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Worldmakers: SF Adventures in Terraforming

Gardner Dozois

When mankind moves out to the stars, the colonists of the future will remake the worlds they inhabit in their image. Included here are twenty stories from the most imaginative writers in the field, including:

Poul Anderson * Stephen Baxter * Gregory Benford * Arthur C. Clarke * Greg Egan * Joe Haldeman * Philip Jennings * William H. Kieth * Geoffrey A. Landis * Ian McDonald * Richard McKenna * Laura Mixon * G. David Nordley * Robert Reed * Kim Stanley Robinson * Pamela Sargent * Cordwainer Smith * Bruce Sterling * John Varley * Roger Zelazny

These are the stories of the explorers and pioneers who transform their destinations in the image of their distant home--exciting tales of alien landscapes and the struggle to make them suit human desires.

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Gardner Dozois
  • The Big Rain - (1954) - novella by Poul Anderson
  • When the People Fell - (1959) - shortstory by Cordwainer Smith
  • Before Eden - (1961) - shortstory by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Hunter, Come Home - (1963) - novelette by Richard McKenna
  • The Keys to December - (1966) - novelette by Roger Zelazny
  • Retrograde Summer - (1975) - novelette by John Varley
  • Shall We Take a Little Walk? - (1981) - novelette by Gregory Benford
  • The Catharine Wheel - (1984) - novelette by Ian McDonald
  • Sunken Gardens - (1984) - shortstory by Bruce Sterling
  • Out of Copyright - (1989) - shortstory by Charles Sheffield
  • A Place with Shade - (1995) - novelette by Robert Reed
  • Dawn Venus - (1995) - novelette by G. David Nordley
  • For White Hill - (1995) - novella by Joe Haldeman
  • The Road to Reality - (1996) - novelette by Phillip C. Jennings
  • Ecopoiesis - (1997) - novella by Geoffrey A. Landis
  • People Came from Earth - (1999) - shortstory by Stephen Baxter
  • Fossils - (1999) - novelette by William H. Keith, Jr.
  • A Martian Romance - (1999) - novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Dream of Venus - (2000) - novelette by Pamela Sargent
  • At Tide's Turning - (2001) - novelette by Laura J. Mixon


Worldmaker: Book 1

Lucy Hounsom

Death and destruction will bar her way...

Kyndra's fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age - powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man's terrifying response. She'll learn more in the city's subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she'll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?

With George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones now a huge TV success, fantasy fiction has never been more popular. And these books are traditional fantasy at its very best.


Worldmaker: Book 2

Lucy Hounsom

She came to protect a people, but she needs to preserve a world.

Kyndra has saved and damned the people of Mariar. Her star-born powers healed a land in turmoil, but destroyed an ancient magic--which once concealed them from invaders. Now Kyndra must head into enemy territory to secure peace.

She finds the Sartyan Empire, unstable but as warlike as ever. It's plagued by dissident factions, yet its emperor still has the strength to crush her homeland. The Khronostians, assassins who dance through time, could help Kyndra; or they might be her undoing. And deep within the desert, Char Lesko struggles to control his own emerging powers. He's been raised by a mercenary whose secrets could change everything--including the future and the past.

But when Kyndra and Char meet, will their goals align? Kyndra must harness the full glory of the stars and Char has to channel his rage, or two continents will be lost.


Worldmaker: Book 3

Lucy Hounsom

The land burns brighter in the dark.

Kyndra has finally mastered her cold Starborn powers, but at what cost? She's drifting from those dearest to her - though they can only reunite Acre together. And assassins who dance through time pose an extraordinary new threat. They seek to change the past - to unmake the Sartyan Empire and rewrite the whole history of Acre. And in the Khronostians' new narrative, Kyndra is never even born.

Ex-slaver Char is determined to enlist the help of dragons for the fight to come. They were banished from the world by Khronostians. But, with the rogue Khronostian Ma's skills, he and Kyndra aim to reach the dragons' mountainous city. And perhaps here, they can gather enough power to send Kyndra far back in time - to prevent the death of an era. Yet despite her best efforts, events propel Kyndra towards a confrontation that has shaped and will shape the future of the world.

Lucy Hounsom's Worldmaker trilogy comes to a dramatic conclusion in Firestorm.