Just when the 21st century thought it was safe to throw Marxism on the ash heap of history once and for all, a worldwide economic collapse suddenly made freedom seem less desirable than security, and the Total State turned out to be the comeback kid. In the US, where the power elite had long shown heartfelt affection for collectivism and making the trains (nationalized, of course) run on time, communism had a second coming. Which meant that Earth was now the Red Planet. The few holdouts and counterrevolutionaries would be dealt with in good time.
Of course, collectivization only made the worldwide depression worse. But then the People's Astronomers noticed an asteroid with unusual spectrographic properties, seemingly a treasure trove of valuable minerals that might rejuvenate the Earth's economy. So three aged NASA shuttles were pulled out of mothballs. crewed by a team of handpicked misfits whom no one would miss, and sent to the asteroid.
However, someone else was there first, under an airtight canopy made by genetically engineered trees. And they weren't human, even if they were from Earth. The Elders were "nautiloids," like intelligent giant squids in Volkswagen-sized shells, from a parallel universe where they were Earth's dominant species. Worst of all, they were CAPITALISTS!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writing in the libertarian tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, L. Neil Smith may be the most widely-published and prolific living libertarian author in the world, with over 20 books to his credit, two of them winners of the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian Fiction: The Probability Broach and Pallas. He has also published numerous short stories and articles, has contributed gags to such comic strips as "Ziggy" and "Frank and Ernest," and has lectured annually in the Colorado State University Physics Department on the physics of alternative realities. He attended the same university 1964-69, majoring in philosophy and psychology. He has served as a reserve police officer for the city of Fort Collins, Colorado, is a skilled competitive shooter, and is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. Smith was born in Denver, Colorado on May 12, 1946 to an Air Force family, which led to his growing up all over North America. A highly prophetic author, his writings have predicted, among other things, the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the internet as we now know it, and the digital watch. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife Cathy, his daughter Rylla, and two cats, Amber and Ambrose.
Telzey Amberdon was only in her teens when she discovered that she was a telepath. Not only a telepath, but a xenotelepath, able to communicate mentally not just with humans, but with alien intelligences. And she turned out to be one of the most powerful telepaths in the history of the galactic civilization called the Hub.
First she had to deal with an alien race that humans hadn't realized were intelligent, and who were about to eliminate those troublesome humans who thought they were colonizing an uninhabited world. Then, she had to fend off the secret psi agents of the Psychological Corps who took a dim view of any telepath, let alone one with Telzey's powers, operating outside of their control. Next, she stumbled across a telepathic serial killer, who used an unstoppable predator, under his mental control, to hunt and kill his victims-and Telzey was to be the catch of the day.
It was fortunate for the human race that she survived, since she next found herself in the middle of a secret war between two hidden races of genetically engineered humans. They called it the "Lion Game," and they made the mistake of thinking that in this clash of predators, Telzey was just a harmless kitten. But when the dust settled, Telzey would be the only one purring....
"Take my advice and buy TWO copies of this book! You'll want to lend it to friends and (trust me on this: I have years of experience to back up the observation) once people get their hands on a Schmitz book, they don't let go!" —Janet Kagan, Hugo-Winner and author of Uhura's Song
ON THIS PLANET,
HUMANS HAD FORGOTTEN
UNTIL IT CAME
LOOKING FOR THEM!
After the collapse of the galactic Web, civilizations crumbled and chaos reigned on thousands of planets. Only on planet Bellevue was there a difference. There, a Fleet Battle Computer named Center had survived from the old civilization. When it found Raj Whitehall, the man who could execute its plan for reviving human civilization, he and Center started Bellevue back on the road leading to the stars; and when Bellevue reached that goal, Center sent copies of itself and Raj to the thousands of worlds still waiting for the light of civilization to dawn.
On Hafardine, civilization had fallen further than most. That men came from the stars was not even a rumor of memory in Adrian Gellert's day. The Empire of Vanbret spread across the lands in a sterile splendor that could only end in another collapse, more ignominious and complete than the first. Adrian Gellert was a philosopher, a Student of the Grove. His greatest desire was a life of contemplation in the service of wisdom . . . until he touched the 'holy relic' that contained the disincarnate minds of Raj Whitehall and Center. On that day, Adrian's search for wisdom would lead him to a life of action, from the law-courts of Vanbret to the pirate cities of the Archipelago and battlefields bloodier than any in the history he'd learned. The prize was the future of humanity.
THE BRAIN OF AN EINSTEIN —
THE MIND OF AN ENGINEER
Presenting the space adventures of Arthur Morton McAndrew, space-time expert and scientist extraordinaire, and his long-suffering companion, spaceship skipper Jeanie Roker. Jeanie first met McAndrew on a routine run to Titan and quickly learned he was a genius of the caliber of Newton or Einstein. When McAndrew invented a space drive that let frail humans survive hundreds of gravities of acceleration, he disappeared while testing it, and Jeanie had to find him, using a trail of cryptic messages he had left behind.
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, in spite of the gray hairs that Jeanie began accumulating as a result of McAndrew's impractical nature and his talent for getting himself into trouble with much more practical villains, such as ...
A mass-murderer of several million people
A highly-placed government official whose life McAndrew saved,
but in an embarrassing way, and who consequently wants to kill
both him and Jeanie
The ruler of a slower-than-light spaceship that left Earth a long time ago, giving it time to develop some very strange customs by the time McAndrew and Jeanie visited it. And there are still more adventures of this spacegoing odd couple in The Compleat McAndrew.
Publisher's Note: Part of this book was previously published as One Man's Universe.
"Like Arthur C. Clarke and Greg Bear . . . brilliantly balanced seesaw between enormous concept and lifesize characterisation." —The London Times