Evil Earths

By Brian W. Aldiss

As soon as it was once the best planet in all technological know-how fiction. Fourteen darkish visions of the longer term, edited via Brian Aldiss

DARK TOMORROWS

The ambition, greed, and wanderlust of guy have introduced him to the horizon of time, the place the starlit highway of the universe forks—utopia a method, oblivion the darkish dead-end. Earth has been slashed via an atomic knife. A father and son stare upon the pearl-white crescent that's the final reminiscence of Earth. on the penultimate second of an atomic battle, the final word god appears—pure mutant-human and 24-karat gold. Amid nice ideal towns and ideal machines. guy is a misplaced soul—no cause to stay and no method to die.

In the masterful tales of such writers as Philip okay. Dick, Brian Aldiss, Henry Kuttner, Fritz Leiber, and Jack Vance, Earth—the first planet of technological know-how fiction—is a tarnished international. Geart civilizations have risen and fallen. Invaders have conquered and been banished. guy has mastered time and been enslaved through hope. Humanity is in a twilight, shadowed via remarkable know-how and haunted by means of misplaced goals. yet within the blackness that's the unknowable destiny, stars nonetheless glitter with worlds to be chanced on and hopes but to return true.

DIABOLIC DESTINIES

From the forgotten annals of technological know-how fiction magazines of 3 a long time come fourteen dynamic tales of time-travelers, mutant, golden gods, robotic fans, earth-exiles, and mind-stunning visions of earth's future—and celestial past.

Heresies of the massive God - Brian Aldiss
Night - John W. Campbell
Film of dying - J.S. Campbell
"If I Forgot Thee, Oh Earth..." - Arthur C. Clarke
The Golden guy - Philip ok. Dick
The Wound - Howard Fast
The Time capture - Henry Kuttner
Among the bushy Earthmen - R.A. Lafferty
Guest professional - Allen okay. Lang
Later Than you're thinking that - Fritz Leiber
The final be aware - Chad Oliver and Charles Beaumont
The Valley - Richard Stockham
Down one of the useless males - William Tenn
The males go back - Jack Vance

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Mason clawed it out, aimed it. a skinny beam sprang on the substantial ant. mild crawled weirdly over the frightful head. And the thing—died! and not using a sound it dropped, although its impetus carried it ahead until it slid over the threshold of the abbyss and vanished from sight. No sound got here from under. one hundred fifty five Trembling a bit, Mason changed the weapon. “Come on, Alasa,” he stated shakily. “We’ve acquired to discover the send. there is extra of these devils round. ” however it was once demanding to find the vessel. the 2 performed a unusual online game of blind-man’s-bluff there at the best of the tower, hurrying via mirages, a few they well-known, others completely surprising. a few have been terrible and others friendly sufficient. The worst used to be hurrying over a black, gelatinous substance that heaved restlessly underfoot just like the cover of a few Cyclopean monster. it can were, for all he knew, Mason proposal. The black, heaving pores and skin looked as if it would stretch for miles round, and occasionally the 2 have been buried to their hips in it. back they have been hurrying throughout a box of not easy, frozen brown earth, with a phenomenally attractive evening sky overhead, studded with constellations and sparkling planets, totally surprising. a good comet glowed in its white glory one of the stars. Then there has been a floor of ice or glass, and searching down Mason may possibly see, a ways lower than, imprecise and vague figures that appeared solely inhuman, so far as he can make out during the cloudy crystalline substance. They staggered via an international of blazing hearth, flinching as heatless tongues of flame licked at them. They reeled throughout an unlimited wasteland of sand that crawled and billowed underneath them, stirring with a great embryonic lifestyles. yet eventually they discovered the send. With heartfelt aid Mason Alasa aboard and closed the door, despatched the vessel lancing up. the lady sank down in a limp heap, her breasts heaving tumultuously. At a secure distance above the tower Mason stopped the send, soaring there, whereas he meditated. have been Erech and Murdach captive in the large eidolon? Or-----A cry from Alasa made him flip. She was once pointing. “Look! It’s------” “Erech! ” Mason entire excitedly. “And Murdach! ” Crawling around the gray simple, nearly on the foot of the tower now, was once one of many immense ants, sporting in its claws limp figures that have been, even on the distance, unmistakably human. His hand ultimate at the weapon in his pocket, Mason despatched the send flashing down. But—the concept came—could he use the ray projector at the monster with no killing his neighbors? No, he couldn’t threat it. the large ant appeared to feel chance. It paused, antenna questing, because the send dropped towards it. Then, shedding its burdens, it unfold its wings and fastened to do conflict! 156 CHAPTER X the folks of the Pyramid Grimly Mason guided the send ahead. The tensile energy of the craft he didn't be aware of, yet he suspected that lower than the ant’s chitinous armour it was once fragile. during this he used to be incorrect. A blow of the monster’s wing crashed opposed to the send, despatched it whirling, hurling Mason and Alasa from their toes.

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