Although the short stories in this collection take place in the distant future and within fictional landscapes, the themes that James Gunn examines are the perpetual issues of the human race. These stories revolve around the testing of man's true character--a problem that Gunn, through his powerful plot construction, proves is universal.
Scientist John Wilson cannot deny the accusations coming from the beautiful blond girl with the burning eyes, nor can he refuse her offer. But in accepting her proposal, John must forgo his first love, science, and resign himself to the will of a higher power--magic. Now the door to his past has slammed shut with terrifying finality, and his future holds a horror that no rational mind can fathom. Will The Burning separate John from the comfort of the reality he loves so dearly, or will it open doors in his mind that had been locked . . . until she arrived?
Johnson is plagued by the absence of his memory and by the strange dreams of horrific futures that he somehow knows will become reality if he does not act. He was born in a hopeless future and is doomed to travel in the past and repair humanity's problems before they can happen. Unfortunately, every time he returns to the abyss outside of time he loses all memory of what just occurred. The only information Johnson has of his existence is a one-page letter written to himself, reminding him of his duties. Over and over, he must follow his nightmares and repair the damage done by those in the past. Time is in a perpetual state of turmoil for Johnson, but he lives in a future free of damage. His duty is to erase all possibility of the predicted Crisis!
It is an age when high tech rules supreme. Computers do all the work while humans spend their lives enjoying drug-induced fantasies. Only a handful live and work in the traditional sense--managing the few affairs that still need attention. At the center of this system is the Mnemonist, the man who directs everything that happens. But now he has reached an advanced age and must carefully choose a dreamer capable of taking over his crucial position.
Master of science fiction James Gunn explores the infinite possibilities of the unknown world in this collection of short stories. From planets where social status is based on poverty to a human zoo that serves as a refrigerator for a bloodthirsty monster, Gunn tests the limit of human imagination. Step inside and feel free to browse. This Venusian factory in Jersey manufactures only the finest women on the market. Each is flawless in her beauty and poise, but there is one malfunction that may prove deadly for the future of this company and the owner of the lovely lass. Enjoy this tale and more, in this collection of alternate realities.
Master of science fiction James Gunn explores the infinite possibilities of the unknown world in his collection of short stories Future Imperfect. From planets where social status is based on poverty to a human zoo that serves as a refrigerator for a bloodthirsty monster, Gunn tests the limit of human imagination. Step inside and feel free to browse. A Venusian factory in Jersey manufactures only the finest women on the market. Each is flawless in her beauty and poise, but there is one malfunction that may prove deadly for the future of this company and the owner of the lovely lass. Enjoy this tale and more, in Gunn's collection of alternate realities.
Gift from the Stars is a science fiction novel by James Gunn first written as a series of connected novelettes in Analog and then published as a novel in 2005. It deals with the same theme as that in Carl Sagan's novel Contact, spaceship plans received in signals from the stars, but it provides what Gunn considers a more realistic extrapolation. About the romanticism and easy adventure highlighted in Sagan's novel, Gunn in his preface writes as follows: That isn't the way it would happen, I told myself, and I was "inspired" to write Gift from the Stars, a response not only to Contact but to every novel of humans encountering the unknown. I wrote it as a series of novelettes, just as I had written The Listeners, and published them over a period of half a dozen years in Analog, beginning with "The Giftie," which won the Analog readers' poll for best novelette of the year. I have kept that pattern in the book, even though I planned it from the beginning as a novel exploring "the way it would really be." It is a novel in six parts instead of a dozen or so chapters. If aliens sent us plans for a spaceship, the novel suggests, they would arrive without fanfare and their arrival would be greeted not with surprise or joy or gratitude, but with suspicion and resistance. A few space enthusiasts would want to implement them to reach the stars, but the great masses of humanity-and the bureaucrats who make decisions for them-would ignore the plans or want to suppress them. Most of all, why would aliens send us spaceship plans? Are their intentions beneficent or inimical? Damon Knight raised the question in a classic shortshort story entitled "To Serve Man," but Gift from the Stars pursues the question in detail and arrives at an answer, like the spaceship the humans construct and name Ad Astra Per Aspera. "To the stars through difficulty." Gift from the Stars is a more light-hearted look at the issues of alien contact-the plans, for instance, are discovered as an appendix in a book on a UFO remainder table-and I enjoyed writing them and living with the characters: Adrian Mast, Frances Farmstead, Jessica Buhler, and the troubled genius Peter Cavendish.
James Gunn's masterpiece about a human fountain of youth collects the author's classic short stories that ran in elite science-fiction magazines throughout the 1950s. New material accompanies this updated edition, including an introduction from renowned science-fiction writer Greg Bear, a preface from Gunn himself, and "Elixer," Gunn's short story that introduced Dr. Pearce to another Immortal.What is the price for immortality? For nomad Marshall Cartwright, the price is knowing that he will never grow old. That he will never contract a disease, an infection, or even a cold. That because he will never die, he must surrender the right to live. For Dr. Russell Pearce, the price is eternal suspicion. He appreciates what synthesizing the elixir vitae from the Immortal's genetic makeup could mean for humankind. He also fears what will happen should Cartwright's miraculous blood fall into the wrong hands. For the wealthy and powerful, no price is too great. Immortality is now a fact rather than a dream. But the only way to achieve it is to own it exclusively. And that means hunting down and caging the elusive Cartwright, or one of his offspring.
Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship EnterpriseTM are shocked to discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock have faced many threats before, but now they face the most seductive menace of all: perfect happiness. And the rest of the Federation may soon fall under the irresistible control of the Joy Machine.
Timshel was once the vacation spot of the galaxy, full of culture, natural beauty, and friendly, hospitable inhabitants. But now Timshel has cut itself off from the universe. No one is allowed to enter or leave. Concerned, the Federation has sent agents to investigate, but none have returned. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise TM are shocked to discover the truth: the people of Timshel have succumbed to an insidious new technology that guarantees every citizen total pleasure, a soul-destroying ecstasy that has enslaved their entire civilization. Kirk and Spock have faced many threats before, but now they face the most seductive menace of all: perfect happiness. And the rest of the Federation may soon fall under the irresistible control of the Joy Machine.
Imagine a world where you can have everything you want, or if you can't have it, you can be psychologically conditioned not to want it. Hedonics can do that, but can the human race survive happiness?
The college of the future has just one purpose: endless battle. Political organizations urge ruthless combat with an invisible opponent and each student is challenged to be more extreme than the rest. One man finds his fame by kidnapping and killing a professor. Instantly he is immersed into the world of grease-guns and grenades, where the anarchy is suspiciously formulated. The professors have forgotten their pursuit of knowledge, midnight groping at the point has turned into isolated sex with keyboards and the only goal is to compete in deadly political games. By becoming a shining example of academic excellence, Tom Gavin has tapped into the secrets inside the private chambers of the university. He finds it is either play the game or die beneath the latest revolutionary fire.
The Listeners is a classic work of hard science fiction by James E. Gunn first written as a series of connected novelettes in science fiction magazines and then published as a novel in 1972. It tells the stories of sensitive and individualistic scientists over several generations as they discover signals from the star Capella, translate its message, send an answer, and receive the reply. It explores the full spectrum of scientific, political, religious, intellectual, and human issues that are raised by these events. BenBella features the following descriptions and accolades on the book jacket: FOR FIFTY YEARS MANKIND SEARCHED IN THE SKIES AND HEARD NOTHING. BUT ONE DAY AN ANSWER CAME, AN ANSWER NO ONE WAS EXPECTING, AND ALMOST NO ONE WANTED.... The Listeners had done more for SETI than anything else ever published." PAUL SHUCH, "James Gunn's The Listeners is one of the most influential novels of our time, leading the way for both science and science fiction. Its serious and exciting story of first contact is must reading for all interested in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and humanity's future in the galaxy." GREG BEAR "Quite simply, The Listeners is one of the finest books of speculative fiction ever written. It is strong, thoughtful, marvelously human, and to my eye without flaw. In sum, an unforgettable reading experience." HARLAN ELLISON "one of the very best fictional portrayals of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence ever written!" - Carl Sagan Afterword by Freeman J. Dyson James E. Gunn has published 38 books and nearly 100 short stories, including such classics as The Joy Makers, The Dreamers, and The Immortals. He is the winner of the 1983 Hugo Science Fiction Achievement Award, and in 1992 was given the Eaton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
After fifty-one long years of patient waiting, the message has finally arrived. They have dedicated their lives to trying to decipher the eerie silence that resounds from space and now there is finally a sound after decades of quiet. In the beginning there is a hail of celebration--the Project has finally produced results--but then the questions begin. What does the message mean? Could it be 'We come in peace' or 'Get ready for world domination'? The message baffles Earth. Only one man has the power to make the decision and it could mean intergalactic warfare if he makes the wrong choice. Director MacDonald holds in his hands the fate of Earth, the universe and the Project, which is dedicated to answering questions that have plagued humanity for centuries. Will he make the correct choice?
Unseen by an apathetic society, a stupendous battle is being waged between good and evil. In the center of an unassuming town, gathered in a nondescript hotel, are the most powerful forces of time eternal: the thirteen black covens. On All Hallow's Eve they unite to summon the Black Magician, the darkest and deadliest being of all time They are a rag-tag group of misfits: an inexperienced but lovely witch, an ancient sorcerer obsessed with math, and a private detective who can't seem to solve a case, but they are humanity's only hope. The world is unaware of the battle, but it will suffer the ultimate consequence if the war is won by the black evil. Can a group of social rejects save the world? Or will humanity plunge forever into the abyss?
Wow, the millennium is off to a great start, the notorious Y2K bug was no problem, and the world didn't end; time to take a break and relax.... Well, not exactly. The millennium didn't really get underway until January 1, 2001. You thought you were safe? Think again! Something much, MUCH, MUCH worse is ahead. The new millennium will bring nothing but disaster and destruction. As six unique people rush feverishly to resolve catastrophes both personal and otherwise, they cannot ignore the loudly ticking clock that will bring...THE END OF THE WORLD. And this time its no psychic premonition; it's more real than you've ever dreamed.
These stories share a common concept: man has dreamed for centuries about space flight, about happiness, about immortality. If only I could fly to the moon, he has told himself, if only I could find true happiness, if only I could live forever ... then I would be like a god. These stories, however, go on to demonstrate that every dream come true brings unforeseen consequences. The power of man to dream and make his dreams come true is unlimited, but each step forward must be paid for, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and some dreams are nightmares.
The golden-skinned merchant princes of Eron, mutants who were riding horse-sized hunting dogs, started to close in on them.
At one time, outer space was seen as the last frontier, the final challenge to human ingenuity. But those days are gone, as the galaxy becomes the stomping ground for humans encountering strange new machinery and green-faced Martians. Depicted with stark realism and meticulous detail, this novel tells of the dangers, despair, and unbelievable pleasure that await the men and women who are to populate the first ever station in space.
William Dane is a man with a nasty but valuable secret, one that all the cutthroats in the galaxy are itching to get their hands on. Dane must perfect the art of concealing himself from the crazed factions yearning for the power that this secret can give them, otherwise he will die an unspeakable death at their hands. He's a man on the run from the entire galaxy, and he must be constantly vigilant if the key to rule over the universe is not to fall into the wrong hands. This classic science fiction masterpiece satisfies readers' every desire for adventure and intrigue.
Thunder and Roses is the fourth volume in The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon. Included in Thunder and Roses are 15 stories, with major works like "Maturity," "The Professor's Teddy Bear," "A Way Home," and the title story, in addition to two works never published before.
"We summon thee, Prince, Ruler of Darkness, Lord of Evil: Your worshippers summon thee to receive our sacrifice." James Gunn's science fiction world has veered into the realm of the unholy with The Witching Hour, three novelettes of satanic scenery and devilish deceit. Demons, death, and disbelief will haunt you at every corner. Macabre rituals of darkness will creep up your spine until your fragile mind tingles with fear.
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