'Welcome to Heaven', said the voice. 'The acquisition programme is entirely for females; but the occasional enterprising male does not displease us.'
Berry, Chief of his clan, knew his people could survive the dangers of the forest; and when winter came he made them build barricades against raiders from other clans. But no barricades were strong enough to hold against the Night Comers - huge silver beings of horrifying strength who carried away the womenfolk and were drastically lowering the human population.
Were the Night Comers men, monsters or gods Berry believed they were men; and when the inevitable night came when the women of his clan were seized, he managed to follow. He followed them to a huge tapering column of metal, which took him away from the world he had known to an island in the sky called 'heaven'.
And there Berry realised that he had to defeat the Lords of Heaven if the people on Earth were to survive.
Edmund Cooper (1926 - 1982)
Edmund Cooper was born in Cheshire in 1926. He served in the Merchant navy towards the end of the Second World War and trained as a teacher after its end. He began to publish SF stories in 1951 and produced a considerable amount of short fiction throughout the '50s, moving on, by the end of that decade, to the novels for which he is chiefly remembered. His works displayed perhaps a bleaker view of the future than many of his contemporaries', frequently utilising post-apocalyptic settings. In addition to writing novels, Edmund Cooper reviewed science fiction for the Sunday Times from 1967 until his death in 1982.