From one of the masters of SF comes this new collection of stories, all set on his most famous creation - the world of Majipoor.A massive world of adventure, romance and danger. A place where dreams can soothe the restless or flay the minds of the guilty. Where humans, aliens and natives live in a shifting, uneasy alliance and where two great men rule over all. No matter who bears the title, there is always a Coronal and a Pontifex, forever miles apart, forever striving to maintain the balance of their far-flung civilisation. Here, collected for the first time, are the final tales of Majipoor. From the earliest legends of the Shapeshifters to an untold mystery late in the reign of Valentine Pontifex, the seven stories in this collection expand upon and flesh out the remarkable world that Robert Silverberg has created. Spanning a decade of writing from one of the masters of science-fiction, this collection is both a fantastic introduction for those new to Majipoor and a welcome return for those who have visited before.
At Samurai Industries, Paul Carpenter studies his computer monitors to predict the movement of toxic clouds drifting across the Pacific Northwest. If he’s wrong, a sudden shift of wind can kill thousands. Nick Rhodes, a research scientist for the controversial Santachiara Technologies’ Survival/Modification Program, seeks better ways for humans to adapt to Earth’s hostile environment. His girlfriend, Isabelle Martine, is a kinetic therapist and political activist, violently opposed to the threatening new technology. They are among those who have opted to stay behind, scratching out a perilous existence on a poisoned planet where no one dares leave home without a face-lung and a daily injection of Screen.
But there are others who have traveled from Earth to the shining satellite cities in the sky. Among these is Victor Farkas who has come to Valparaiso Nuevo in search of a mad and brilliant scientist. Here in a world of fugitives ruled by the tyrannical El Supremo and his secret police, Farkas and his “guide” Juanito Holt will seek the man whose experimentation blinded him in the womb and yet endowed him with incredible extrasensory vision.
Meanwhile, disturbing rumors have arisen about the ultimate fate of humanity: that a powerful Japanese megacorporation is promoting a top-secret project to send humans permanently to the stars. That a group of conspirators from ravaged Southern California is planning a bloody coup d’état on Valparaiso Nuevo. That a rival corporation is funding biological research that will alter human genes and create a race of supercreatures to inhabit the dying planet.
Hot Sky at Midnight is a chillingly prophetic masterpiece, combining intimate personal drama with epic adventure and depicting a sweeping tapestry of individual human lives trapped in a monumental catastrophe as tomorrow’s men and women search for a new paradise among the social, political, and ecological ruins of our past.
Yakoub was once the legendary King of the Rom, the Gypsy race that has evolved from the days of caravans into lords of the spaceways - the only pilots capable of steering ships safely between the many worlds of the Galaxy. Weary and proud, Yakoub has relinquished his power and lives in exile on a distant, icy world. In his absence, chaos fills the vacuum of power. The fate of the entire Galactic Empire hangs in the balance. Yakoub must journey across the cosmos and fight to regain his throne. Only then can he fulfill his dream - to return his people to their ancestral home of Romany Star.
The Rom need the Yakoub of legend once more. Can the once-mighty King overcome time and tyranny and inspire his people in their darkest hour?
In a not-too-distant future, the assassination of an all-powerful New York City Mayor has plunged the five boroughs back into a dangerous cesspool of crime, drugs, and prostitution. Professional prognosticator Lew Nichols joins the campaign team of a fast-rising politico running for the city's top office, and is introduced to a man who privately admits to being able to view glimpses of the future. Lew becomes obsessed with capturing the man's gift and putting it to use for his candidate, but struggles to accept the strict terms he arranges with his mentor ... and the unforgiving predetermination of the future.
They were disappearing, one at a time, in spite of the fact that in the crowded, hungry world of 2490 there was really nowhere worth going. Then they began to reappear, not in Moscow or Nairobi or LA--but in 1970, 1981, even the nostalgic days of the roaring 2100's. A way to the past had been found & people were flocking thru it for a better life--no matter what peril they might pose to the threatened present.
Earth in the late 25th Century is an unpleasant place for many. People are crowded into most available areas. Unemployment is rampant. A highly stratified society provides luxury & space for a few, while lower levels live crowded in tiny apartments. Into this situation comes a hope of escape–-escape into the past, before the world was crowded.
The story follows several characters. 1st is Joe Quellen, a midlevel Secretariat of Crime bureaucrat with a secret African residence, reached by a private teleportation booth. He heads the investigation into unauthorized time travel. Another is Norman Pomrath, Joe's brother-in-law, an unemployed low-level worker. He swears he wouldn't abandon his wife & children if presented with a chance to become a hopper.
The years since first he gained the Starburst Crown have been difficult ones for Coronal Lord Prestimion and the vast, unfathomable realm he rules. But finally peace has been restored to Majipoor. And now it is time for Prestimion to name the able Prince Dekkeret his succeeding Coronal and to descend to the Labyrinth as Pontifex. But a power from a dark past that both men believed was dead is stirring once again -- an evil more potent and devastating than either leader dares to remember. Once, decades past, a then knight-initiate Dekkeret had his dreams stolen from him. His quest for recovery led him to a remarkable helmet that could invade the psyches of sleeping foes, a device the newly anointed Coronal Prestimion later used to defeat his enemy Dantirya Sambail, tyrant of the continent Zimroel. In the fires of civil war, the terrible weapon was destroyed forever -- or so it was believed. The noxious weed of rebellion was torn out at its roots but its seeds have borne frightening fruit. Dantirya Sambail is dead, and the hungry jackals who ran at his heels now scheme to recover his lost lands and power. At their head is the tyrant's former henchman Mandralisca -- a villain of great wiles and icy heart, who somehow has unleashed a devastating plague of the mind upon Prestimion's subjects. Dark visions are invading the sleep of those loyal to the Lords and the Lady of Majipoor -- soul-shattering scenes of madness and monstrosity, driving those inflicted to commit horrible, destructive acts. And the dark wave is flowing ever-closer to the throne, seeping beneath the doors of the 30,000 rooms of the towering edifice atop Castle Mount ... and into sacrosanct depths of the Imperial Labyrinthitself.
"The world that these stories sprang from was the troubled, bewildering, dangerous, and very exciting world of those weird years when the barriers were down and the future was rushing into the present with the force of a river unleashed. But of course I think these stories speak to our times, too, and that most of them will remain valid as we go staggering onward through the brave new world of the twenty-first century. I am not one of those who believes that all is lost and the end is nigh. Like William Faulkner, I do think we will somehow endure and prevail against increasingly stiff odds.
"A great many strange and dizzying things happen to the characters in these sixteen stories, and in the fourteen stories of the 1972-73 volume that will follow. The reader who makes the journey from beginning to end of all thirty stories will be taken on many a curious trip, that I promise -- as was their author during the years when they were being written."
--Robert Silverberg, from the Introduction
Table of Contents:
Something Wild is Loose
In Entropy's Jaws
The Reality Trip
Good News from the Vatican
Thomas the Proclaimer
When We Went to See the End of the World
Push No More
The Wind and the Rain
Some Notes on the Pre-Dynastic Epoch
The Feast of St. Dionysus
What We Learned from This Morning’s Newspaper
The Mutant Season
Caught in the Organ Draft
A tale of pilgrimage and hope, betrayal and transformation. It was Avluela the Flier's scarlet and ebony wings that lead the Watcher to the seven hills of the ancient city, leaving the skies and deep space unguarded. And so the invaders came and conquered and Avluela became lost in the turmoil.
In the mid-21st century, time travel is used to send political prisoners to Hawksbill Station, a prison camp in the late Cambrian Era. When the latest arrival suspiciously deflects questions about his crimes and knowledge of 'Up Front', the inmates decide to find out his secret. NOTE: a novella length version of this story is also available.
Being a Time Courier was one of the best jobs Judson Daniel Elliott III ever had. It was tricky, though, taking group after group of tourists back to the same historic event without meeting yoruself coming or going. Trickier still was avoiding the temptation to become intimately involved with the past and interfere with events to come. The deterrents for any such actions were frighteningly effective. So Judson Daniel Elliott played by the book. Then he met a lusty Greek in Byzantium who showed him how rules were made to be broken... and set him on a family-history-go-round that would change his past and his future forever!
Valentine, a wanderer who knows nothing except his name, finds himself on the fringes of a great city, and joins a troupe of jugglers and acrobats; gradually, he remembers that he is the Coronal Valentine, executive ruler of the vast world of Majipoor, and all its peoples, human and otherwise...
Valentine's journey is a long one, a tour through a series of magnificent environments. Fields of predatory plants give way to impossibly wide rivers, chalk-cliffed islands and unforgiving deserts. The prose is unrelentingly dreamlike—no accident given that on Majipoor, dreams rule the minds of great and humble alike.
Originally serialized in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in four parts: November 1979, December 1979, January 1980 and February 1980.
A remarkable odyssey of survival and self-discovery in a perilous alien world in transition.
*The privileged heir of a Great House ten thousand miles away, fifteen-year-old Joseph Master Keilloran awakens to the din of his world imploding. Frightened and alone, surrounded by enemies who would kill him without question, Joseph must now make his way across a strange, dangerous, and wondrous continent—a desperate journey toward a home that may no longer exist.
Here are three short novels from three masters of science fiction--all set in the universe of one of Silverberg's most successful novels, Gate of Worlds. Imagine an alternate Earth where the Black Plague killed not 30 percent of Europe's population, but 80 percent, leaving it prey to the incursions of the Moslems; and where the New World was spared the ravages of the Europeans.
When Dick Muller, repulsive to the entire human race after an encounter with an alien race leaves him terribly altered, arrives on the abandoned planet of Lemnos, he learns that Earth is in danger, forcing him to make a difficult decision--save the planet that scorned him or watch Earth be destroyed. Reprint.
The national bestselling saga of Robert Silverberg's stunning imagination continues in the first new hardcover Majipoor novel in nearly a decade. As a prequel to Silverberg's earlier Majipoor novels. Sorcerers of Majipoor provides a deep, dark vision for the background of the conflict inLord Valentine's Castle and Valentine Pontifex. Treachery and wizardry run rampant under the reign of the mighty Pontifex, as both the rightful and the unworthy heirs to the throne anxiously await his demise. Korsibar, son of the current Coronal, plots with his twin sister and ambitious companions to seize the power ofthe Coronal when his father ascends to the throne of the Pontifex. But the burdens of the crown and scepter exact more of a price than Korsibar is prepared to pay. His rival fights to take his appointed place as keeper of his beloved Majipoor...and to resbackse order to the utter chaos that has befallen their world.
Somewhere in Philadelphia, a master engraver is turning out brilliant forgeries of U.S. currency plates for an organized crime gang - and the government wants to put a stop to it. But how can they get close enough to bring down the criminal enterprise from the inside?
By snatching a west coast crime boss' right-hand man and sending a federal agent undercover in the man's place. His assignment: pose as a buyer of counterfeit bills and try to get the engraver out. Which works fine - until he crosses paths with someone who knows the man he replaced...
A lost masterpiece from science fiction Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, published as a complete novel for the very first time!
THIS WAY TO THE END TIMES: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse, gathers 21 compelling, gripping stories of the not-too-distant demise of the earth as we know it. And what a collection. From little-known, brilliant tales by sci-fi legends Jules Vernes and Olaf Stapledon, to intense short works by sci-fi masters Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, Jack Vance, and Brian W. Aldiss, to haunting works by contemporary authors Dale Bailey, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Karen Haber and Megan Arkenberg, THIS WAY TO THE END TIMES paves the road to the fantastical future, alternating humor with grit, and hope with ghastly post apocalyptic visions.
Guest editor Robert Silverberg—winner of numerous Hugo and Nebula awards, Grand Master of Science Fiction Writers of America, and a Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductee—hand-picked each story, and offers an introduction to each, as well as an introduction to the anthology as a whole.
A unique collection for longtime and new fans of speculative fiction, THIS WAY TO THE END TIMES roars into the future wide-eyed and full speed ahead.
Complete list of authors:
Jules Verne, James Elroy Flecker, Frank Lillie Pollock, G. Peyton Wertenbaker, Philip Latham, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, Brian W. Aldiss, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, James Tiptree, Jr., Malcolm Edwards, Connie Willis, Karen Haber, by Dale Bailey, Megan Artenberg, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Olaf Stapledon
Amanda always expected that when she fell in love, it would be with a musician or an artist--at the very least a human. Then she meets an alien on the run from the FBI and shelters him. [This short story was made into a movie in 1995 starring Baywatch beauty Nicole Eggert and featuring Michael Dorn and Stacey Keach.]
In the far future, Earth is a worn-out backwater and humanity is spread across the galaxy on worlds that began as colonies, but now feel like home, each with its own long history of a thousand years or more, and each with its own unique culture. One of the strangest is on Borthan, where the founding settlers established the Covenant, which teaches that the self is to be despised, and forbids anyone to reveal his innermost thoughts or feelings to another. On Borthan, the filthiest obscenities imaginable are the words "I" and "me." For the heinous crime of "self-baring," apostates have always paid with exile or death, but after his eyes are opened by a visitor from Earth, Kinnall Darival, prince of Salla, risks everything to teach his people the real meaning of being human..