From the multi-award-winning author of The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea sequence comes this single-volume omnibus of the first three Hainish novels.
Intergalactic war reaches Fomalhaut II in Rocannon’s World.
Born out of season, a precocious young girl visits the alien city of the farborns and the false-men in Planet of Exile.
In City of Illusions a stranger wondering in the forest people’s woods, is found and his health restored; now the fate of two worlds rests in this stranger’s hands . . .
The three novels contained in this volume are the books that launched Ursula K. Le Guin’s glittering career, and are set in the same universe as her Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classics, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.
The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive. But what then?
The war had been going on for nearly a year and the Sirian Empire had a huge advantage in personnel and equipment. Earth needed an edge. Which was where James Mowry came in.
If a small insect buzzing around in a car could so distract the driver as to cause that vehicle to crash, think what havoc one properly trained operative could wreak on an unsuspecting enemy. Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, James Mowry is landed on Jaimec, the 94th planet of the Sirian Empire. His mission is simple: sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, wage a one-man war on a planet of eighty million.
In short, be a wasp.
First published in 1957, WASP is generally regarded as Eric Frank Russell’s finest novel, a witty and exciting account of a covert war in the heart of enemy territory.
It began with a blinding light, a divine revelation from a mysterious intelligence that called itself VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). And with that, the fabric of reality was torn apart and laid bare so that anything seemed possible, but nothing seemed quite right.
It was madness, pure and simple. But what if it were true?
In an America where the miraculous is par for the course, where magic and myths are as real as shopping malls and television game shows, Jennifer Mazdan listens to the modern storytellers recite the tales of the Founders.
But when strange things start to happen and Jennie becomes pregnant – from a dream – she enters a struggle which threatens her own life and causes her to question everything she has ever learned.
Glen Runciter is dead.
Or is he?
Someone died in the explosion orchestrated by his business rivals, but even as his funeral is scheduled, his mourning employees are receiving bewildering messages from their boss. And the world around them is warping and regressing in ways which suggest that their own time is running out.
If it hasn’t already.
In a clearing of the great forest of the planet Bosk Veld, a strange, ape-like species of alien, the Asadi, act out their almost-incomprehensible rituals, rainbow eyes flashing, spinning like pinwheels.
Egon Chaney, in his anthropological study, “Death and Designation Among the Asadi” has shown how their life-style has apparently degenerated from a level of complex technological sophistication and devolved to a primal simplicity. Long after his disappearance in the forest, his daughter, Elegy Cather, comes to Bosk Veld to carry on his studies of the Asadi where he left off. With her is an intelligent ape, Kretzoi, physically adapted to resemble the aliens.
Together with Thomas Benedict, Chaney’s old partner, Elegy begins to unravel the enigma of the Asadi. As Kretzoi insinuates himself into their rituals, so we are drawn into what is perhaps the most convincing portrayal of the alien yet.
Ned Henry is a time-travelling historian who specialises in the mid-20th century – currently engaged in researching the bombed-out Coventry Cathedral. He’s also made so many drops into the past that he’s suffering from a dangerously advanced case of ‘time-lag’.
Unfortunately for Ned, an emergency dash to Victorian England is required and he’s the only available historian. But Ned’s time-lag is so bad that he’s not sure what the errand is – which is bad news since, if he fails, history could unravel around him …
Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1999
Introduction by Pat Cadigan
The year is 1998, the world is a growing nightmare of desperation, of uncontrollable pollution and increasing social unrest. In Cambridge, two scientists experiment with tachyons – subatomic particles that travel faster than the speed of light and, therefore, according to the Theory of Relativity, may move backwards in time. Their plan is to signal a warning to the previous generation.
In 1962, a young Californian scientist, Gordon Bernstein, finds his experiments are being spoiled by unknown interference. As he begins to suspect something near the truth it becomes a race against time – the world is collapsing and will only be saved if Gordon can decipher the message in time.
Winner of the Nebula Award for best novel, 1980
Winner of the John W. Campbell Award for best novel, 1981
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1980
This new collection of stories from the multi-award-winning author of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog contains:
A Letter from the Clearys
At the Rialto
Death on the Nile
The Soul Selects Her own Society
Even the Queen
The Winds of Marble Arch
All Seated on the Ground
Last of the Winnebagos
Ten stories – which have all won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award or both – are compulsory reading for the serious science fiction fan.
Ragle Gumm is an ordinary man leading an ordinary life, except that he makes his living by entering a newspaper contest every day – and winning, every day. But he gradually begins to suspect that his life – indeed his whole world – is an illusion, constructed around him for the express purpose of keeping him docile and happy. But if that is the case, what is his real world like, and what is he actually doing every day when he thinks he is guessing ‘Where Will The Little Green Man Be Next?’
When tombstone engraver George Paxman is offered a bargain, he doesn’t hesitate. His beloved daughter gets an otherwise unaffordable survival suit to protect her from radioactive fall-out and all George has to do is sign a document admitting that, as a passive citizen who did nothing to stop it, he has a degree of guilt for any nuclear war that breaks out. George signs on the dotted line. And then the unthinkable happens.
The world and everyone in it (survival suit or not) is destroyed in a nuclear Armageddon – except for George and five others who must now face prosecution from the great mass of humanity who will now never be born. And George Paxman stands accused in the name of all the people who stood by and never raised a finger to stop the horror of nuclear war …