By: Randall Garrett (1927-1987)
A Spaceship Named McGuire
Can a spaceship go crazy? Well, yes it can if it has a brain. And the new MG (magnetogravitic drive) experimental robot space ship does indeed have a 'brain'. Completely bewildered as to why the first six models of their supposedly perfect new ship model, the MG-YR, nicknamed the McGuire, have gone totally bonkers after activation and before they could ever be used, the company has called in the services of Daniel Oak. They suspect sabotage of course. Daniel Oak is the hard boiled private investigator with nerves of steel and a mind of the same substance...
When a super-robot named Snookums discovers how to build his own superbombs, it becomes obvious that Earth is by no means the safest place for him to be. And so Dr. Fitzhugh, his designer, and Leda Crannon, a child psychologist acting as Snookums’ nursemaid, agree to set up Operation Brainchild, a plan to transport the robot to a far distant planet. But the space ship becomes the scene of some frightening events--the medical officer is murdered, and Snookums appears to be the culprit…
That Sweet Little Old Lady
Randall Garrett had this story first published in Astounding Science Fiction September and October of 1959. His twisted sense of humor and gift for the bizarre situation with believable characters shines here. In the not too distant future, Ken Malone, young but promising FBI agent , is given the most important and difficult assignment of his career: find a spy who is stealing information from the Ultra Top Absolute Secret project to develop a non-rocket space ship at Yucca Flats Labs in Nevada. But this is not a normal spy, this spy laughs at the FBI and all attempts to find him or her because they use an unknown new method to steal the information directly from the minds of the scientists.
Anything You Can Do!
An alien crash lands on Earth, and for ten years terrorizes the planet, hiding, periodically killing and eating people and stealing materials for some unknown purpose. The only hope is Bart Stanton, a medically-engineered superman, designed for the sole purpose of confronting the “Nipe”.
By: Ray Cummings (1887-1957)
Brigands of the Moon
Gregg Haljan was aware that there was a certain danger in having the giant spaceship Planetara stop off at the moon to pick up Grantline’s special cargo of moon ore. For that rare metal — invaluable in keeping Earth’s technology running — was the target of many greedy eyes. But nevertheless he hadn’t figured on the special twist the clever Martian brigands would use. So when he found both the ship and himself suddenly in their hands, he knew that there was only one way in which he could hope to save that cargo and his own secret — that would be by turning space-pirate himself and paying the Brigands of the Moon back in their own interplanetary coin. (From the Gutenberg e-text)
The Girl in the Golden Atom
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.
The World Beyond
Lee Anthony finds himself and two of his friends kidnapped and taken on a strange voyage.
In effect Professor Newland declared that the curious astronomical phenomena of the previous November--the new "stars" observed, the two meteors that had fallen with their red and green light-fire--were all evidence of the existence of intelligent life on the planet Mercury. (An excerpt from chapter 1. )
Wandl the Invader
There were nine major planets in the Solar System and it was within their boundaries that man first set up interplanetary commerce and began trading with the ancient Martian civilization. And then they discovered a tenth planet--a maverick! This tenth world, if it had an orbit, had a strange one, for it was heading inwards from interstellar space, heading close to the Earth-Mars spaceways, upsetting astronautic calculations and raising turmoil on the two inhabited worlds. But even so none suspected then just how much trouble this new world would make...
Tarrano the Conqueror
In "Tarrano the Conqueror" is presented a tale of the year 2430 A.D.--a time somewhat farther beyond our present-day era than we are beyond Columbus' discovery of America. My desire has been to create for you the impression that you have suddenly been plunged forward into that time--to give you the feeling Columbus might have had could he have read a novel of our present-day life. To this end I have conceived myself a writer of that future time, addressing his contemporary public. You are to imagine...
By: Raymond Z. Gallun (1911-1994)
The Planet Strappers
The Planet Strappers started out as The Bunch, a group of student-astronauts in the back room of a store in Jarviston, Minnesota. They wanted off Earth, and they begged, borrowed and built what they needed to make it. They got what they wanted--a start on the road to the stars--but no one brought up on Earth could have imagined what was waiting for them Out There!
By: Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910)
Life in the Iron Mills
This 1861 novella was the first published work by Rebecca Harding Davis: writer, social reformer, and pioneer of literary realism. It tells the story of Hugh Wolfe, a Welsh laborer in an iron mill who is also a talented sculptor, and of Deborah, the hunchbacked woman who unrequitedly loves him.
By: Rex Beach (1877-1949)
MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...
The Silver Horde , is set in Kalvik, a fictionalized community in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and tells the story of a down on his luck gold miner who discovers a greater wealth in Alaska's run of salmon (silver horde) and decides to open a cannery. To accomplish this he must overcome the relentless opposition of the "salmon trust," a fictionalized Alaska Packers' Association, which undercuts his financing, sabotages his equipment, incites a longshoremen's riot and bribes his fishermen to quit. The story line includes a love interest as the protagonist is forced to choose between his fiance, a spoiled banker's daughter, and an earnest roadhouse operator, a woman of "questionable virtue."
Unfairly given a dishonorable discharge from the army, Calvin Gray goes to Dallas, where he manages to win the trust of a jeweler and is able to sell a number of diamonds to the newly oil rich Briskows. He makes friends with the family and helps them adjust to their newly found riches. The Briskows, in turn, help him prove false the charges that caused his dismissal from the army.
By: Rex Stout
Under the Andes
Under the Andes was written by Rex Stout years before his creation of the immensely popular Nero Wolfe series of novels, and while perhaps his future writing style is still blossoming, certainly his knack for weaving a fantastic tale of mystery and adventure will have most readers anxious for the next phase of adventure at every turn. The story finds two brothers and a pretty female companion on a journey which eventually takes them to a series of underground caves under the Andes of South America, where they encounter a lost tribe of Incas who have apparently survived hundreds of years oblivious of the outside world...
By: Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)
The play is set in Bath in the 18th century, a town legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time. Wealthy, fashionable people went there to "take the waters", which were believed to have healing properties. The plot centres on the two young lovers, Lydia and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair. To court her, Jack pretends to be "Ensign Beverley", a poor officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of her guardian, Mrs...
School For Scandal
Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy was first performed in 1777 and focuses on the intrigues and scandals of the British upper classes. Lady Sneerwell wants to marry Charles Surface, while Joseph Surface wants to marry Maria, an heiress and ward of Sir Peter Teazle. Maria, however, prefers Charles over Joseph. In order to detach her from Charles, Lady Sneerwell and Joseph spread rumors about an affair between Charles and Lady Teazle, Sir Peter's new young wife. Meanwhile, Sir Oliver Surface, newly returned from the East Indies, assumes various disguises to test his nephews' characters. Misunderstandings, mistaken identities, gossip, and bad behavior abound in this uproarious comedy.
By: Richard D. Blackmore
Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor
“If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply” … thus opens Lorna Doone, one of the best love stories ever written. The novel has inspired at least ten movies and mini-series. “John (in West Country dialect this is pronounced Jan) Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by a member of the notorious Doone clan, a once-noble family now living in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John also grows into a respectable farmer and continues to take good care of his mother and two sisters...
By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)
Miss Civilization, a one act comedy, tells the story of a young woman who matches wits with three burglars attempting to rob her house.
On the steamer on his way to London, Austin Ford meets a young woman, who is going to London to find her missing husband. Being a specialist in finding people, Mr. Ford agrees to help her in her quest. However, something appears to be not quite right about the lady and her story...
In the Fog
The story is set in London, at an elite gentleman’s club called "The Grill," where an American gentleman arrests the attention of four other men by relating how one night he got lost in a thick London fog. He stumbled upon a house where a double murder was just committed. The victims of the murder were a young nobleman and a Russian princess. He escaped from the house and reported the killings to Scotland Yard. But they were unable to find the location of the dwelling. All very strange, as three of the other gentlemen all offer more information and perspectives on various details of the incident as they endeavor to solve the mystery. (Introduction by Bob Gonzalez)
The Lost House
Austin Ford, the London correspondent of the New York Republic, is spending some idle time in the American Embassy chatting with the Second Secretary, when suddenly a note is brought in. This note is an appeal for help, found in the gutter in a dark alley. The writer claims to be a young girl, who is kept against her will locked up in a lunatic asylum by her uncle. Although the Second Secretary tries to convince him that there is nothing to it, the journalist is determined to follow the lead...
The Make-Believe Man
Adventure was what our protagonist was looking for, when he boarded the steamer "Patience" for his holiday, and when one has a man with such a vivid imagination like Joseph Forbes Kinney as a travel companion, who seems to find adventures at every turn of the road (and if not, he manufactures them), the two travellers are sure to stumble into trouble...
The Princess Aline
Morton Carlton, an easy-going, rich young artist, has never taken the concepts of love and marriage all that seriously -- until by accident a copy of an English illustrated paper falls into his hands, which contains a photograph of the young Princess Aline of Hohenwald. Instantly, Carlton is captivated by the princess, and decides that he must meet her. But how to get close to a princess, who lives in a small German duchy well protected by guards and etiquette? Carlton decides to travel to Europe and try his luck...
My Buried Treasure
"This is a true story of a search for buried treasure. The only part that is not true is the name of the man with whom I searched for the treasure. Unless I keep his name out of it he will not let me write the story, and, as it was his expedition and as my share of the treasure is only what I can make by writing the story, I must write as he dictates. I think the story should be told, because our experience was unique, and might be of benefit to others. And, besides, I need the money." (From the text)
Men of Zanzibar
This is the story of Hemingway, who, after a hunting trip in Uganda, settles in Zanzibar for a while to live among the English-speaking expatriate community on that island. While keeping his true identity well to himself, he falls in love with Ms. Polly Adair, the American Belle of the little society. But when he asks her to marry him, it seems that Ms. Adair has a secret...
Lion and the Unicorn
What if figures of animals had lives of their own? If the figures of a lion and a unicorn at the shop across the street could talk, what would they say about the little things in life that they see every day on the streets of London? This short story describes the love story of Philip Caroll and Helen Cabot, as witnessed by these two figures..
This is a delightful little story about the most successful banker on Wall Street, who finds his philanthropic side when one of his former employees is arrested and needs someone to vouch for his character..
By: Richard Henry Savage (1846-1903)
The Midnight Passenger
Randall Clayton was surrounded by enemies. His father’s business partner had looked after him in the years since his father’s death. But Hugh Worthington’s motives were not altruistic – he had a secret to hide and a scheme to bring to fruition that would make him millions at Clayton’s expense. Clayton’s roommate, Arthur Ferris, had his own schemes, including stealing the affections of Worthington’s daughter away from Clayton. Clayton worked for a pittance in New York, where he was watched day and night by Worthington’s spies, and by the ruthless Fritz Braun, who plotted to rob Clayton of the large deposit that he daily carried for his employer...
By: Richard Jefferies (1848-1887)
After London, or Wild England
First published in 1885, After London, or Wild England is considered to be one of the earliest instances of post-apocalyptic fiction, describing the effects of an unspecified catastrophe that dramatically changes the face of England and its population. Divided into two parts, the first depicts the fall of civilization, as society reverts to its more primitive roots, while the second part is set years after the apocalyptic event and examines the evident changes in both natural scenery and social structure...
By: Richard Marsh
A story about a mysterious oriental figure who pursues a British politician to London, where he wreaks havoc with his powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting, Marsh’s novel is of a piece with other sensational turn-of-the-century fictions such as Stoker’s Dracula, George du Maurier’s Trilby, and Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels. Like Dracula and many of the sensation novels pioneered by Wilkie Collins and others in the 1860s, The Beetle is narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters,...