The best of the best from a legendary master of science fiction, the first of two volumes.
The Best of Gordon R. Dickson, Volume I, gathers together fourteen stories, predominantly from the first half of legendary science fiction and fantasy writer Gordon R. Dickson’s career, ranging from the early 1950s through the 1960s, including tales dragons, dolphins, aliens, werewolves, mutants and humans trying to make sense of an infinitely bewildering universe. A maiden aunt is suddenly given superpowers. An alien who looks like a large, sentient rabbit makes ominous announcement which make no sense from behind an impenetrable force shield. Humans besieged by an alien enemy refuse, against all reason, to give up fighting. And much more, in stories running the gamut from exciting adventure to stark tragedy to hysterical comedy. Plus the never before published “Love Story,” written for Harlan Ellison’s legendary, but never published anthology, The Last Dangerous Visions. And stay tuned for The Best of Gordon R. Dickson, Volume II, with another generous display of Dickson’s virtuosity, covering his brilliant career from 1970s to the century’s end.
ORIGINAL TRADE PAPERBACK. Space opera with a bang, as a young castout is caught up in an interstellar war.
DISOWNED IN A HARSH GALAXY
Cast out by his family and exiled from the Rimward Commonwealth, Simon Forrester must make a new life for himself as an apprentice to the powerful Commerce Guild. But others aboard the merchant vessel Stacked Deck have a hidden agenda that might lead directly to interstellar war. Now with rising tensions between the Commonwealth and the neighboring League of Democracies threatening to erupt into open war, Simon finds himself forced to choose between old and new loyalties, with the fate of an empire at stake!
The latest entry in the multiple New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series created by Eric Flint. After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia go on a quest for the makings of medicines that have yet to be invented in 17th century Europe.
The United States of Europe, the new nation formed by an alliance between the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus and the West Virginians hurled back in time by a cosmic accident—the Ring of Fire—is beset by enemies on all sides. The U.S.E. needs a reliable source of opiates for those wounded in action, as well as other goods not available in Europe. The Prime Minister of the U.S.E., Mike Stearns, sends a mission to the Mughal Empire of India with the aim of securing a trade deal with the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan.
The mission consists of a mixed group of up-timers and down-timers, including paramedics, a squad of soldiers with railroad-building experience, a spy and a pair of swindlers. On reaching India the mission finds a grieving emperor obsessed with building the Taj Mahal, harem-bound princesses, warrior princes, and an Afghan adventurer embroiled in the many plots of the Mughal court.
The emperor’s sons are plotting against each other and war is brewing with the newly risen Sikh faith. But in the midst of these intrigues, the U.S.E. mission finds a ally: the brilliant and beautiful Jahanara Begum, the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan. She is the mistress of her father's harem and a power in her own right, who wishes to learn more of these women who are free in a way she can scarcely comprehend.
When the Emperor learns of what befalls his empire and children in the time that was, he makes every effort to change their fate. But emperors, princesses, and princes are no more immune to the inexorable waves of change created by the Ring of Fire than are the Americans themselves.
Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.
The Condition is led by a fanatical necromancer known as the Shadow Man. The government wants to capture the Shadow Man and has assigned the enigmatic Agent Franks to be Owen’s full time bodyguard, which is a polite way of saying that Owen is monster bait.
With supernatural assassins targeting his family, a spy in their midst, and horrific beasties lurking around every corner, Owen and the staff of Monster Hunter International don’t need to go hunting, because this time the monsters are hunting them. Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous...
A desperate attack on the Kilrathi homeworld had succeeded in destroying the entire planet, including the Emperor and his warlords. The surviving Kilrathi, on warships and on their colony worlds were hopelessly demoralized and had sued for peace. The catlike warrior race was no longer a threat to Earth and its colonies. Thirty-five years of war had finally come to an end, bringing peace in our time. They thought…
The reality was more ominous. There were still plenty of independent Kilrathi warlords surviving, commanding a formidable array of warships and weaponry. Some wanted revenge on the apes who had destroyed the sacred homeworld, some wanted to set up their own new empires, and some were simply content to go pirate, raiding human colonies at will. But back on Earth, the war-weary people and their leaders turned a deaf ear to reports of Kilrathi belligerence, preferring to look forward to a peaceful and prosperous future.
A NEW ENTRY IN A LEGENDARY, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED UNDER JURISDICTION SERIES!
TO END A GENOCIDAL MENACE, A RETIRED TORTURER MUST AGAIN TAKE UP HIS HATED TRADE
Andrej Koscuisko is a former Fleet Medical Officer for the enormous totalitarian star empire, the Jurisdiction. But when he served in the Fleet, Andrej’s real job was not medicine, at least not primarily medicine, but to act as a torturer of prisoners, whether they had information to give or not. To help him in his duties, Andrej was attended by “bond involuntaries”—slaves—men he’d come to look upon as friends and family. Finally, enough was enough. Andrej absconded with six of his Fleet‑provided security slaves and sent them into the no‑man’s land of Gonebeyond Space—beyond the reach of the Jurisdiction’s tyrannical Bench.
Now The Angel of Death, a savage terrorist organization from Andrej’s system of origin, means to make Gonebeyond its own. But its ancestral enemy – the secret service of the Dolgorukij church, the Malcontent – has planted a double agent on the inside of the Angel of Death. Finally this interstellar menace might be destroyed forever.
But there is trouble. Andrej Koscuisko wasn’t expected to escape from protective custody at Safehaven Medical Center and come looking for his freed bond involuntaries, and now the Malcontent faces Andrej’s unplanned intervention at the worst possible time. Now the only way to save the mission and bring down an organization that has slain whole systems of men, women, and children is for Andrej to embrace the savagery in his own heart and once again take on the role of Judicial torturer—a role that he had fought long and hard to escape. He must deploy every dirty trick and brutal stratagem he knows against the Malcontent agent whose secret he has unwittingly betrayed.
NEW YORK TIMES BEST‑SELLING AUTHOR. ENTRY #9 IN MERCEDES LACKEY'S CELEBRATED SERRATED EDGE URBAN FANTASY SERIES!
Teenager Staci’s father has just remarried, and now she finds herself being shunted aside by her new stepmother. Shunted all the way to the run-down and dying Maine town of Silence, in fact, and the custody of her alcoholic mother.
It gets worse. Silence seems to be stuck in the proverbial stone age. There’s no cell phone service except at the very top of a bluff outside of town, no internet except dialup, and not one familiar franchise or business. Staci’s mom seems to have gotten even worse since the last time Staci lived with her. The only bright spots in the whole place are a friendly waitress at the diner, and a bookstore where she meets a gaggle of geeks and gamers.
But all is not as it seems in Silence. There are strange things moving beneath the shabby surface, terrible plots in play, and deadly players in the game, and Staci is about to find herself caught up in the middle of it all.