain rather sinister characteristics - he'd paid three months' rent in advance. But Meg's husband Marcus sensed he was a crook. And when the stranger shows an inexplicable interest in Shandon Priory, the big house nearby, whose elderly owner has recently died, it becomes clear that there is trouble brewing - which, when it comes, takes the form of double murder . . .
The Furious Future
By Algis Budrys
In his latest science fiction volume Algis Budrys, author of 'The Unexpected Dimension' and 'Who?', continues to cast a scorching eye at life as it is lived today, skilfully extrapolating a present trend into the future, or presenting a current social problem in a new light. The stories are varied in mood and theme, yet they take an ironic view of mankind and its prospects, and the quality of writing is uniformly high.
By Gregory Benford
The last humans from the planet Snowglade have taken flight from the genocidal mechs aboard the spaceship Argo. As the shop hurtles toward the Galactic Center, hunger and desperation are taking their toll among the refugees, who are beginning to question the leadership of Captain Killeen. Convinced that his people's only hope of survival lies in the True Center of the galaxy, he is determined to find it, with a will bordering on obsession.As the crew of the Argo, an even Killeen's own son Toby, find their faith in their captain's brilliance tested to the limit, Toby faces his own perilous journey into the unknown, into the mysterious of adulthood. Like the others in this Family of voyagers, Toby's spine contains microchip implants holding the memories - the legacy - of his race. But just as the technology is designed to save his people may tear Toby himself apart, so his father's desperate gamble to save the Argo may plunge the ship and its inhabitants into a cosmic fit of all-consuming fire.
By Keith Roberts
America and Russian both explode huge H-bombs simultaneously. The tests go wrong, cracking the seabed, rupturing continents and engulfing cities. The Thames flattens into a flood plain, London is drowned.Now comes cosmic retribution - giant wasps, monstrous and deadly, directed by a supernatural intelligence, invade a reeling world. In England, isolated guerrillas fight on¿
A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire
By Michael Bishop
It seemed like a good idea; even a noble experiment. But the outcome was sheer hell. When the Balduin brothers escaped from the tedium of the human hive of Atlanta, Georgia, they had a mission. They were to voyage to the planet Trope, contact a tribe there known as the Ouemartsee, and transport it to Glaparca for a useful purpose.But suddenly the Balduin brothers discovered that they were in the slave trade, and that the Ouemartsee had made one of them a God . . .
The Funeral Party
By Ludmila Ulitskaya
In a small apartment in New York, in the sweltering mid-summer heat, a group of Russian émigrés gather around the sickbed of an artist named Alik. Nina, his wife, is desperate for Alik to be baptised; Irina, his ex-lover, a circus acrobat turned lawyer, quietly pays the bills; elderly Maria dispenses magical herbs; and Maika, Irina's fifteen-year-old daughter, prepares to lose the only man to make her laugh. As the visitors fuss and reminisce over Alik, in a corner of the crowded room the television shows the uprising outside the White House in Moscow and the tanks closing in on the city . . .
By Maeve Binchy
A fantastic Maeve Binchy - written specially for the World Book Day Quick Reads promotion.Dee loves her children very much, but now they are all grown up, shouldn't they leave home?Rosie moved out when she got married, but it didn't work out, so now she is back with her parents. Helen is a teacher, and doesn't earn enough for a place of her own. Anthony writes songs, and is just waiting for the day when someone will pay him for them. Until then, all three are happy at home. It doesn't cost them anything, and surely their parents like having a full house?When a crisis occurs, Dee decides things have to change for the whole family...whether they like it or not.
By Michael Palin
Michael Palin's terrific account of his journey through 18 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, published by Phoenix for the first time.For almost a year, Michael Palin travelled through 18 countries on the perimeter of the world's largest ocean, in a spectacular journey of contrasts, drama and beauty. From head-hunters in Borneo to a meal of maggots in Mexico, his route takes him to some of the most politically volatile and physically demanding places on Earth. Whether climbing the Exalted Mountains in China, dodging icebergs in Chile, or being taken short on the banks of the Amazon, Michael Palin paints a vivid picture of the people and places around him.'It was a journey of dazzling surprises and jarring extremes. Beauty and ugliness, sophistication and squalor, unceasing urban noise and monastic tranquility ... This is a record of a year of wonder' Michael Palin.
Fugue for a Darkening Island
By Christopher Priest
As Europe looks for ways to deal with the humanitarian crisis of Syria's misplaced population and the influx of refugees crossing the Mediterranean Christopher Priest's second novel has a new, timely, edge.Survivors of a terrible African war flee their blighted continent, and look for refuge in the countries of the West. But Britain is falling into civil war and anarchy.One of Christopher Priest's earliest novels, FUGUE FOR A DARKENING ISLAND is a powerful work whose subject matter has become increasingly relevant in recent years.
The Fugitive Worlds
By Bob Shaw
The opening of The Fugitive Worlds finds Toller Maraquine II - grandson of the hero of The Ragged Astronauts and The Wooden Spaceships - bemoaning the fact that life on the twin planets of Land and Overland has become dull and uneventful compared to the stirring times in which his illustrious forebear lived. Then, while on a balloon flight between the worlds, he makes an astonishing discovery - a rapidly growing crystal disc, many miles across, is creating a barrier between Land and Overland. Precipitated for personal reasons into investigating the enigmatic disc, Toller - armed with only his sword and boundless courage - becomes a pivotal figure in events which will decide the future of entire planets and their civilizations.
Fugitive of Time
By E.C. Tubb
Starships are grounded, interrupting vital inter-stellar commerce, all the highly-developed industries have stopped, man turns to the primitive sources of animal fat and wood for light and heat. With civilization waning, the young scientist Kleon, sentenced to death for using precious conserves of power in an attempt to generate vast energy from dead matter, makes a spectacular bid for the freedom of the whole universe.
Fugitive of the Stars
By Edmond Hamilton
Horne, the spaceship's pilot, had been warned. "Don't forget the meteor swarm." And Horne's directional calculations for the Vega Queen's course took that advice into account; the spaceship would go fifteen thousand miles out of its way to avoid those deadly celestial rocks. But when Horne went off duty, he felt himself numbed by a curious druglike leadenness. And the next thing he knew, he was in a lifeboat, speeding away from the floating wreckage of the Vega Queen. Eighteen survivors out of one hundred and fifty-three passengers. And each one in the tiny space shell believed Horne responsible...deliberate negligence, calculated destruction...Someone had drugged Horne, he knew; someone had tampered with the ship to alter its course. But who? And for what cosmic purpose?