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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 through Brian Aldiss

DARK TOMORROWS

The ambition, greed, and wanderlust of guy have introduced him to the horizon of time, the place the starlit street of the universe forks—utopia a method, oblivion the darkish dead-end. Earth has been slashed by means of 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 struggle, the last word god appears—pure mutant-human and 24-karat gold. Amid nice excellent towns and ideal machines. guy is a misplaced soul—no cause to stay and no option to die.

In the masterful tales of such writers as Philip ok. 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 by way of hope. Humanity is in a twilight, shadowed by way of very good expertise and haunted by means of misplaced desires. yet within the blackness that's the unknowable destiny, stars nonetheless glitter with worlds to be came across 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 fanatics, 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 okay. Dick
The Wound - Howard Fast
The Time catch - Henry Kuttner
Among the furry Earthmen - R.A. Lafferty
Guest specialist - Allen ok. Lang
Later Than you think 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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He used to be in that scene. Off to at least one part, in a distinct segment simply contained in the door. the road open air was once seen, stars, lighting fixtures, outlines of passing automobiles and folks. within the subsequent tableau he had long past again, clear of the go out. there has been no manner out. In one other tableau he observed himself at different exits, a legion of golden figures, duplicated many times, as he explored areas forward, one after one other. yet every one go out was once lined. in a single dim scene he observed himself mendacity charred and useless; he had attempted to run during the line, out the go out. yet that scene was once obscure. One wavering, vague nonetheless out of many. The rigid course alongside which he moved wouldn't deviate in that path. it'll no longer flip him that manner. The golden determine in that scene, the miniature doll in that room, used to be merely distantly concerning him. It was once himself, yet a far-away self. A self he might by no means meet. He forgot it and went directly to study the opposite tableau. forty five The myriad of tableaux that surrounded him have been an tricky maze, an internet which he now thought of little by little. He used to be taking a look down right into a doll’s apartment of limitless rooms, rooms with no quantity, every one with its furnishings, its dolls, all inflexible and unmoving. a similar dolls and furnishings have been repeated in lots of. He, himself, seemed frequently. the 2 males at the platform. the girl. repeatedly a similar mixtures grew to become up, the play used to be redone usually, an identical actors and props moved round in all attainable methods. prior to it used to be time to depart the provision closet, Cris Johnson had tested all the rooms tangent to the only he now occupied. He had consulted each one, thought of its contents completely. He driven the door open and stepped frivolously out into the corridor. He knew precisely the place he was once going. And what he needed to do. Crouched within the stuffy closet, he had quietly and expertly tested each one miniature of himself, saw which basically etched configuration lay alongside his rigid course, the single room of the doll condo, the single set out of legions, towards which he was once relocating. Anita slipped out of her metal-foil costume, hung it over a hanger, then free her footwear and kicked them lower than the mattress. She was once simply beginning to unclip her bra while the door opened. She gasped. Soundlessly, frivolously, the nice golden form closed the door and bolted it after him. Anita snatched up her lash-tube from the dressing desk. Her hand shook; her complete physique used to be trembling. “What do you need? ” she demanded. Her palms tightened convulsively round the tube. “I’ll kill you. ” The determine looked her silently, hands folded. It was once the 1st time she had noticeable Cris Johnson heavily. the good dignified face, good-looking and emotionless. huge shoulders. The golden mane of hair, golden epidermis, pelt of radiant fuzz------“Why? ” she demanded breathlessly. Her center was once pounding wildly. “What do you need? ” She may perhaps kill him simply. however the lash-tube wavered. Cris Johnson stood with out worry; he wasn’t in any respect afraid. Why now not? Didn’t he comprehend what it used to be? What the small steel tube may possibly do to him? “Of course,” she acknowledged unexpectedly, in a choked whisper.

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