Celebrated playwright Nicholas Martin didn’t read the small print in his Hollywood options contract. Now he’s facing five years of servitude to a conceited director named Raoul St. Cyr, who’s taken a thoughtful play about Portuguese fishermen and added dancing mermaids. When it seems the plot has changed to include a robot from the future Nicholas looses all hope, but this robot may be just what he needs to win his freedom. – The Ego Machine was first published in the May, 1952 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.
The human race was expanding through the galaxy ... and so, they knew, were the Aliens. When two expanding empires meet ... war is inevitable. Or is it ...?
McGuire, John J.
New Texas: its citizens figure that name about says it all. The Solar League ambassador to the Lone Star Planet has the unenviable task of convincing New Texans that a s'Srauff attack is imminent, and dangerous. Unfortunately it's common knowledge that the s'Srauff are evolved from canine ancestors—and not a Texan alive is about to be scared of a talking dog! But unless he can get them to act, and fast, there won't be a Texan alive, scared or otherwise!
Carrying out the last wishes of a comrade, mercenary Eric John Stark takes on the task of returning a stolen talisman to a walled city near the Martian pole; a city that guards the mysterious Gates of Death. Now all he has to do is get past the brutal clans of Mekh and the shadowy Lord Ciaran to get to Kushat where they’ll probably attempt to kill him. All while he tries to hold on to a talisman that imprints ancient memories of the Gates in his mind. That’s not easy for a human raised by Mercurian aborigines. - Black Amazon of Mars is the third story to feature Brackett’s hero Eric John Stark, and was later expanded into the novel People of the Talisman. It was first published in Planet Stories magazine in March of 1951.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Originally published under the title of Beyond Thirty.
The novel, set in the year 2137, was heavily influenced by the events of World War I. In the future world depicted in the novel, Europe has descended into barbarism while an isolationist Western Hemisphere remains sheltered from the destruction. The title Beyond Thirty refers to the degree of longitude that inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere are forbidden to pass.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Out of Time's Abyss is a science fiction novel, the third of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Caspak trilogy. In this conclusion, the mysteries of the lost world's unique biological system are revealed.
Campbell, John Wood Jr.
The star Mira was unpredictably variable. Sometimes it was blazing, brilliant and hot. Other times it was oddly dim, cool, shedding little warmth on its many planets. Gresth Gkae, leader of the Mirans, was seeking a better star, one to which his "people" could migrate. That star had to be steady, reliable, with a good planetary system. And in his astronomical searching, he found Sol.
With hundreds of ships, each larger than whole Terrestrial spaceports, and traveling faster than the speed of light, the Mirans set out to move in to Solar regions and take over.
And on Earth there was nothing which would be capable of beating off this incredible armada—until Buck Kendall stumbled upon THE ULTIMATE WEAPON.
Sailors Sam Dunlap and Arthur check in to a New York hotel to await their mate Vern Engdahl when a girl shows up proposing to purchase Arthur. They need guys like Arthur to help run the city, and the fact that he fits in a small suitcase is even better. – The Knights of Arthur was first published in the January 1958 edition of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.
“The Creature from Cleveland Depths” also known as “The Lone Wolf” tells the story of a writer and his wife who refuse to move below-ground after the cold-war gets hot. The underground society discovers a decline in their ability to creatively innovate, and must consult with surface dwellers to develop products that satiate the needs of a people living like moles. But the latest product to result from this alliance, “The Tickler” has frightening implications that only our heroes seem to notice. – This story appeared in the December, 1962 issue of “Galaxy” magazine.
Chief Inspector Strock gets the tough cases. When a volcano suddenly appears to threaten mountain towns of North Carolina amid the non-volcanic Blue Ridge Mountains, Strock is posted to determine the danger. When an automobile race in Wisconsin is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of a vehicle traveling at multiples of the top speed of the entrants, Strock is consulted. When an odd-shaped boat is sighted moving at impossible speeds off the New England coast, Stock and his boss begin to wonder if the incidents are related. And when Strock gets a hand-lettered note warning him to abandon his investigation, on pain of death, he is intrigued rather than deterred.
Set in a period when gasoline engines were in their infancy and automobiles were rare, and when even Chief Inspectors had to engage a carriage and horses to move about, the appearance of a vehicle that can move at astounding speeds on land, on water - and as later revealed, underwater and through the air - marks a technological advance far beyond the reach of nations. It is technology invented by and for the sole benefit of a man who styles himself (with some justification) "The Master of the World."
This book is a sequel to an earlier Verne novel, "Robur the Conqueror", but enough detail is given to fully appreciate this story without having first read the other.
Robert Bloch (1917 – 1994) was a prolific writer in many genres. As a young man he was encouraged by his mentor H. P. Lovecraft, and was a close friend of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Besides hundreds of short stories and novels he wrote a number of television and film scripts including several for the original Star Trek. In 1959 Bloch wrote the novel Psycho which Alfred Hitchcock adapted to film a year later. He received the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and he is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America. Published in Amazing Stories in 1958, This Crowded Earth is a thriller set on an overpopulated Earth of the future.
An air force pilot adrift in peacetime is recruited to join an Antarctic expedition. When a strange mist downs his plane he discovers an ancient alien civilization which has prophesized his arrival. Now he and his faithful pet Ana must descend to the depths of the crater and face the Black Ones in order to rescue the fair Thrala, daughter of the Ancient Ones. – Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton) was a popular author of science fiction and fantasy who began publishing stories in the early 1930s. “The People of the Crater” was first published in volume 1 number 1 of Fantasy Book in 1947.
"It might seem a little careless to lose track of something as big as a battleship ... but interstellar space is on a different scale of magnitude. But a misplaced battleship—in the wrong hands!—can be most dangerous." The world class con man and thief known as the Stainless Steel Rat (diGriz) has another very big problem to solve and this science fiction novella by the great Harry Harrison will see if he can solve it and perhaps four or five more like it before this fascinating and funny tale is finished. 'Use a thief to catch a thief' sounds great but it sometimes has unexpected results.
Smith, E. E. “Doc”
A team of space travelers are caught in a subspace accident which, up to now, no one has ever survived. But some of the survivors of the Procyon are not ordinary travelers. Their psi abilities allow them to see things before they happen. But will it be enough?
Smith's story "Subspace Survivors" first appeared in the July 1960 issue of the magazine Astounding.
Honath the Pursemaker is a heretic. He doesn’t believe the stories in the Book of Laws which claims giants created his tree-dwelling race. He makes his opinion known and is banished with his infidel friends to the floor of the jungle where dangers abound. Perhaps he’ll find some truth down there. – The Thing in the Attic is one of Blish’s Pantropy tales and was first published in the July, 1954 edition of If, Worlds of Science Fiction magazine.
A quiet backwater outpost on Mars gets a surprise in the form of a new police recruit - in a box! Yep, it's a prototype robot cop sent to the backwater station for testing. And Harrison tells the strange, funny and scary things that begin to happen after that, as only he can.
You who have read "The Mad Planet" by Murray Leinster, will welcome the sequel to that story. The world, in a far distant future, is peopled with huge insects and titanic fungus growths. Life has been greatly altered, and tiny Man is now in the process of becoming acclimated to the change. We again meet our hero Burl, but this time a far greater danger menaces the human race. The huge insects are still in evidence, but the terror they inspire is as nothing compared to the deadly Red Dust. You will follow this remarkable story with breathless interest. "Burl raised his spear, and plunged down on the back of the moving thing, thrusting his spear with all the force he could command. He had fallen upon the shining back of one of the huge, meat-eating beetles, and his spear had slid across the horny armor and then stuck fast, having pierced only the leathery tissue between the insect's head and thorax."
It is 30,000 years following dramatically changed climate conditions on earth which had let massive amounts of carbon dioxide belch from the interior of the planet into the atmosphere. Over the millenia this would have quite devastating effects on life as it had once been known. Much of the human and animal population would not survive the climate change, and indeed those few humans who did survive knew nothing of all which their predecessors had learned and built. Indeed, they knew not even of their existence. On the other hand insects and fungi would flourish over time.
And so those few remaining humans were unknowingly at the very beginning of the building of a tribal society, which at the time of the story of Burl simply meant food and survival. And so it was Burl who chose to travel beyond his small tribal community in an effort to hunt for something new and different to hopefully impress Saya, the young female of his tribe to whom he felt a peculiar attraction. The Mad Planet is Burl's adventure.
Edmond Hamilton (1904 – 1977) had a career that began as a regular and frequent contributor to Weird Tales magazine. The first hardcover publication of Science Fiction stories was a Hamilton compilation, and he and E.E. “Doc” Smith are credited with the creation of the Space Opera type of story. He worked for DC Comics authoring many stories for their Superman and Batman characters. Hamilton was also married to fellow author Leigh Brackett. - Published in the May, 1962 issue of Amazing Stories “The Stars, My Brothers” gives us a re-animated astronaut plucked from a century in the past and presented with an alien world where the line between humans and animals is blurred.
Arthur Chamberlain has problems. His one-man engineering firm is faltering and his pretty secretary Estelle barely notices him. But these problems are put aside when his Manhattan office building falls into the fourth dimension. Madison Square is filled with wigwams and it’s up to Arthur to engineer a way to make his building to fall back to the future. – The Runaway Skyscraper first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy magazine.
“Security”, tells the story of a compartmentalized government physicist ordered by secret police to complete experiments aimed at developing a new weapon. He is brought to a hidden space station and put in charge of the project but there are many questions. In a world of spies watching spies it’s sometimes hard to know what’s patriotic. -- Poul Anderson was a Golden Age Science Fiction and Fantasy author. “Security” first appeared in the magazine “Space Science Fiction” in February of 1953
The human race has reached the stars, colonized many planets and done amazing things in all areas of scientific progress. But humans are still humans and remain both honorable and not so honorable; some with high ideals and others with very low ones indeed. So why hasn't war occurred in several centuries among the hundreds of planets? Has man really changed? Not on your life it hasn't! Read how science has given man peace but at what cost?
Bors felt as if he'd been hit over the head. This was ridiculous! He'd planned and carried out the destruction of that warship because the information of its existence and location was verified by a magnetometer.
But, if he'd known how the information had been obtained--if he'd known it had been guessed at by a discharged spaceport employee, and a paranoid personality, and a man who used a hazel twig or something similar--if he'd known that, he'd never have dreamed of accepting it. He'd have dismissed it flatly!
Simak, Clifford D.
Layard was a curiosity to sociologists. The planet supported thriving tribes of natives but they were genderless. How could tribes form without families? But Gavin Duncan didn’t care. He had come to Layard to farm vua plants. Their berries cured mental illnesses and were one of the most expensive commodities in the galaxy. He was going to make his fortune if he could just keep the Cytha at bay, a big, dumb animal that could munch through 10 rows of vua in a night. Despite native superstitions he was going to have to hunt and kill the pest if he was to protect his crop. It was a dim-witted beast. How hard could it be? – “The World That Couldn’t Be” was first published in the January 1958 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.
Earth is threatened with destruction by a deadly alien plague. The planet’s only hope: Get help from the long-lost Omega Colony, somewhere in space. The fate of the Earth is in the hands of Lieutenant Commander Greylorn in charge of the search for Omega, and every decision he will make during Man’s first contact with an alien race...
Commander Greylorn has a problem. No, actually he has two of them. It's not enough that the remaining residents of Earth have pinned their last hope of salvation on him and his mission. He has to find a colony that presumedly was established at an unknown star two centuries before and beg their help. But first, he has the small matter of a mutiny on board his starship, and people are trying to kill him!
Written in an era when radios used vacuum tubes, the scientific component of the story is quaint and dated. But Laumer makes the centerpiece of his tale the retelling of how, four years out on the voyage, his crew decides it wants to give up and go home when it meets an alien race... that apparently breeds humans in captivity as food animals!
Beating the aliens, shanghaiing the crew, finding the colony and saving Mother Earth - just the ingredients for a rattling good yarn!
Big Jake Connors is taking over his town through violence, inimidation and bribery but Detective Sergeant Fitzgerald can only grind his teeth in frustration. The gangsters seem to have everything going their way until the day that a little dry cleaning establishment declines their offer of 'protection' and strange things start to happen. Murray Leinster gives us another wonderful product of 'what if' from his limitless imagination to enjoy in this gem of a story. Listen and smile.
Every status-quo-caste society in history has left open two roads to rise above your caste: The Priest and The Warrior. But in a society of TV and tranquilizers--the Warrior acquires a strange new meaning...
Farmer, Philip José
French colonists on a planet ruled by reptiles and amphibians are forced to wear living “skins” that subdue aggression and enforce vegetarianism. As children, Rastignac and his reptile friend Mapfarity force themselves to become carnivores and begin a protein fueled journey that causes Rastignac to develop a Philosophy of Violence. When a spaceship from Earth crashes in the ocean, Rastignac and company must put their philosophy to the test. - Rastignac The Devil was first published in the May 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe Magazine.
del Rey, Lester
The old space freighter Wahoo is all Dr. Pietro can afford for his expedition to the rings of Saturn. Although built for a crew of 6 the good doctor crams 19 people into the Wahoo, and after 5 months they are really getting on each other’s nerves. Then someone starts killing people and poisoning the air giving plants in the hydroponics bay. Can our hero Paul Tremaine find the killer before he suffocates? Perhaps you should hold your breath. – Let’em Breathe Space was first published in the July 1953 edition of Space Science Fiction magazine.
del Rey, Lester
Lester del Rey (1915 – 1993) was a Golden Age science fiction author and editor closely connected to John W. Campbell Jr. and Astounding Science Fiction magazine. He also founded Del Rey Books, a popular publishing label he edited with his wife Judy-Lynn. Victory is the story of an undefended Earth in a warring galaxy. It appeared in the August 1955 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
The Med Service people hit strange problems as routine: if they weren't weirdos, they weren't tough enough to merit Med Service attention. Now the essence of a weird problem is that it involves a factor nobody ever thought of before ... or the absence of one nobody ever missed ..
Gallun, Raymond Z.
John Endlich needed to clean up his act. Gambling, drinking, a hot temper and wanderlust were the last things Rose and the kids needed. So he went to the Homesteaders Office and signed up to terraform Vesta, a chunk of a once thriving alien planet that had exploded from within; a flat lump of crust which was now the remains of a farm on one side and a mining operation on the other. The miners hated Endlich and sabotaged his plans at every opportunity. They were going to kill him and his family if he didn’t find a way to stop them. - Asteroid of Fear was first published in the March, 1951 edition of Planet Stories magazine.
Widowed cattle rancher Hetty Thompson had done all right for herself since Big Jim’s death. She had Barney, a loyal if dim-witted ranch hand, and Johnny her assistant manager whom she rescued from a drunken father years before. When the government carves out a huge piece of Frenchman’s Flat for an atomic testing ground Hetty and her neighbors object, but the millitary fences in the range anyway. It wasn’t so bad for a while. Then Hetty’s chickens began laying golden eggs, and her prize Guernsey produced explosive milk. Nevada ranch folk are tough but are they ready for mutant livestock?
Gallun, Raymond Z.
When an alien spacecraft crashes in Missouri a team of army investigators is dispatched. Among the debris they find a Martian infant and decide to raise him in their lab. Is he too strange to form a relationship with humans? Maybe, but he does have cute eye-stalks. – Stamped Caution was first published in the August 1953 issue of Galaxy magazine.
Piper, H. Beam
Natives of the distant planet of Kwannon believe that their world is about to end, and in preparing for the apocalypse, may be unnecessarily bringing about their own demise. The planetary government can’t overcome its own bureaucracy to help them, and the military is overwhelmed. Can a single newsman change the course of a whole people, and save their world?
Piper, H. Beam
Two-hundred years after a global nuclear war, two explorers from a research outpost, that largely survived the cataclysm, discover a settlement of humans who have managed to maintain their civilisation despite ferocious cannibal neighbours, the Scowrers. However, the explorers must turn detective in order to understand the mystery of their hosts philosophy and religion. (Description by Reynard)
A $10,000 prize lures Tom into competing at a local aviation meet at Eagle Park. Tom is determined to build the fastest plane around, but his plans mysteriously disappear, which means Tom must redesign his new airplane from the beginning.
Pat Travis, a spacer renowned for his luck, is suddenly quite out of it. His job is to beat his competitors to sign newly-Contacted human races to commercial contracts...
But what can he do when he finds he's on a planet that consults astrology for literally every major decision - and he has arrived on one of the worst-aspected days in history?
Michael Shaara, later to write the Pulitzer-winning novel "The Killer Angels", wrote this story for Fantastic Universe in 1956.
Campbell, John Wood Jr.
As Earth's faster-than-light spaceship hung in the void between galaxies, Arcot, Wade, Morey and Fuller could see below them, like a vast shining horizon, the mass of stars that formed their own island universe. Morey worked a moment with his slide rule, then said, "We made good time! Twenty-nine light years in ten seconds! Yet you had it on at only half power...." Arcot pushed the control lever all the way to full power. The ship filled with the strain of flowing energy, and sparks snapped in the air of the control room as they raced at an inconceivable speed through the darkness of intergalactic space. But suddenly, far off to their left and far to their right, they saw two shining ships paralleling their course! They held grimly to the course of the Earth ship, bracketing it like an official guard. The Earth scientists stared at them in wonder. "Lord," muttered Morey, "where can they have come from?"
Nourse, Alan Edward
Dal Timgar had always wanted to be a doctor. As a Garvian and the first non-human to study medicine on Hospital Earth, he must face enormous adversity from classmates, professors, and some of the highest ranking physicians on all of Earth. Will his efforts be enough to earn him the Silver Star of a Star Surgeon?
The Throg task force struck the Terran survey camp a few minutes after dawn, without warning, and with a deadly precision which argued that the aliens had fully reconnoitered and prepared that attack. Eye-searing lances of energy lashed back and forth across the base with methodical accuracy. And a single cowering witness, flattened on a ledge in the heights above, knew that when the last of those yellow-red bolts fell, nothing human would be left alive down there. And so Shann Lantee, most menial of the Terrans attached to the camp on the planet Warlock, was left alone and weaponless in the strange, hostile world, the human prey of the aliens from space and the aliens on the ground alike.
This is Book 4 in the Time Traders Series, In this book Ross Murdock and Arthur Ashe continue their adventures in Time and Space on the World of Hawaika. Hawaiian and Polynesian settlers help Ross and Ashe discover the way the world has changed from the data tape to present time. Helped by a girl (Karara) and her two trained dolphins (Tino-rau and Taua)
While examining a golden ring under a microscope, a chemist discovers a sub-atomic world. During his examination of this world he sees a beautiful young girl. After developing chemicals that will allow him to either shrink or grow larger in size, he and three friends journey to this small world.
Piper, H. Beam
Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough to stay alive and smart enough to make the best of it. When that kind of person discovers he's being cheated of wealth he's risked his life for, that kind of planet is ripe for revolution. (Introduction from the Gutenberg text)
Arnold, Edwin Lester Linden
This escapist novel first published in 1905 as Lieutenant Gullivar Jones: His Vacation follows the exploits of American Navy Lieutenant Gulliver Jones, a bold, if slightly hapless, hero who is magically transported to Mars; where he almost outwits his enemies, almost gets the girl, and almost saves the day.
Somewhat of a literary and chronological bridge between H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jones' adventures provide an evocative mix of satire and sword-and-planet adventure.
In Tom Swift and His Airship, Tom Swift has finished his latest invention- the Red Cloud, a fast and innovative airship. Tom is anxious for a cross-country trial, but just before he and his friends take off, the Shopton bank is robbed. No sooner is Tom in the air than he is blamed for the robbery. Suddenly, he's a wanted fugitive but doesn't know why until he's half-way across the country. With no safe harbor or friend on the land below, Tom must race back to Shopton to clear his name before he's shot out of the sky.
The US Government is very smartly letting Tom Swift Jr. handle the recovery of its probe to Jupiter. But a mystery missile suddenly intercepts the probe and splashes it in the South Atlantic.
Faced with a huge search task to find the probe on the ocean bottom, Tom soon realizes that the same shadowy group that attacked the probe is competing to find it, and no holds are barred: kidnap, coercion, and lethal force are all in play.
Under such circumstances, what can Tom do? What he does every time, of course! He invents some utterly cool device to get the job done! And his Electronic Hydrolung is just the beginning!
Serviss, Garrett P.
Garrett Putnam Serviss (1851-1929) was an astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss showed a talent for explaining scientific details in a way that made them clear to the ordinary reader. Serviss's favorite topic was astronomy, as shown by the fact that of the fifteen books he wrote, eight are devoted to that science. He unquestionably was more widely read by the public on that topic than anyone prior to his time. In his private life Serviss was an enthusiastic mountain climber, describing his reaching the summit of the Matterhorn at the age of 43 as part of an effort "to get as far away from terrestrial gravity as possible." Five of Serviss's books are science fiction (a term not invented when he wrote).
Diffin, Charles W.
Once more Chet, Walt and Diane are united in a wild ride to the Dark Moon—but this time they go as prisoners of their deadly enemy Schwartzmann.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.