Friday, 30 March 2012

LIMITS

Orbit paperback, 1988 reprint. Cover artist uncredited.

"LIMITS. Two aliens fascinated by Man's fondness for defining boundaries decide to make sure he doesn't get out of the habit. 
THE LION IN HIS ATTIC. Seventy-six years after Atlantis drowned, a sorceress and a prince learn to their dismay that not all lions eat red meat. 
TABLE MANNERS. When the proprietor of the Draco Tavern is invited to dine with some carnivorous etees, he brings along a xenobiologist to coach him in alien etiquette. But he forgets that he is already outfitted with the oldest guide of all. 
A TEARDROP FALLS. In his youth, Hilary Gage had fought men and studied the ravages of Berserkers. As a machine, he terraformed planets and lay in wait. 
YET ANOTHER MODEST PROPOSAL. At last, a solution to the problem of radioactive wastes that costs nothing and yields an immodest profit."

Contents:

The Lion In His Attic
Spirals (written with Jerry Pournelle)
A Teardrop Falls
Talisman (written with Dian Girard)
Flare Time
The Locust (written with Steve Barnes)
Yet Another Modest Proposal: The Roentgen Standard

More Tales From The Draco Tavern...

Table Manners
The Gren Marauder
War Movie
The Real Thing
Limits

HELLICONIA SPRING

Granada / Triad paperback, 1983. Cover illustration by Tom Gill.

"The great drama of life on Helliconia is shaped by its cosmic limitations. It revolves with three other planets round the star Batalix, the whole group revolving in turn in a giant ellipse round Freyr, fifteen times the size of our sun and 60,000 times as luminous... 
In the fierce contrasts of climate, whole seasons last for centuries and civilizations rise and fall with each three-millennia orbit of Freyr. The winter alone of that Great Year would last for some five centuries..."

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

STARSHIP DEATH

Star paperback, 1982. Cover painting by Attila Hejja.

"They were in deep space, past the point of no return, when the saboteur struck. There were plenty of suspects, including an experimental robot, and many possible motivations. But when they found the first body, they knew they were facing a ruthless killer who would murder them all if he was not caught - and blow up the ship if he was."

CUCKOO'S EGG

Mandarin paperback, 1990. Cover illustration by Michael Whelan.

"They named him Thorn. They told him he was of their people but he knew he was different: he was ugly in their eyes, strange, sleek-skinned and clawless. Yet he was hatani, a member of the élite power class that were judge warriors fighters and defenders. 
Thorn knew that his difference was somehow very important - but not important enough to prevent murderous conspiracies against him, against his protector, against his caste, and, perhaps, against the peace of the world. When Thorn finally learned what his true role in life was to be - that on him hung the fate of two worlds - then he had to stand alone to justify his very existence."

Saturday, 24 March 2012

AMAZING STORIES VOL. 1 NO. 2 1953

Cover painting by Art Sussman.

Interior artwork by Virgil Finlay, for Robert Sheckley's Beside Still Waters.

AMAZING STORIES VOL. 1 NO. 1 1953

Cover painting by L. R. (Leo) Summers.

Friday, 23 March 2012

THE JESUS INCIDENT

Orbit paperback, 1980. Cover by Tim White.

"A small group of human colonists are engaged in a desperate struggle for survival. 
Ranged against them, the planet PANDORA, its native life-forms as malevolent and savage as they are murderous. And SHIP, their ship-board computer, who knows that it is a GOD, and - on pain of destruction - demands their worship."

THE PRIESTS OF PSI

Orbit paperback, 1981. Cover by Tim White.

"A PSYCHIC PARASITE WHO HIJACKS PERSONALITIES. 
A COUPLE WHO DISCOVER THE HOUSE OF THEIR DREAMS...IN THE WRONG DIMENSION. 
THE PRIESTS OF PSI, CUSTODIANS OF A FORGOTTEN WISDOM WHICH MAY EXALT OR DAMN MANKIND COMPLETELY. 
Frank Herbert needs no introduction to the million readers of the DUNE trilogy, THE DOSADI EXPERIMENT and THE JESUS INCIDENT. In this, the first collection of short stories for some time, the inventive genius of the novels is powerfully evident."

Contents:

Try To Remember
Old Rambling House
Murder Will In
Mindfield
The Priests of Psi

Thursday, 22 March 2012

THE STONE THAT NEVER CAME DOWN

NEL paperback, 1978. Cover artist uncredited.

"Europe in the twenty-first century is a stricken continent. 
Cities crumble with neglect. Governments topple to military coups. Bands of 'godheads' roam the streets armed with plastic crosses. Soon war is bound to break out, and then the world will take the final step towards suicide. 
But one man may just have the answer - VC - a new kind of viral drug which has the power to alter drastically, and permanently, the human mind. He knows it will prevent Man's self-destruction, but is it safe? And does he have the right to take that decision - a decision that will change the destiny of Mankind, by changing the very nature of Man himself."

THE MAGIC LABYRINTH

Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1982. Cover illustration by
Melvyn Grant.

"Here all mysteries revealed, all quests completed, in the fabulous planet of Riverworld 
THE MAGIC LABYRINTH 
is the most herald science fiction event of recent times. It is the culminating achievement of the epoch-making Riverworld Series which has been pronounced the most daring, wide-ranging and speculative in the annals of science fiction. Here Philip José Farmer concludes the adventures of his all-star cast - Sir Richard Burton, Mark Twain, Jack London, Cyrano de Bergerac, Hermann Goering, Peter Frigate and literall everyone who has ever lived - all resurrected now along the banks of an enormous river on a mysterious planet known as Riverworld."

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

ANACHRONISMS

Mandarin paperback, 1989. Cover illustration by Terry Pastor.

"On a routine exploration mission, Captain Ericho Brad, and the crew of the starship Alchemon, discover an alien life form on the hostile planet of Sycamore. Against his better judgement, but at the insistence of his scientists, the Captain brings the alien on board. And then the nightmare begins. 
The ships robots start to malfunction, a crew member commits suicide and the Sentinels, fail-safe devices built into the ship, threaten human life in favour of the mission. Brad knows he is losing control. 
His one hope is Mars Lea, a psionic, whose immense psychic capability is the source of the alien's power. Only she stands between the alien and the destruction of the Alchemon."

THE GATES OF EDEN

NEL paperback, 1990. Cover artist uncredited, possibly
Danny Flynn (thanks: Ed).

"Lee Caretta's problem wasn't so much the nightmares and the blackouts - he was used to them - but keeping them secret from his bosses. If they ever found out, they'd send him back to Earth. Which was the last place in the universe someone with his skills would like to be. 
It is an unfortunate fact that good job-opportunities for a xenobiologist are limited.  
But then the starship Ariadne, in transit for 350 years, found an Earthlike world which looked like it might be the answer to everyone's dreams. Until the explorers sent out to investigate it began to die. 
Something for Lee to work on - personal problems permitting - knowing that if he failed to come up with the reason why, all Hell would break loose on a galactic scale."

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

THE LOVERS

Corgi paperback, 1982. Cover painting by Jim Burns.

"Escaping the religious tyranny of a 31st-century Earth by a fluke assignment to the planet of Ozagen, linguist Hal Yarrow found that the worst of Earth had followed him - Pornsen, his personal Guardian Angel, vigilant for any evidence of a sin or wrong thinking. 
Conditioned by a lifetime of submission, Yarrow would have accepted Pornsen's constant spying as an unpleasant necessity, had it not been for Jeanette, the beautiful but dangerously different fugitive he found hiding in the ancient ruins..."

PAST MASTER

Ace SF paperback, 1977. Cover painting by John Melo

"The golden planet, Astrobe, was perfect, it was Utopia - and it faced a mysterious crisis that would destroy it forever.... 
In a world where wealth and comfort were free to everyone, why did so many desert paradise for the slums of Cathead and the Barrio? Why were increasing numbers of the population choosing lives of bone-crushing work, squalor and disease? 
The rulers of Astrobe couldn't figure it out - no one in their universe could - so they searched into the past for the man that could lead them from certain disaster. There was only one choice...."

Saturday, 17 March 2012

STARWORLD

Granada paperback, 1988. Cover illustration by Peter Gudynas.

"STARWORLD EXPLODES WITH REVOLUTION 
The twilight planet of Halvmork is free. The Earth space fleet has left to guard Homeworld and to prepare for the ultimate, cataclysmic showdown. For a moment, the entire galaxy seems to hold its breath... 
For Jan Kulozik, exiled on Halvmork, this is the moment of decisions. Will he find himself a leader of a new society...or an eternal slave to the absolute power of Earth? 
Starworld completes the epic To The Stars trilogy with one of the most breathtaking space sequences yet seen in science fiction."

Friday, 16 March 2012

GALACTIC ENCOUNTERS: WORLDS AT WAR - AN ILLUSTRATED STUDY OF INTERPLANETARY CONFLICT

Intercontinental Book Productions, hardback, 1980. Cover painting by
Tony Roberts.

"Despite the vast breadth of the Galactic Federation, and the many worlds and races it encompasses, it is nevertheless a minute speck on the rum of the great wheel of our Galaxy. Other worlds and other races lie scattered among the innumerable stars beyond its frontiers, and many of these will have evolved at least as far as the worlds comprising the Federation. 
There will be the those beyond its boundaries within reach, who regard the existence of the Federation with alien eyes: sometimes with resentment, sometimes with fear. As long as this is the case there exists the threat of interstellar war. 
Worlds at War records the battles that have already taken place in the dark and airless wastes of space, describes the reasons behind them, the events which followed and the final outcome of each confrontation between the Federation and its enemies. Only three major wars have taken place during the last 150 years but each of them threatened the security of the hundreds of inhabited planets that make up the Galactic Federation, and each of them demanded considerable sacrifices from the brave creatures who offer their lives in defence of their fellows."

Painting by Chris Moore.

"The huge transmitting centers of the Federation's signalling stations played a key role in the desperate attempt to halt the advance of the nightmarish intruder, and proved more effective than the sophisticated weaponry of the entire Federation Defence Force."

Painting by Jim Burns.

"A grim sight met the eyes of the rescue teams rushing to the main camp on the planet of Bell's Lode in answer to the desperate cries for help of its occupants."

Painting by Bob Layzell.

"Operating from semi-permanent bases established near Bell's Lode, squadrons of military warships stood by to intercept any further raids by the Marauders."

Painting by Tony Roberts.

"Beneath the dense cloud cover of a Marauder planet a huge invasion fleet was massing."

Painting by Bob Layzell.

"Aware that they had advanced too far, and with supplies running low, the Phalan attack began to slow. The arrival of the Federation fleet from the battle with the support force turned the tide against the enemy. Here a Phalan command ship makes a dash for the safety of deep space."

Thursday, 15 March 2012

THE GOLDEN MAN

Magnum paperback, 1981. Cover illustration: Chris Moore.

"Here's a chance to read not just one but fifteen stories created by one of the most popular SF writers of today. This anthology is full of both new and classic ideas, brimming over with wit and the author's natural sense of fun. 
If you want to learn about THE GOLDEN MAN - totally irresistable to women, of the secret life of wub fur, of chameleon-like aliens called fnools, and a great deal more, read on... This collection includes an introduction, story notes and afterword by Philip K. Dick."

Contents:

The Golden Man
Return Match
The King of the Elves
The Mold of Yancy
Not By Its Cover
The Little Black Box
The Unreconstructed M
The War with the Fnools
The Last of the Masters
Meddler
A Game of Unchance
Sales Pitch
Precious Artifact
Small Town
The Pre-Persons

THE SIMULACRA

Ace SF paperback, 1976. Cover artist uncredited.

"The 21st Century. It was a shifting, shadowy and extraordinary world...and very dangerous. Most people, as in the present, were content to survive and grab what little pleasure they could. But there were others who cunningly played the deadly game of world mastery.... 
There was the incredible beauty who had ruled the White House for nearly a century, the world's last practicing psychiatrist, a psychokinetic pianist, the time traveler, the simulacra and the chuppers."

NOW WAIT FOR LAST YEAR

Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1979 reprint. Cover illustration
by Chris Foss.

"ONLY ONE MAN COULD SAVE THE WORLD, AND HE WAS DEAD. AGAIN. 
Once Gino Molinari, elected leader of Earth and supreme commander of its armed forces in a war against the reegs, had been assassinated by a political rival. The second time he had a heart attack while negotiation a surrender to the enemy. But now he was back, younger and more vigorous than before, giving Earth new hope in its battle for survival. 
Had he really died? Was an artificial Molinari - a robant - masquerading as the overlord of Earth? And what about the men from Lilistar, supposedly Earth's allies? Come to that, what about the reegs, supposedly Earth's enemies? One way and another, the Solar System was in bad trouble - and Molinari was the only one who could get it out of the mess it was in. If he could stay alive long enough. Or at least not stay dead too long..."

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

BENEDICT'S PLANET

Elmfield Press hardcover, 1976. Cover painting by Josh Kirby.

"PROLOGUE 
In the early days, a form of chemical rocket took man out to Pluto, and more often than not got him back to Earth again. The early Moonbase had an atomic power plant. But these ventures are rightly considered to be part of the pre-history of the True Space Age, bearing the same relationship to our present capabilities as Leif Eriksson's voyage to America bore to that of te Mayflower. 
In 2092 Samuel Moebright's invention of his universally familiar converter laid the foundation for man's explosion into space. No longer did humanity huddle under the domes of Mars. The Moebright Converter eventually gave us the ability to split the oxidized rocks of the crus and give the planet a breathable atmosphere. Nevertheless, this task was the work of a generation. 
While static Moebright plants gave the existing worlds of man abundant power, smaller versions thrust his star ships out of the solar system. They were overtaken while still on their journey by ships not only powered by Moebright units but also fitted with the new Siemens-Elliott relativizer. The Moebright produces energy by the controlled degradation of matter. A small fusion reaction is necessary to prime the process, but operationally anything from U235 to old rags can be used as fuel. Up to forty per cent of the rest energy of matter can be released. 
'heoretical studies suggest that an isotope of the transuranic element bohridium will have a catalytic effect on the process. True catalysts cannot, of course, occur in a nuclear reaction, in this putative system bohridium would continually be destroyed and re-created in an energizing cycle. Using bohridium, it is thought that the efficiency of the Moebright process could be increased to nonety per cent."
From THE GALWAY LECTURES by courtesy of Prof. M. Wilson and SBC Telecommunications

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

THE RINGS OF TANTALUS

Coronet paperback, 1979. Cover artist uncredited.

"Commander James Conrad and his team of Expendables face the unknown dangers of an alien world in their mission to find planets suitable for colonisation. 
First the Expendables went to Kratos - and faced the Deathworms. Then they went on to Tantalus and tried to fathom the Rings - which could only have been fabricated with the help of highly sophisticated machinery. And then they discovered an alien spaceship orbiting the planet in strict silence and uncommunicability. 
When they finally boarded the vessel, it was obvious that it had been derelict for centuries - as a result of some dreadful battle. Meanwhile down below, the enigmatic Rings lay waiting to deal with intruders - as did the deadly vampire tree..."

THE WAR GAMES OF ZELOS

Coronet paperback, 1980. Cover artist uncredited.

"ZELOS seemed an ideal planet for colonisation. Possessing one large continent and numerous archipelagos, it had a climate and vegetation comfortably like that of Earth. 
Captain James Conrad and his crew of Expendables started on their initial reconnaissance of the planet. For the first time they found human beings already in residence. But this was a society remote from anything they had ever before experienced. For the Emperor of this strange world controlled his domain through the great annual War Games. 
Only the fittest could survive - and the Expendables must compete in the dreaded War Games. And, somehow, they must win."

Monday, 12 March 2012

JUPITER LAUGHS

Coronet paperback, 1981. Cover design credited to David Cox
Studios. Painting is by Fred Gambino.

"Required: one Doomsday weapon capable of ironing out the whole human race. It was a tall order, but then I thought I had a rather tall solution. Oddly enough, several of my junior scientists were quite enthusiastic about the project. They came up with such wild schemes as indestructible viruses, radio-activity and saturation devices, even anti-gravity fields large enough to drain the planet of its atmosphere and so choke us all to death. I dismissed the more original and enthusiastic members of my team. Such people seemed to me to be rather dangerous. 
Besides, by this time I had an idea of my own. It was elegantly simple..."

Contents:

Jupiter Laughs
Falcon Chase
The Life and Death of Plunky Goo
The Menhir
The Doomsday Story
Tomorrow's Gift
The Jar of Latakia
The Unicorn
Ninteen Ninety-four
M 81: Ursa Major
The Brain Child
Welcome Home
Judgment Day
The Butterflies

A FAR SUNSET

Coronet paperback, fourth impression, 1979. Cover by Chris Foss.

"The year 2032 A.D. The Gloria Mundi, a star ship built and manned by the new United States of Europe, touches down on the planet, Alatair Five. Disaster strikes, leaving only one apparent survivor - an Englishman named Paul Marlow, whose adventures in the lair of a strange primeval race known as the Bayani leads him firstly to their God, the omnipotent and omniscient Oruri, and eventually to an unlimited power that is so great that it must include a built-in death sentence. The forces that have remained static for centuries overcome both the forces of the future and the quest for unlimited knowledge."

Sunday, 11 March 2012

DEATHHUNTER

Corgi paperback, 1982. Cover painting by Peter Jones.

"HE BUILT A TRAP FOR DEATH - AND FOUND HIMSELF IN A NIGHTMARE WORLD OF THE IMAGINATION... 
Todhunter was one of the world's elite - a guide in the House of Death - preparing the retiring for their coming departure... 
Then he was given a violent man, a murderer, to shepherd into death, and Weinberger convinced him that those about to die emit a chemical signal which attracts a strange predator - a creature which is Death itself. Together they built a cage to trap Death - and then followed the Being into the strange alien world of the Afterlife..."

MIRACLE VISITORS

Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1980. Cover illustration by
Tony Roberts.

"Did Michael Peacocke really see a flying saucer on the Yorkshire Moors? Was he really invited inside the spaceship and seduced by a beautiful, alien blonde? True or not, this curious occurrence is destined to change the lives of Peacocke and all around him."

THE VERY SLOW TIME MACHINE

Granada / Panther SF paperback, 1981. Cover illustration by
Trevor Webb.

"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..."

Saturday, 10 March 2012

THE NAPOLEONS OF ERIDANUS

DAW paperback, 1976. Cover illustration by Karel Thole.

"ATTENTION WAR-GAMERS AND DORSAI FANS! 
Supposing yours was an advanced Utopian race on a planet that had eliminated war so long ago that nobody knew how to conduct an adequate defense. And suppose that your solar system were then invaded by a fleet of alien militarists? 
This is what happened to a certain planet in the Constellation Eridanus - and what its leaders did was to seek a primitive race that still engaged in warfare. 
So they kidnapped a band of experienced soldiers - Napoleonic veterans fleeing Moscow through the snows of that terrible winter of 1812. 
Captain Bernard of the Imperial Dragoons took on the task. But being a loyal Bonapartist campaigner, he had ambitions that Utopian aliens could not suspect. 
Barbet's novel of THE NAPOLEONS OF ERIDANUS is a surprise-filled romp in transposed history that will delight war-gamers, Dorsai-fans and space-exploration buffs!"

THE WICKED CYBORG

DAW paperback, 1978. Cover illustration by Josh Kirby.

"The situation bore an alarming resemblance to the classic Gothic situation. But since it was taking place on the planet Esmerelda in the Barnum System, there were differences. 
There was a disputed inheritance - an interplanetary robot-making business. There was the uncle who had taken charge, a cyborg now, fifty per cent human, fifty per cent machine, and one hundred per cent smiling deceit. There was the innocent young heir, the boy, Tad, in the clutches of this uncle and his sinister household. Even the weather was foggy and gloomy, and Tad could find no friend to help him from what seemed certain doom. 
That is until he stumbled across the wreckage of the family's greatest engineering triumph, the super-robot Electro. With nothing better to do, he secretly repaired it. And then, once Electro was on his feet and ticking electronically away, wicked cyborg uncle - watch out!"

Friday, 9 March 2012

GATHER, DARKNESS!

NEL paperback, 1979. Cover painting by Tim White.

"THE SECOND ATOMIC AGE IS MENACED BY WITCHCRAFT! 
GATHER, DARKNESS is the watchword in the strange new life of the second atomic age - and age where brain-washing is the means of quelling potential rebels...an age where constant war is wage between priests and witches, angels and devils, the rulers and the ruled...an age where science is supressed, and witchcraft is the way of life... 
But Brother Jarles is the one man whose actions completely upset the established form of government!"

THE SAVAGE STARS

Ace/Stoneshire paperback, 1983. Cover painting by
Romas Kukalis (thanks: Ed).

"THE NEW MANKIND 
War erupts with a vicious alien race that is scattered across galaxies. The USS Corsair, severely damaged, is forced to land on an uncharted world inhabited only by savage animals. 
The ship is permanently down, and it was carrying no supplies. The three hundred crew members are not trained in colonization. Somehow they must survive. Soon, and with much pain, a society evolves - one that mankind has never before seen. 
After hundreds of years, the rigid and repressive society has created a distinct class structure - Guiders, Techs, Hunters, Tree People...but a violent and full-scale revolution is close at hand in... 
THE SAVAGE STARS"

THE GRAND WHEEL

Fontana SF paperback, 1979. Cover artist uncredited.

"when empires hung on the turn of a card...Cheyne Scarne was a gambler - a lucky one. What he didn't know about randomatics wasn't worth knowing. He had the brains to get to the heart of the Grand Wheel - the syndicate that controlled all illegal activity in the planets under human control. 
But what Scarne had staked to get that far was chickenfeed compared to what he would risk to get into the real big time - the massive intergalactic combine that dwarfed the empires of mere men. For Scarne, double crossing at every deal, had laid his life on the line to win a game where no one knew the value of the cards and the rules changed with every trick!"

Thursday, 8 March 2012

THE MASKS OF TIME

Star paperback, 1982 reprint. Cover painting by Bruce Pennington.

"He appeared suddenly and mysteriously, claiming to be a visitor from a thousand years in the future, but his evidence was not entirely convincing. 
Was he merely an ingenious fraud? 
As a popular cult figure the World Government could use him to counter the threat posed by the apocalyptists who were wreaking chaos while preaching the imminent destruction of the world. 
But was Vornan-19 himself an agent of another kind of chaos? 
If he were genuine, then he was living proof that the world would endure after the century's end. 
And could anyone in 1999 afford to ignore that possibility?"

THE MAN IN THE MAZE

Star paperback, 1982 reprint. Cover painting by Bruce Pennington.

"Muller had been sent to spy on the first alien race man had ever encountered. But they discovered him and cursed him with a terrible power that made his presence unbearable to his fellows, theirs to him. 
Now, alienated and embittered, he chooses to live out his life in an abandoned city on a long-dead planet. But men must enter Muller's murderous labyrinth and try to lure him out, for humanity still needs his unique talents."

NO MAN FRIDAY

Corgi paperback, 1958. Cover painting by John Richards.

"The others were dead, 
I was going in to land...Alone 
I knew a little about the technique of landing a rocket - but not enough. Now I could see the surface of the planet - the jagged fangs of the rocks... 
I was going in-"