The Gardens of the Apocalypse
THE GARDENS OF THE APOCALYPSE / THE SEVEN RINGS OF RHEA
by Richard Bessière
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Michel Borderie
It was then the something emerged from a deeper pool and suddenly loomed up in front of them. At the tip of a vegetable stem, formed of little scaly protuberances with yellow and black spots, an almost-human head was swaying feverishly. It was unthinkable, astounding, at the very limits of possibility and horror. The humans froze, as if fascinated by that atrocious, bloated head bristling with long, dull, flowing hair. It was half-way between human and animal, to judge by the expression in its large, almond-shaped eyes, and the powerful fangs that bordered a lipless mouth in the form of a sucker.
Richard Bessière made his mark on 1960s French science fiction through a number of novels that featured an original blend of horror and SF. Two of his best works of the period are The Seven Rings Of Rhea (1962), in which Earth is described as seven concentric spheres with Hell at its core, and The Gardens Of The Apocalypse (1963) picturing a nightmarish post-cataclysmic Earth invaded by alien life forms, where survival is all but impossible.
This edition also includes an illustrated bibliography and introduction by French SF scholar Rémy Le Chevalier.
The Seven Rings Of Rhea [Les Sept Anneaux de Rhéa] (1962)
The Gardens Of The Apocalypse [Les Jardins de l'Apocalypse] (1963)
Introduction by Rémy Le Chevalier.