The story is described as a "duel of the cosmic magicians." It involves two witch doctors who conjure up ghosts and demons against each other and might appear to be fantasy. But Norton bases the wizards' magic on the use of mildly hallucinogenic drugs, psychological manipulation and latent telepathy, which place the story within the realm of science fiction.
Dueling as a means of settling disputes has been revived by the invention of the dueling machine, which allows two adversaries to have at each other in the imaginary world of their choosing, with no danger to either other than humiliation and the loss of the point in dispute, until the Kerak Worlds found a way to kill with the machine. Unless a young Star Watchman can solve the mystery, the warlike Kerak Worlds will gobble up the planets.
The Lexman Spacedrive gave humanity the stars, but at a fantastic price. Interstellar exploration, colonization and trade became things of reality. The benefits to Earth were enormous. But because of the Fitzgerald Contraction, a man who shipped out to space could never live a normal life on Earth again. Travelling at speeds close to that of light, spacemen lived at an accelerated pace..
The alien spaceship was unthinkably huge, enormously powerful, apparently irresistible. It came from the void and settled on Earth, striking awe into the hearts of all who saw it. Its mission, however, was not conquest -- but a call for help! First contact was a job for the brilliant team of scientists, Arcot, Wade, and Morey. And what they received was an offer of an alliance against an invading foe so powerful that no known force could turn it back!
Lee Richardson and Alexis Pitov, two nuclear scientists, are participating in a thermonuclear test involving a rocket and negamatter. The test is decidedly not a test to develop into weapons-grade materials. However, Pitov and Richardson cannot help but consider the fate of Auburn, NY fifteen years ago when the nuclear event shocked the world. It had to be the Soviets. But the Soviets thought it was the Americans. Maybe it was the Australians? This new experimental test provides the answer.
Mike Kenscott is having a really bad vacation. One minute he's camping in the Sierra Mountains with his brother Andy, and the next minute he's on a different world. Now he's Adric, Lord of the Crimson Tower, of the Rainbow City of Narabedla. He has to cope with his fellow Narabedlans: the Dreamer Rhys, the mysterious veiled Gamine, the dwarf Idris, his brother Evarin the Toymaker (whose Toys are deadly), and Karamy, the golden witch, who is either his lover or his greatest enemy...
Islands of Space was written as a sequel to 'The Black Star Passes" 'Arcot, Wade, Morey and their computer, Fuller, put together a ship which will travel faster than light... they give us what may have been the first space-warp drive. With it they hightail it among the stars. They locate the fugitive planets of the Black Star... find a frozen cemetery-world of a lost race... then head out for another galaxy... and wind up in a knock-down-drag-out interplanetary war there.
Despite a warning received in the Suq by a nomad, Conan stays the night in a cheap tavern in Zamboula, run by Aram Baksh. As night falls, a black Darfarian cannibal enters Conan's small chamber by means of a trick lock to drag him away to be eaten. The Darfarian slaves in the city are cannibals who prey on travelers, the people of the city tolerate this and stay locked securely in their homes, while nomads and beggars make sure to sure to spend the night at a comfortable distance from its walls.
"I am the last of my type existing today in all the Solar System. I, too, am the last existing who, in memory, sees the struggle for this System, and in memory I am still close to the Center of Rulers, for mine was the ruling type then. But I will pass soon, and with me will pass the last of my kind, a poor inefficient type, but yet the creators of those who are now, and will be, long after I pass forever..."