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Lurid Dreams by Charles L. Harness
Avon Books, 1990
Price I paid: 90¢
Though basically a skeptic, William Reynolds had known out-of-body experiences in the past. But never before had he floated past the boundaries of Baltimore…and across the borders of time. And now, with the fires of Civil War looming on the horizon, the astonished graduate student was hobnobbing with none other than the dark poet Edgar Allen Poe. But their meeting of minds was to have chilling consequences. For a desperate Confederacy planned to use them both to remold the world—and to change history…for the worse.
Carly Nolan was once a professional telelinker with a powerful corrupt legal firm. Now she lives an outlaw life at the bottom of the human garbage heap―a penniless recovering cram addict wanted by the authorities for dubious crimes against the Data Control bureaucracy. But with a new job―and the help of an aging standalone A.I. entity named Pr. Spinner―she hopes to find the fast track back into public telespace.
Her assignment, however, has sticky strings attached. For it has made Carly the target of a ruthless mercenary Ultra fembot, the love obsession of the young shaman of a savage urban tribe―and a possible pawn of Silicon Supremacists plotting no less than the annihilation of humankind.
Primortals: Target Earth by Steve Perry
Aspect/Warner Books, 1997
Price I paid: none
Sixty-five million years ago, aliens rescued a handful of promising species from doomed Jurassic Earth. They let them survive on new worlds and evolve into beings and civilizations far older, far wiser―and sometimes far deadlier―than anything we can imagine. Today, one of Earth’s lost descendants is coming home…
Grad student Stewart Davies, working at a minor SETI listening post on Long Island, is the first to intercept the signal. It is not a hoax or an accidental burst of radiation. It reads: “I am Zeerus of Achernar Three…We have much to discuss.” Those words will transform the lives of Stewart Davies and his girlfriend, Jess Rossini; of Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Larry Hightower and White House Chief of Staff Laurie Sherman; of NSA specialist Maj. Steve Hayes; and of Jake Holcroft, an eleven-year-old genius on the run from his fanatic father’s underground militia.
For the signal hasn’t come across billions of light years. A starship, carrying one alien, has entered the solar system, approaching Earth. And every old movie and TV show has suddenly become terribly real.
Is Zeerus ambassador or invader? Explorer or fugitive? Can we even understand his motives? What questions should we ask? What answers can we believe? If we don’t want Zeerus on our world, how can we stop him from coming? And if we are wrong about this being’s purpose for visiting, what are the consequences for humankind?
Thanks to the wonder of the hide, no one starves or freezes or gets sick on the perfect worlds of the Solarian Alliance. Like a synthetic skin, the hide protects and heals, and can transform people into anything they want to be. Nothing threatens this wondrous utopia until an extraterrestrial message of unspeakable horror is received. An evil race terrorizes the galaxy, and it’s coming toward Earth….
Into this world the Solarian Alliance frees Krim, the last survivor of the Beat asteroid known as the Jack and a prisoner since he saw his world vanish into that strange other space known as Ur. Disgusted with this utopia, Krim enlists in the distant fight at the edge of the solar system, the battle no one on Earth may know about, lest it disrupt their perfect peace…the Hidden War.
Bruce Boxleitner, best known for his role as Captain Sheridan on the hit television series Babylon 5, delivers an exciting science fiction novel of Earth’s first contact with an alien species—in the year 1881.
HYPER-2: A dangerous new drug manufactured in zero gravity—an irresistible essence that enriches every thought, enhances every sensation.
Officer Lon Salonikis discovered the dark secret behind the Hyperprocess—a conspiracy of mind-altering proportions buried in the deviant quarter Freedom II. And now Salonikis has been terminated.
Only Solar Patrol Rangers Even Glyndower and Joss O’Bannion are fearless enough to venture downlevel—courting certain death to unmask their former partner’s assassin…and to learn the terrible price of the ultimate ecstasy.
In a far-future Megapolis free of disease, pollution, and money, Jake Bento is master of the wormhole—until an unforeseen catastrophe nearly strands the professional time traveler and his beautiful young paleontologist companion Peg in a world of huge extinct beasts. Luckily, Jake’s deft manipulation of wormhole technology can bring them home—after several stopovers in more manageable eras—with enough 3V recordings to make them both legends in their own, and other, times.
There are those, however, who resent such newfound celebrity—specifically Jake’s dangerous erstwhile employers at FASTER-THAN-LIGHT. And now Peg and Jake must watch their backs, from Pleistocene to the present. For there are no treacheries their enemies won’t stoop to—and no time left in which to hide.
Montana, 1876. Othniel Charles Marsh, one of the two top paleontologists in the world, is in the state’s Judith River fossil beds, doing what he does best: digging up the bones of dinosaurs. Montana is a big state, but Marsh can’t rest easy. Edward Drinker Cope, his biggest rival, and the other top paleontologist in the world, is also in the area, and there simply aren’t enough bones for both of them, leading them to play dirty tricks. And time itself is against them: the fierce snows of winter are on the way and, rumor has it, so is Sitting Bull, fresh from his triumph at Little Big Horn.
Another complication: two foreign scientists are also competing for the bones. One says he’s from Sweden, the other says he’s from Iceland. One of them enlists Cope to help him, while the other befriends Marsh.
Marsh and Cope don’t want the fossils to leave the country, so they decide to bury the hatchet and work together to outwit the visitors. This turns out to be harder than they thought. The foreign scientists possess amazing technology, but that’s because they are much more foreign than they claimed. They don’t just want to take the bones out of the country—they’re fighting over who will get to take them clean off the planet…
A RIPPLE IN SPACE-TIME
Archeologist [sic] Tony Miller was a skeptic. He had heard the stories about the remote volcanic island where ships and planes disappeared. But as a scientist, Miller needed proof, not rumors.
So he flew over the island, and saw for himself the million-year horror that waited inside the crater.
Just before his seaplane’s engine stopped…
Millions of fans know Michael Dorn as Star Trek’s unforgettable “Worf.” Now let Dorn take you on a journey of discovery in this gripping tale of an archeologist [sic] who uncovers the most awesome secret in the universe!
By the Time I Get to Nashville by Lionel Fenn
Ace Books, 1994
Price I paid: $2.25
The man they call Diego hitched a ride on a time machine—but the Old West didn’t prepare the gunslinger for the new Nashville of the 22nd century…
The good news is that the Old West is now a religion, and Diego’s being worshipped as the Grand Cowpoke. The bad news is that he’s about to be hanged…for impersonating the man they call Diego!