A Science Fiction Omnibus

A Science Fiction Omnibus

Brian W. Aldiss

Language: English

Pages: 460

ISBN: 2:00078403

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This new edition of Brian Aldiss's classic anthology brings together a diverse selection of science fiction spanning over sixty years, from Isaac Asimov's 'Nightfall', first published in 1941, to the 2006 story 'Friends in Need' by Eliza Blair. Including authors such as Clifford Simak, Harry Harrison, Bruce Sterling, A. E. Van Vogt and Brian Aldiss himself, these stories portray struggles against machines, epic journeys, genetic experiments, time travellers and alien races. From stories set on Earth, to uncanny far distant worlds and ancient burnt-out suns, the one constant is humanity itself, compelled by an often fatal curiosity to explore the boundless frontiers of time, space and probability.













frequently glanced at the looking glass, anticipating the aliens’ arrival. Even so I jumped when one of them entered. It looked like a barrel suspended at the intersection of seven limbs. It was radially symmetric, and any of its limbs could serve as an arm or a leg. The one in front of me was walking around on four legs, three non-adjacent arms curled up at its sides. Gary called them ‘heptapods.’ I’d been shown videotapes, but I still gawked. Its limbs had no distinct joints; anatomists

of coffee. ‘You know, Louie,’ he said to the man behind the counter, ‘a man lives alone too long and he gets to seeing things.’ ‘Yeah,’ said Louie. ‘Me, I’d go nuts in that place of yours. Rattling around in it empty-like. Should have sold it when your old lady passed on.’ ‘Couldn’t,’ said Crane. ‘It’s been my home too long.’ ‘Ought to get married off, then,’ said Louie. ‘Ain’t good to live by yourself.’ ‘Too late now,’ Crane told him. ‘There isn’t anyone who would put up with me.’ ‘I got a

anyhow, and took pictures. While he worked, the Earth grew nearer. By the time he had finished his first calculation – which was indecisive, because it allowed a margin for error greater than the distances he was trying to check – Earth and Moon were close enough in the telescope to permit much more accurate measurements. Which were, he realized wryly, quite unnecessary. The computer had brought the DFC-3 back, not to an observed sun or planet, but simply to a calculated point. That Earth and

vanished. The road he stood by was a muddy track down which a cart was being driven by a tiny and close-faced Indian in calico. He followed the cart, and his costume boots were caked with mud when at last he came into the centre of town, trying to appear nonchalant and to remember the layout of the city as he had studied it in the maps. He wanted to speak to no one if possible, and he did manage to find the post office without affecting, however minutely, the heterogeneous crowd of blacks,

unworkable.’ The informal talk began to assemble itself, with small nudges from the woman at the head of the table (who did her presiding with no pomp and few words), around a single date: 1914. Denys knew something of this date, though several of the place names spoken of (the Somme, Jutland, Gallipoli – wherever that was) meant nothing to him. Somehow, in some possible universe, 1914 had changed everything; the Fellows seemed intent on changing 1914, drawing its teeth, teeth that Denys had not

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