Pawl Paxwax was now Master of the eleven human families who rule the galaxy, and free to marry his loved one, the remarkable Laurel Beltane.
But Pawl's happiness was to be short-lived. The many oppressed alien species who paid dearly for humanity's triumph were about to rise up in bloody retribution - with Pawl as their unwitting instrument.
The Fall Families is the epic sequel to Master of Paxwax, an extraordinary interstellar revenge tragedy played out against an immense and powerfully imagined canvas of the far future.
Phillip Mann (1942 - )
Phillip Mann was born in Yorkshire in 1942. he studied English and Drama at Manchester University and later in California. He worked for the New China News Agency in Beijing for two years, but since 1969 has lived principally in New Zealand, where he held the position of Professor of Drama at Victoria University, Wellington, until he retired in 1998. His first novel, The Eye of the Queen was published in 1982 and was followed by seven others including the 'Story of the Gardener' and 'A Land Fit for Heroes' sequences. He has had many plays and stories broadcast on Radio New Zealand, which also adapted his Gardener novels Master of Paxwax and Fall of the Families.
But beneath the surface of one dead and obscure planet lie the seeds of rebellion. For here, the survivors of the ravaged alien races have taken refuge, to plot their revenge on their barbaric conquerors - and the downfall of the human empire.
One man is chosen to be the instrument of their vengeance - but he doesn't know it. His name Pawl Paxwax. He is second son of the Fifth Family, and this is his story - a magnificent epic of far future intrigue, passion and tragedy.
When legendary linguist Marius Thorndyke visits the bizarre planet of Pe-Ellia, he is inexorably sucked into the local way of life, of sex, of death.
Nearly twice our size, powerful, intelligent, skin-changing yet roughly humanoid, the alien Pe-Ellians are vulnerable - and deadly.
Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs.
During one of his assignments, Harlan meets and falls in love with Noÿs Lambent, a woman who lives in real time and space. Then Harlan learns that Noÿs will cease to exist after the next Change, and he risks everything to sneak her into Eternity.
Unfortunately, they are caught. Harlan's punishment? His next assignment: Kill the woman he loves before the paradox they have created results in the destruction of Eternity.
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Then, a year later, a distress signal was heard and the Nightingale reappeared. It was damaged in ways that meant its survival in space was a miracle. But of its previous cargo of life-forms there was no sign. Only one creature remained alive within the ship, and that was its captain, Jon Wilberfoss.
Wulfsyarn is the story of the Nightingale, and of Jon Wilberfoss. It is told by Wulf, an autoscribe who has the task of observing Wilberfoss in the aftermath of his return. For the captain of the Nightingale is a condemned man: condemned by the Gentle Order, and self-condemned by a burden of guilt so intense his mind refuses to acknowledge it. Over the long period of Wilberfoss' tortured convalescence in a peaceful monastery garden on the planet Tallin, Wulf watches and waits, recording the mosaic of Wilberfoss' life: his childhood and adolescence, his entry into the Gentle Order, his marriage (to a native Tallin woman), and the great moment when he was chosen as captain of the Nightingale.
But can Wulf bring Wilberfoss to finally face the truth of what happened on the Nightingale's fatal first and last journey?
He blends memorable anecdotes with acute analysis to explore their style, identity and influence and interweaves their stories with an entertaining history of tailoring and men's fashion. The Dandy at Dusk contextualizes the relationship between dandyism, decadence and modernism, against the background of a century punctuated by global conflict and social upheaval.
The human settlers - farmers and scientists - are finding that their crops won't grow and their lives are becoming more and more dangerous. The indigenous plant life - never entirely safe - is changing in unpredictable ways, and the imported plantings wither and die. And so the order is given - Paradise will be abandoned. All personnel will be removed and reassigned. And all human presence on the planet will be disestablished.
Not all agree with the decision. There are some who believe that Paradise has more to offer the human race. That the planet is not finished with the intruders, and that the risks of staying are outweighed by the possible rewards. And so the leader of the research team and one of the demolition workers set off on a journey across the planet. Along the way they will encounter the last of the near-mythical Dendron, the vicious Reapers and the deadly Tattersall Weeds as they embark on an adventure which will bring them closer to nature, to each other and, eventually, to Paradise.