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In this masterful collection of horror stories, George Zebrowski divides these nineteen tales into Personal, Political, and Metaphysical terrors?stories to scare you individually, stories to frighten you as a social animal, and stories that should terrify the entire human race.In "I Walked with Fidel," a young man encounters a once politically powerful zombie; "Jumper" focuses on a young woman with a dark and troubled past; while in "The Coming of Christ the Joker," the light-hearted banter of a celebrity TV talk show becomes something far more serious. "A Piano Full of Dead Spiders" is an eerie story of genius, its demands, and its delusions; in "Passing Nights," the truth behind a recurring nightmare is revealed; "The Soft Terrible Music" depicts a man who must hide his past even from himself. And in the title story, the novella "Black Pockets," Zebrowski asks: What happens to a man when his desire for revenge becomes all-consuming?With an introduction by Howard Waldrop and an afterword by the author, George Zebrowski reveals himself in BLACK POCKETS AND OTHER DARK THOUGHTS as a writer who can play upon our more disturbing emotions even as he impels us to deeper thoughts.
"Like his previous tales of technocratically engineered futures (Macrolife; Stranger Suns; etc.), Zebrowski's latest evokes the pioneering SF of social philosopher Olaf Stapledon... In the 21st century, Earth incarcerates its undesirables in mined-out asteroids launched into new orbits for the duration of their sentences. "This use of distance as a better prison wall" is more than just an ingenious application of technology to the penal system: it's also a convenient trick for disposing of the socially misfit, since orbits are "accidentally" miscalculated to prevent their return. The narrative follows the histories of several of these "rocks" as their prisoners fight, unite and ultimately set out to create superior, self-contained cultures free of the taint of earthly ways. Individual asteroids house specific groups of offenders, ranging from hardened convicts to sexual deviants, juvenile delinquents and unwanted foreigners... Zebrowski argues his points with conviction.Publishers Weekly"A brilliant and dramatic philosophical reflection on the nature of society, technology . . . and humanity itself. Zebrowski is a deep thinker who writes about the big questions' in the grand tradition of Wells, Stapledon, and Clarke."-- Jack M. Dann, award-winning author of The Silent and The Memory CathedralHigh Crimes Call for High Punishment. It is the twenty-first century. Convicts are sentenced to asteroids that move in ever-widening solar orbits, timed to return when their terms run out. But a few ambitious administrators discover that small "errors" in velocity can rid them of selected groups altogether: the hardcore violent, the mentally defective, and especially the political dissidents. Enduring the black vise of interstellar space-time, these human rejects--men and women mixed together--create their own Darwinian societies, struggling to survive.Back on Earth, a handful of sympathetic and curious scientists have not forgotten these lost citizens. When a technological breakthrough makes it possible to overtake these scattered asteroids, a courageous team sets out to go where none has willingly gone before. What they discover in these "brute orbits" is both provocative and moving--a startling vision of humanity you will never forget.
Old Earth is gone. Humanity has been scattered to the stars. Some left their dying planet in spaceship arks, in search of new worlds to inhabit. Others, nanoengineered for near-immortality, explore the far reaches of interstellar space in gargantuan macrolife mobiles.An earth-like human society endures on the environmentally volatile planet of Tau Ceti IV--a rigid community of the faithful that has declared evil the science that caused the homeworld's destruction. The Church is the absolute power here; obedience and belief the rule. But His Holiness Peter III, the New Vatican's most powerful figure, himself harbors doubts, engendered by his love for his unacknowledged and illegitimate rebel daughter Josepha. And suddenly there is another assault on his tottering faith--and on the sacred traditions he has devoted his life to uphold. For an emissary, Voss Rhazes, has arrived from one of old Earth's journeying mobiles--the first off-planet human visitor ever to Tau Ceti--bearing remarkable hated technology that could shred the fragile emotional fabric of a family...and bring devastating chaos to their world.
Two hundred million kilometers across, with a surface area that exceeds that of a quarter-billion worlds, the Dyson sphere is one of the most astounding discoveries the Federation has ever made. Now the U.S.S. Enterprise has returned to explore the awesome mysteries of the sphere. Intrigued by what is possibly the greatest archaeological treasure of all time, Captain Jean-Luc Picard hopes to discover the origin of humanoid life throughout the galaxy -- or perhaps the ultimate secret of the Borg. But when a neutron star approaches on a collision course with the sphere, a mission of discovery becomes a desperate race against time. The many sentient species inhabiting the sphere face extinction -- can even the Starship Enterprise save them all?
From acclaimed writer George Zebrowski, a tale of urban terrorWhat do you tell yourself when impossible things begin to happen? What can you say? You're a police detective, but maybe you're just not good enough and that's what you have to admit, whether you like it or not. You see evidence of things that can't be real, but you just don't observe well enough to explain it in any natural way. Can you ask rational questions and still be crazy? Does it help any that you know your mind is gone? You're trapped in a black comedy with a beautiful but fatal woman right out of an old poem by Keats, hoping to wake up from the nightmare, even if on a cold hillside--as long as you wake up sane.Detective William Benek is faced with an impossible crime; bodies are turning up without their brains, and without any indication of how the organs were removed. His only lead?an attractive woman?becomes more than a lead, and then drives him into a world of terror, where his sanity is questioned and he must stop a monster he can barely comprehend.Listed as a Best Book of 2009 by EDGE/Boston
Short stories and scientific articles about how we might do interstellar travel.
It was a wild planet, but the space ships of Earth saw that it would someday be suitable for habitation, so they seeded it with lower forms of life--bacteria, fungi, simple plants, and insects--to re-create the food chain that human colonists would need. Next should have come the higher forms of animal life, but something went wrong. The Galactic record keepers lost their punch card, the planet was forgotten, and for centuries the forces of evolution worked their magic without further human intervention. Then one day a lifeboat, escaping from the stricken starship Icarus, brought a party of humans to the forgotten planet, where they encountered a nightmare world of huge mushrooms, giant spiders and beetles, monster worms and deadly fungi, a land of dense clouds and perpetual mists, without sunlight. It was an experiment out of control. Rescue was impossible and survival uncertain, so the descendants of the Icarus's people lost their technology, their culture and their language, and degenerated into savagery.
With their sun about to go nova, the people of Epictetus III face annihilation. Although theU. S. S. Enterprise has come to lead the rescue operation, there is no way to evacuate a population of over twenty million, leaving Captain Picard to make an agonizing decision. Should he try to salvage the planet's children, its greatest leaders and thinkers, or its irreplaceable archeological treasures? No matter what he decides, millions must be sacrificed -- unless another solution can be found. With time running out, Data proposes a revolutionary scientific experiment that could save all of Epictetus III, or doom both the planet and theEnterpriseas well.
GARTH OF IZAR: The legend of Captain Garth, the hero of Axanar, has spread throughout the Federation. His exploits are required reading at Starfleet Academy -- where he became a hero of a future legend, James T. Kirk. . . GARTH OF IZAR: Brutal injuries sustained on Antos IV forced the native Antosians to heal him by means of giving him their natural shape-changing abilities. But the cure proved worse than the disease, as Garth was driven insane. . . GARTH OF IZAR: His madness apparently cured at the rehab colony on Elba II, Captain Garth has returned to service to mediate a crisis on Antos IV, with the aid of Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise . But has Garth truly put his insanity behind him, or will he renew his plans for conquest -- starting with the Antosians?
When an abandoned space habitat is found within a distant asteroid belt, the Starship Enterprise is sent to investigate. Captain Kirk and his crew discover an artificial world full of technological marvels -- and unexpected dangers. But wonder and curiosity give way to fear when the habitat's shifting orbit sends it on a collision course with an inhabited planet within the same solar system. Now Kirk and Spock must find a way to save the planet without destroying a treasure trove of alien science, and time is running out...
The opening chapter of an incredible adventure includes the destruction of Earth by ten thousand relativistic bombs launched by an alien race in a science fiction thriller and follows the desperate struggles of the remnants of humankind to survive in a hostile universe.
Subtitled A Mobile Utopia, this pioneering novel about the meaning of space habitats for human history, presents spacefaring as no work did in its time, and since. A Utopian novel like no other, presenting a dynamic utopian civilization that transcends the failures of our history. Epic in scope, Macrolife opens in the year 2021. The Bulero family owns one of Earth's richest corporations. As the Buleros gather for a reunion at the family mansion, an industrial accident plunges the corporation into a crisis, which eventually brings the world around them to the brink of disaster. Vilified, the Buleros flee to a space colony where young Richard Bulero gradually realizes that the only hope for humanity lies in macrolife--mobile, self-reproducing space habitats.A millennium later, these mobile communities have left our sunspace and multiplied. Conflicts with natural planets arise. John Bulero, a cloned descendant of the twenty-first century Bulero clan, falls in love with a woman from a natural world and experiences the harshness of her way of life. He rediscovers his roots when his mobile returns to the solar system, and a tense confrontation of three civilizations takes place.One hundred billion years later, macrolife, now as numerous as the stars, faces the impending death of nature. Regaining his individuality by falling away from a highly evolved macrolife, a strangely changed John Bulero struggles to see beyond a collapse of the universe into a giant black hole.Inspired by the possibilities of space settlements, projections of biology and cosmology, and basic human longings, Macrolife is a visionary speculation on the long-term future of human and natural history. Filled with haunting images and memorable characters, this is a vivid and brilliant work.Zebrowski's works have been translated into eight languages; his short fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Brute Orbits, an uncompromising novel about a future penal system, was honored with the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel of the Year in 1999.The Easton Press published Macrolife in its "Masterpieces of Science Fiction" series.
from the back cover 6599 A.D. The war between the Earth Federation and the Herculean Empire has been over for more than three centuries. The planet in the Hercules Globular Cluster was a cinder; the few descendants of the surviving Herculeans lived on Myraa's World, half a galaxy away, in what seemed to be a religious commune. But on an unnamed planet, deep within the Hercules Cluster, two survivors, father and son, gather their resources and plan a reign of terror against Federation worlds. But the woman Myraa has a different vision-one which excludes empires and warring armies. Subtly, she strives to shape events toward a different end. Rising to one of the most unusual climaxes in recent fantastic literature, this novel of chase and vengeance depicts a colorful, poetic future struggling to overcome its past. Filled with striking twists and vivid ideas, this is space opera at its most modern.
6599 A.D. The war between the Earth Federation and the Herculean Empire had been over for more than three centuries. The planet in the Hercules Globular Cluster was a cinder; the few descendants of the surviving Herculeans lived on Myraa's World, half a galaxy away, in what seemed to be a religious commune. But on an unnamed planet, deep within the Hercules Cluster, two survivors, father and son, gather their resources and plan a reign of terror against Federation worlds. But the woman Myraa has a different vision--one which excludes empires and warring armies. Subtly, she strives to shape events toward a different end. Rising to one of the most unusual climaxes in recent fantastic literature, this novel of chase and vengeance depicts a colorful, poetic future which is struggling to overcome its past. Filled with striking twists and vivid ideas, this is space opera at its most modern.
Rings Charles L. Harness In 1998, NESFA Press published An Ornament to His Profession, a collection of the short SF of Charles L. Harness. This year we are proud to present Rings, an omnibus of four SF novels by the same author. The extravagantly symmetrical selections in this omnibus were chosen to spotlight Harness' dazzling "ring" stories. These powerful works display the momentous themes spoken of in NESFA's previous Harness collection--transformation, change, transcendence, evolution. . . destruction and rebirth, death and transfiguration. . . grand beginnings and epic endings . . . . Rings contains three previously-published novels, The Paradox Men, The Ring of Ritornel, and Firebird that loop through space-time, and a new work, Drunkard's Endgame, that accomplishes the same dizzying feats as its predecessors. Baroque space-time opera at its best! Charles Harness was born in Texas in 1915. He has degrees in chemistry and law, and worked as a patent lawyer in Connecticut and Washington D.C. for more than thirty-five years. He was first published in 1947, and he is still producing exciting and refreshing science fiction tales. During this impressive time span, he produced eleven novels and more than thirty shorter works. His stories are characterized by Byzantine plots and myriad baroque ideas, through which serious social themes are woven. He writes about love and transcendence, humanity and hope. Read and enjoy the NESFA Press selection of four novels by Charles Harness. ... And bring your sense of wonder along for the ride.
With their sun about to go nova, the people of Epictetus III face annihilation. Although the U.S.S. Enterprise has come to lead the rescue operation, there is no way to evacuate a population of over twenty million, leaving Captain Picard to make an agonizing decision. Should he try to salvage the planet's children, its greatest leaders and thinkers, or its irreplaceable archeological treasures? No matter what he decides, millions must be sacrificed -- unless another solution can be found. With time running out, Data proposes a revolutionary scientific experiment that could save all of Epictetus III, or doom both the planet and the Enterprise as well.
A strange message comes from deep space. Is it a warning of impending disaster for Earth and its Sunspace civilization? Seventeen-year-old Lissa works with the greatest scientific minds on Earth. Together the scientists must decode the alien warning. Nothing can interfere with the work--not even Alek, Lissa's first love. For if Lissa and her colleagues cannot translate the language of the stars, civilization will be destroyed. How the radio buoy had arrived on the outskirts of the solar system, no one would probably ever know. Lissa felt a moment of awe and pity. It would change all human history forever. But suddenly she knew that she would trade it all for a message telling her that Alek was safe.
The orbiting tachyon detector was designed by physicist Juan Obrion to identify life in other star systems, but even though he expected to find some signs of life, he certainly didn't expect to find any life on earth. Juan discovers that a culture has been concealed for many years far below Antarctica, and Obrion ventures out as part of a four-man team to explore the unknown. Juan, Lena, Malachi and Magnus are awestruck when they discover a myriad of portals to parallel lands, but the maze they fall into makes them wonder if their journey will ever come to an end.
THE SUNSPACERS TRILOGY is a trio of novels of an alternate, earth-based civilization. In SUNSPACER, young and idealistic philosophy student Joe Sorby must come to terms with adulthood while negotiating the gross injustices of interplanetary commerce. In STARS WILL SPEAK, an alien signal is broadcast from the farthest reaches of the known galaxy...but will the scientists of earth decipher its warning in time? In BEHIND THE STARS, young Max Sorby returns to Earth after spending all of his life on a mobile space habitat, fearing that the only home he has ever known will be lost to him forever.
This collection of stories showcases the work of George Zebrowski, one of science fiction's masters and a writer Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert J. Sawyer has called "one of the most philosophically astute writers in science fiction." Like the writers Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, and Stanislaw Lem, Zebrowski explores the "big questions"--the expansion of human horizons, and the growth of power over our lives and the world in which we live.In the title story, scientists push the boundaries of human mentality to keep pace with ever-evolving AIs. In "The Eichmann Variations," a finalist for the Nebula Award, exact copies of captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann stand trial for his crimes against humanity, while in "The Word Sweep," all speech must be rationed because spoken words take on physical form. In "Wound the Wind," another Nebula Award finalist, unchanged humans roam freely until captured by those who know what's best for them, and in "Stooges," a visiting alien hijacks the persona of Curly Howard. From hard science fiction ("Gödel's Doom") to alternate history ("Lenin in Odessa") to first alien contact ("Bridge of Silence"), and with an introduction by renowned physicist/writer Gregory Benford, this collection presents one of the most distinctive voices writing in the field of science fiction today.
This is an anthology of original science fiction stories selected by George Zebrowski, written by some of the best known writers of the 1980s, including: Bleak Velocities by Gregory Benford, Jewels in an Angel's Wing by Ian Watson, Signals by Charles L. Harness, Veritas by James Morrow, My Life as a Born-Again Pig by Frederik Pohl, Madonna of the Red Sun by W. Warren Wagar, Inside Out by Rudy Rucker, and What Should an SF Novel Be About by Brian W. Aldiss.
This book consists of the stories Diary of a Mad Deity by James Morrow, French Scenes by Howard Waldrop, Taking from the Top by Daniel Pearlman, Probability Pipeline by Rudy Rucker and Marc Laidlaw, The Daily Chernobyl by Robert Frazier, Backward, Turn Backward by James Tiptree, Jr. an introduction by George Zebrowski and an essay SF Poetry: A New Genre by Andrew Joron.
Anthology of stories by various authors about an exotic planet called Cleopatra.
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