The Ice Company series is the sprawling saga of a future Earth that lives under a new Ice Age. When the series begins, the Earth population lives in domed cities, connected by extended rail networks, which carries power as well as food, trains, etc. These networks are controlled by powerful, oligarchic rail companies which, effectively, rule the world.
As we later learn, the new Ice Age came about when the Moon exploded, and the resulting cosmic debris surrounded the Earth and blocked all of the Sun's light. Civilization collapsed, and after several centuries of barbarism, the age of the Ice Companies eventually arose.
The Earth of the Ice Companies is ruled by a variety of powerful, often secret, organizations, such as:
The most tantalizing mystery of all is the existence, on the
ice shelf, of tribes of red-furred humanoids, who can stand the freezing cold, and whose origins are, at first,
a baffling enigma.
A scientist, Lien Rag, embarks on an odyssey to discover the secret origins of his world. As the series progresses, other major characters are established:
Lien Rag eventually fathers two son: Jdrien, a half-human, half "redfur", and the enterprising Liensun.
Lien's quest eventually takes him through the so-called "Oblique Road" into space, where all the secrets of his world are at last revealed on a giant, space-faring sentient ship orbiting the Earth, the "Bulb".
Lien discovers that, prior to the destruction of the Moon, Earth colonists had migrated to Ophiuchus IV. The colony failed, and some of the colonists eventually returned to Earth in the "Bulb". They split into two sections: One, the Ragus -- Lien's ancestors -- tried to help Earth. The other (the Dispatchers' ancestors) decided to preserve the Ice Age, and were responsible for the genetic creation of the "Redfurs".
Reclaiming Earth from its frozen state then becomes the focus of Lien Rag's adventures, after his return to Earth, ten years after he left it. (There is a ten-year gap between Volumes 20 and 21 of the series.) This is ultimately achieved when a band of Sun Reclaimers manage to break up the Moondust.
The world suffers through a new economic collapse, as the ice companies are forced to evolve, or disappear. Old powers crumble, new alliances form, and various wars erupt around the globe. The Bulb eventually crashes down to Earth, triggering new cataclysmic changes. Some old characters die, while new ones are introduced.
Finally, a temporary peace of sorts is reached in Volume 62, when the Northern and Southern hemispheres are cut off from the other by a fiery belt of unfiltered sunlight at the Equator.
But, fifteen years later (there is a fifteen-years gap between Volume 62 and Volume 1 of the New Series), a new alliance composed of the Dispatchers and the Neo-Catholics plot to recreate the Ice World. Lien, Yeuse, and Lien's grandson (from Jdrien), the half-breed Jdriege, face new challenges.
|For its sheer scope, complexity, ambition, and unrivalled craftmansip, writer G.-J. Arnaud's The Ice Company ranks with such established masterpieces as Isaac Asimov's Foundation and
Frank Herbert's Dune series.
The Ice Company was first published in 1980 in the "Anticipation" imprint of Editions Fleuve Noir.
It quickly became a best-seller, and won the 1982 French Science Fiction Grand Prize. Volumes 1 to 36 were published in "Anticipation". As was the practice at the time, the cover art was randomly purchased from a number of British art studios (mostly VLOO - Young Artists), and did not particularly reflect the contents of the books.
|The Ice Company was awarded its own imprint in
1988, with blue-colored covers, sporting illustations by Demuth.
Volumes 37 to 62 were originally published in that imprint, which also simultaneously reprinted Volumes 1 to 36, bringing the series to a temporary conclusion with Volume 62 in 1992.
|The entire Ice Company
series was reprinted again in the mid-to-late 1990s in 16 omnibus volumes, each collecting four original volumes,
sporting attractive covers by Philippe Jozelon.
The last omnibus volume, Volume 16, contained a new novel, written especially for that edition, and a "Companion" Encyclopedia compiled by Noé Gaillard.
|In 1996, Arnaud
began the "Chroniques Glaciaires"
(The Ice Chronicles) series, which told
untold tales of the past history of the world of the Ice Companies.
The first volume was published by Fleuve Noir in their "Anticipation" imprint.
The second and third volumes were published under Fleuve Noir's "SF Métal" imprint, after the demise of "Anticipation" (all with cover art by Jean-Yves Kervévan).
Finally, The Ice Chronicles were granted their own imprint, with covers by Philippe Jozelon, with Volume 4 in 1999.
Finally, in 2001, Arnaud began a second series of "Ice Company" novels.
FNA = Fleuve Noir, "Anticipation" imprint.
FNCG = Fleuve Noir, "Compagnie des Glaces" imprint.
FNSFM = Fleuve Noir, "SF Métal" imprint.
FNCHR = Fleuve Noir, "Chroniques Glaciaires" imprint.
FNCG2 = Fleuve Noir, "Compagnie des Glaces Nouvelle Epoque" imprint.
La Compagnie des Glaces (Première Epoque)
[The Ice Company - 1st Series]
1. La Compagnie des Glaces [The Ice Company] (FNA 997, 1980 / Omnibus 1)
2. Le Sanctuaire des Glaces [The Ice Sanctuary] (FNA 1038, 1981 / Omnibus 1)
3. Le Peuple des Glaces [The Ice People] (FNA 1056, 1981 / Omnibus 1)
4. Les Chasseurs des Glaces [The Ice Hunters] (FNA 1077, 1981 / Omnibus 1)
5. L'Enfant des Glaces [The Ice Child] (FNA 1104, 1981 / Omnibus 2)
6. Les Otages des Glaces [The Ice Hostages] (FNA 1116, 1982 / Omnibus 2)
7. Le Gnome Halluciné [The Visionary Dwarf] (FNA 1122, 1982 / Omnibus 2)
8. La Compagnie de la Banquise [The Pacific Shelf Company] (FNA 1139, 1982 / Omnibus 2)
9. Le Réseau de Patagonie [The Patagonia Network] (FNA 1157, 1982 / Omnibus 3)
10. Les Voiliers du Rail [The Rail Sailboats] (FNA 1180, 1982 / Omnibus 3)
11. Les Fous du Soleil [The Sun Fanatics] (FNA 1198, 1983 / Omnibus 3)
12. Network-Cancer [Cancer Network] (FNA 1207, 1983 / Omnibus 3)
13. Station-Fantôme [Ghost Station] (FNA 1224, 1983 / Omnibus 4)
14. Les Hommes-Jonas [The Jonah Men] (FNA 1249, 1983 / Omnibus 4)
15. Terminus Amertume [Terminus Despair] (FNA 1267, 1983 / Omnibus 4)
16. Les Brûleurs de Banquise [The Ice Melters] (FNA 1271, 1984 / Omnibus 4)
17. Le Gouffre aux Garous [The Were-Pit] (FNA 1286, 1984 / Omnibus 5)
18. Le Dirigeable Sacrilège [The Sacrilegious Airship] (FNA 1303, 1984 / Omnibus 5)
19. Liensun (FNA 1321, 1984 / Omnibus 5)
20. Les Éboueurs de la Vie Éternelle [The Dumpsters Of Eternity] (FNA 1333, 1984 / Omnibus 5)
21. Les Trains Cimetières [The Graveyard Trains] (FNA 1351, 1985 / Omnibus 6)
22. Les Fils de Lien Rag [The Sons Of Lien Rag] (FNA 1364, 1985 / Omnibus 6)
23. Voyageuse Yeuse [Voyager Yeuse] (FNA 1388, 1985 / Omnibus 6)
24. L'Ampoule de Cendres [The Glass Urn] (FNA 1405, 1985 / Omnibus 6)
25. Sun Company (FNA 1431, 1986 / Omnibus 7)
26. Les Sibériens [The Siberians] (FNA 1449, 1986 / Omnibus 7)
27. Le Clochard Ferroviaire [The Mysterious Hobo] (FNA 1460, 1986 / Omnibus 7)
28. Les Wagons Mémoires [The Memory Trains] (FNA 1477, 1986 / Omnibus 7)
29. Mausolée pour une Locomotive [The Fabulous Locomotive] (FNA 1490, 1986 / Omnibus 8)
30. Dans le Ventre d'une Légende [In The Belly Of A Legend] (FNA 1503, 1986 / Omnibus 8)
31. Les Échafaudages d'Épouvante [The Scaffolds Of Fear] (FNA 1516, 1987 / Omnibus 8)
32. Les Montagnes Affamées [The Hungry Mountains] (FNA 1541, 1987 / Omnibus 8)
33. La Prodigieuse Agonie [The Prodigious Agony] (FNA 1552, 1987 / Omnibus 9)
34. On m'appelait Lien Rag [They Called Me Lien Rag] (FNA 1571, 1987 / Omnibus 9)
35. Train Spécial Pénitentiaire 34 [Special Penitentiary Train 34](FNA 1581, 1987 / Omnibus 9)
36. Les Hallucinés de la Voie Oblique [The Madmen Of The Oblique Road] (FNA 1596, 1987 / Omnibus 9)
37. L'Abominable Postulat [The Abominable Verdict] (FNCG 37, 1988 / Omnibus 10)
38. Le Sang des Ragus [The Blood Of The Ragus] (FNCG 38, 1988 / Omnibus 10)
39. La Caste des Aiguilleurs [The Dispatchers Guild] (FNCG 39, 1988 / Omnibus 10)
40. Les Exilés du Ciel Croûteux [The Castaways Of A Crusty Sky] (FNCG 40, 1988 / Omnibus 10)
41. Exode Barbare [Savage Exodus] (FNCG 41, 1988 / Omnibus 11)
42. La Chair des Étoiles [The Flesh Of The Stars] (FNCG 42, 1988 / Omnibus 11)
43. L'Aube Cruelle d'un Temps Nouveau [The Bloody Dawn Of The New Times] (FNCG 43, 1988 / Omnibus 11)
44. Les Canyons du Pacifique [The Canyons Of The Pacific] (FNCG 44, 1989 / Omnibus 11)
45. Les Vagabonds des Brumes [The Wanderers In The Mist] (FNCG 45, 1989 / Omnibus 12)
46. La Banquise Déchiquetée [The Wrecked Ice Shelf] (FNCG 46, 1989 / Omnibus 12)
47. Soleil Blême [Wan Sun] (FNCG 47, 1989 / Omnibus 12)
48. L'Huile des Morts [The Oil Of The Dead] (FNCG 48, 1989 / Omnibus 12)
49. Les Oubliés de Chimère [The Forsakens Of Chimera] (FNCG 49, 1989 / Omnibus 13)
50. Les Cargos-Dirigeables du Soleil [The Airships Of The Sun] (FNCG 50, 1990 / Omnibus 13)
51. La Guilde des Sanguinaires [The Bloody Guild] (FNCG 51, 1990 / Omnibus 13)
52. La Croix Pirate [The Pirate Cross] (FNCG 52, 1990 / Omnibus 13)
53. Le Pays de Djoug [The Land Of Djoug] (FNCG 53, 1990 / Omnibus 14)
54. La Banquise de Bois [The Pontoons Of Lacustra] (FNCG 54, 1990 / Omnibus 14)
55. Iceberg-Ship (FNCG 55, 1991 / Omnibus 14)
56. Lacustra City (FNCG 56, 1991 / Omnibus 14)
57. L'Héritage du Bulb [The Bulb's Inheritance] (FNCG 57, 1991 / Omnibus 15)
58. Les Millénaires Perdus [The Lost Millenia] (FNCG 58, 1991 / Omnibus 15)
59. La Guerre du Peuple du Froid [The War Of The Ice People] (FNCG 59, 1991 / Omnibus 15)
60. Les Tombeaux de l'Antarctique [The Tombs Of Antarctica] (FNCG 60, 1992 / Omnibus 15)
61. La Charogne Céleste [The Cosmic Remains] (FNCG 61, 1992 / Omnibus 16)
61b. L'Avenir des Dupes [The Dupes' Future] (Omnibus 16, 2000)
62. Il Était Une Fois La Compagnie Des Glaces [Once Upon A Time, The Ice Company] (FNCG 62, 1992 / Omnibus 16)
-- Encieclopédie des Glaces [Ice Encyclopedia] (by Noé Gaillard) (Omnibus 16, 2000)
La Compagnie des Glaces (Nouvelle Epoque)
[The Ice Company - 2nd Series]
1. La Ceinture de Feu [The Fire Belt] (FNCG2 1, 2001)
2. Le Chenal Noir [The Dark Channel] (FNCG2 2, 2001)
3. Le Réseau de l'Éternelle Nuit [The Network Of Eternal Night] (FNCG2 3, 2001)
4. Les Hommes du Cauchemar [The Nightmare Men] (FNCG2 4, 2001)
5. Les Spectres de l'Altiplano [The Ghosts Of The Altiplano] (FNCG2 5, 2001)
6. Les Momies du Massacre [The Mummies From The Massacre] (FNCG2 6, 2002)
7. L'Ombre du Serpent Gris [The Shadow Of The Grey Snake] (FNCG2 7, 2002)
8. Les Griffes de la Banquise [The Claws Of The Ice Shelf] (FNCG2 8, 2002)
9. Les Forbans du Nord [The Northern Pirates] (FNCG2 9, 2002)
10. Les Icebergs Lunaires [Icebergs From The Moon] (FNCG2 10, 2002)
11. Le Sanctuaire de Légende [The Legendary Sanctuary] (FNCG2 11, 2002)
12. Les Mystères d'Altaï [The Mysteries Of Altai] (FNCG2 12, 2003)
13. La Locomotive-Dieu [The God-Locomotive] (FNCG2 13, 2003)
14. Pari Cataclysme [Cataclysm Bet] (FNCG2 14, 2003)
15. Movane la Chamane [Movane the Shaman] (FNCG2 15, 2003)
16. Channel Drake [Drake Channel] (FNCG2 16, 2003)
17. Le Sang des Aliens [The Blood of Aliens] (FNCG2 17, 2004)
18. Caste Barbare [Barbarian Caste] (FNCG2 18, 2004)
19. Parano River (FNCG2 19, 2004)
20. Indomptable Fleur [Indomitable Flower] (FNCG2 20, 2004)
21. Le Masque de l'autre [The Other's Mask] (FNCG2 21, 2005)
22. Passions rapaces [Ravening Passions] (FNCG2 22, 2005)
23. L'Irrévocable testament [The Irrevocable Testament] (FNCG2 23, 2006)
24. Ultime Mirage [Last Mirage] (FNCG2 24, 2006)
1. Les Rails d'Incertitude [The Rails Of Uncertainty] (FNA 1995, 1996)
2. Les Illuminés [The Illuminated] (FNSFM 26, 1997)
3. Le Sang du Monde [The Blood Of The World] (FNSFM 36, 1998)
4. Les Prédestinés [The Predestined] (FNCHR 4, 1999)
5. Les Survivants Crépusculaires [The Twilight Survivors] (FNCHR 5, 1999)
6. Sidéral Léviathan (FNCHR 6, 1999)
7. L'Oeil Parasite [The Parasitic Eye] (FNCHR 7, 1999)
8. Planète Nomade [Nomadic Planet] (FNCHR 8, 2000)
9. Roark (FNCHR 9, 2000)
10. Les Baleines Solinas [The Solinas Whales] (FNCHR 10, 2000)
11. La Légende des Hommes-Jonas [The Legend Of The Jonah Men] (FNCHR 11, 2001)
READ IT IN ENGLISH!
Georges-Jean Arnaud made his first appearance in the "Anticipation" imprint of Fleuve Noir in 1971 with Les Croisés de Mara [The Crusaders Of Mara] the first volume of a trilogy comprised of Nos 469, 509 and 538 (1971-72), and entitled Chroniques de la Longue Séparation [Chronicles of the Long Separation], in which a group of characters from the lost human colony of Mara, which had reverted to feudalism, rediscovered their origins and then embarked on a quest through space to find Earth.
Arnaud, a prolific writer, is the author of well over three hundred novels in different genres, including espionage thrillers, detective fiction, science fiction, horror, erotic fiction, and mainstream literature.
His espionage fiction include two series of note: Luc Ferran (16 novels), written under the pseudonym of "Gil Darcy" for publisher L'Arabesque from 1963 to 1969; and Le Commander for Fleuve Noir's "Espionnage", with about thirty novels written between 1967 and 1980. (Eight Commander novels were adapted into digest-sized graphic novels by Aredit.)
Arnaud also wrote non-series espionage novels under the pseudonyms of "Saint-Gilles" and "Georges Murey" for Ferenczi (1958-60) and L'Arabesque (1957-65), and another fifty-odd novels under his own name for Fleuve Noir's "Espionnage" imprint (1961-86).
OTHER ICE COMPANY SITES:
FRENCH SITE BY OLIVIER JEANNOT
Compagnie des Glaces © 2001 G.-J. Arnaud/Ed. Fleuve Noir. All rights reserved.