By: Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
On the Various Forces of Nature
A non-mathematical survey of the fundamental forces of nature and some relationships among them. This is a series of lectures aimed at young people. He starts off with the most fundamental and familiar forces of all: Gravity and Heat. Then by a progression of examples and experiments goes on to describe atomic/molecular adhesion in solids, liquids and gases, which he groups under the rubric of "Chemical Affinity". And, no collection of Faraday's theories could omit his discoveries in Electricity and Magnetism.
By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)
This story starts with space ships scouring the universe in an interplanetary game of tag. The humans know there are “Aliens” out there. But so do the Aliens. As each tries desperately to make the phenomenal discovery, they secretly hope that the other will not turn out to be the enemy. Humans call them “Plumies” because of the feathery plumes they inscribe on silicon-bronze tablets and cairns they have left behind on their intergalactic travels over the last thousand years. The search goes on, till one day somewhere in outer space, a Plumie ship collides with the one manned by humans...
An unidentified space ship lands in a Colorado lake. Equipped with a paralyzing ray weapon, the creatures begin taking human prisoners. A loan land surveyor and a journalist are trapped inside the Army cordon, which is helpless against the mysterious enemy. Can they stop the aliens before it is too late?
Joe Kenmore heard the airlock close with a sickening wheeze and then a clank. In desperation he turned toward Haney. “My God, we’ve been locked out!” Through the transparent domes of their space helmets, Joe could see a look of horror and disbelief pass across Haney’s face. But it was true! Joe and his crew were locked out of the Space Platform. Four thousand miles below circled the Earth. Under Joe’s feet rested the solid steel hull of his home in outer space. But without tools there was no hope of getting back inside. Joe looked at his oxygen meter. It registered thirty minutes to live.
The Pirates of Ersatz
Bron is the offspring of infamous space pirates but instead of following in the family footsteps he decides to become an electronic engineer. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get out, something pulls him back in. This is a tongue-in-cheek space adventure along the lines of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison. It was originally published in the FEB-APR issues of Astounding Science Fiction in 1959.
This World Is Taboo
Calhoun is an Interstellar Medical Serviceman, and he's needed on Dara. Trouble is: Dara is forbidden. Taboo. And breaking quarantine will make Calhoun a presumed plague-carrier and subject to being shot on sight by anyone from Weald. But hey! If he did the smart thing, we wouldn't have a story!But why are men from Dara shooting at him?
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!
The Hate Disease
Dr. Calhoun and his pet tormal Murgatroyd work for the Interstellar Medical Service making routine public health inspections on far-flung colonial planets. When they reach Tallien Three they are greeted with a rocket attack by the Paras, a mutated form of human rapidly replacing the “normals”. The normals think it’s a pandemic of demonic possession but Calhoun has his doubts. If he can keep from turning into a Para, or being assassinated by them he just might figure this thing out. – The Hate Disease was first published in the August 1963 edition of Analog Science Fact and Fiction magazine.
The Runaway Skyscraper
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.
Operation: Outer Space
Jed Cochrane is about to take off on man's first interstellar voyage. His mission: Make sure it's good television! (Introduction by Mark Nelson)
The Machine that Saved the World
They were broadcasts from nowhere--sinister emanations flooding in from space--smashing any receiver that picked them up. What defense could Earth devise against science such as this? In the far future of 1972, on a secret military installation, Staff Sergeant Bellews is an expert on the latest scientific discovery: a way for ordinary machines like vacuums and lawnmowers to gather experience in their jobs, becoming error free over time. Then the strange broadcasts began to blow up transmitters everywhere. Were they from space? Enemies? the future? He didn't care until they started messin' with his machines. Then he took it personally. (summary from the first chapter and Phil Chenevert)
The Ambulance Made Two Trips
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.
SPACE PLATFORM tells the exciting story of a young man helping to build this first station. With scientific accuracy and imagination Murray Leinster, one of the world's top science-fiction writers, describes the building and launching of the platform. Here is a fast-paced story of sabotage and murder directed against a project more secret and valuable than the atom bomb!
By: Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)
The Spinster Book
A cross between guidebook and social commentary, The Spinster Book gives clever and humorous insights on topics such as courting, handling men and women, love letters, marriage and spinsterhood.
By: National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission Report)
The summer of 1967 again brought racial disorders to American cities, and with them shock, fear and bewilderment to the nation. The worst came during a two-week period in July, first in Newark and then in Detroit. Each set off a chain reaction in neighboring communities. On July 28, 1967, the President of the United States [Lyndon B. Johnson] established this Commission and directed us to answer three basic questions: What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again? This is our basic conclusion: Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal...
By: Nellie McClung (1873-1951)
In Times Like These
" Believing that the woman's claim to a common humanity is not an unreasonable one, and that the successful issue of such claim rests primarily upon the sense of fair play which people have or have not according to how they were born, and Therefore to men and women everywhere who love a fair deal, and are willing to give it to everyone, even women, this book is respectfully dedicated by the author."
By: Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville (1739-1780)
Travels to Oaxaca
Botanical Piracy! A French botanist plots to steal red dye cochineal insects from Spanish Mexico and transplant them and their cacti hosts to the French Caribbean. The year is 1776. Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville is a fast talker and a quick thinker. Botanist and physician by training, he insinuates his way from Port-au-Prince, first to Havana and then to the Mexican mainland on the ruse that he is searching for a botanical cure for gout. In Vera Cruz, however, his passport is confiscated, and the Viceroy orders him to leave Mexico on the first available ship...
By: Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797)
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789, is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. It discusses his time spent in slavery, serving primarily on galleys, documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter. The book contains an interesting discussion of slavery in West Africa and illustrates how the experience differs from the dehumanising slavery of the Americas...
By: Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)
Woman and War
Olive Schreiner was a South African writer born in 1855 to missionary parents in the Eastern Cape. She is credited with being the first Internationally famous South African Novelist. She was an extraordinary person and was one of the earliest campaigners for women's rights, including the right to equal pay for equal work, saying: "The fact that for equal work equally well performed by a man and by a woman it is ordained that the woman on the ground of her sex alone shall receive a less recompense is the nearest approach to a willful and unqualified "wrong" in the whole relation of woman to society today"...
Thoughts on South Africa
'Thoughts on South Africa' is a collection of Schreiner's observations of colonial South Africa in the early 19th century, mostly regarding Boer-English relations. The book was published posthumously in 1923. Prospective listeners should be aware that it reflects the place, culture and language of the time in which it was written.
By: Oliver Lodge (1851-1940)
Pioneers of Science
This book takes its origin in a course of lectures on the history and progress of Astronomy arranged for Sir Oliver Lodge in the year 1887. The first part of this book is devoted to the biographies and discoveries of well known astronomers like Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. In the second part, the biographies take a back seat, while scientific discoveries are discussed more extensively, like the discovery of Asteroids and Neptune, a treatise on the tides and others.
By: Oscar D. Skelton (1878-1941)
Chronicles of Canada Volume 32 - The Railway Builders: A Chronicle of Overland Highways
When the pace of railroad construction slackened in 1914, Canada had achieved a remarkable position in the railway world. Only five other countries—the United States, Russia, Germany, India, and, by a small margin, France—possessed a greater mileage; and, relatively to population, none came anywhere near her. This is the story of how Canada became a country stitched together by rail.
By: P. T. Barnum (1810-1891)
Struggles and Triumphs, or Forty Years' of Recollections of P.T. Barnum, written by Himself
The 1873 edition of the autobiography of the founding genius of the "Greatest Show on Earth," P.T. Barnum. It details his life and business struggles up to the year 1872. Not only a showman and a museum operator, but an antislavery politician, Connecticut state legislator, Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and temperance lecturer, Barnum lays aside some of the gilding to provide his thoughts on his career, economics, how to make money, and other issues of the day. - Summary by DrPGould
By: Paolo Mantegazza (1831-1910)
Book of Love
Translated from Italian, it delves into the physiology of love from a scientific standpoint, in beautiful writing.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga sutras by Patanjali is a seminal work in yoga, this book is more about control of mind and the true goal of yoga. The sutras are extremely brief, and the translation in neat English makes it very easy for people to understand the ancient Sanskrit text. It starts with the birth and growth of spiritual man through the control of mind. In all, this is a "all in one" book for yoga philosophy written by the master himself.
By: Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915)
Histology of the Blood
This is a textbook on the science of blood and bloodwork by (1908) Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Paul Ehrlich. Should appeal to hematologists, phlebotomists, and just plain folks interested in how our bodies work.
By: Percival Lowell (1855-1916)
Mars and Its Canals
In the days before telescope photography, astronomers had to draw what they thought they saw through the eyepiece throughout the long dark nights. Sometimes they saw saw more than there really was to see, and a bit over 100 years ago Percival Lowell published books on what he was sure were canals on Mars, signs of intelligent civilization. by Alfred Russel Wallace.) - Summary by ToddHW
By: Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)
Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution
Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution is a book by Peter Kropotkin on the subject of mutual aid, written while he was living in exile in England. It was first published by William Heinemann in London in October 1902. The individual chapters had originally been published in 1890-96 as a series of essays in the British monthly literary magazine, Nineteenth Century. Written partly in response to Social Darwinism and in particular to Thomas H. Huxley’s Nineteenth Century essay, The Struggle for Existence, Kropotkin’s book drew on his experiences in scientific expeditions in Siberia to illustrate the phenomenon of cooperation...
The Conquest of bread
In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
By: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)
The Crystal Crypt & Beyond the Door
Two early science fiction stories by the wonderful craftsman, Philip K. Dick. In the Crystal Crypt, taken from the 1954 Planet Stories, the war between Mars and Terra is about to erupt and earth has only merchants and salesmen to fight; can they carry out their mission? Beyond the Door is a story that asks and answers the question: what lives beyond the door? And is it dangerous?
The terrible destruction of total nuclear war between the Western and Eastern Blocks has succeeded in sterilizing the surface of the earth. No living creature can now exist there and all humans on both sides, have fled to the hives built miles below the surface where they constantly work to produce the war materials necessary to carry on the battle. For 8 years now, the actual fighting between these super powers has been conducted by robots known as Ledeys since only they can sustain the terrible levels of radiation caused by the constant bombardment...
Beyond Lies the Wub & The Skull
Two stories in the inimitable Philip Dick style. What is a Wub? A 400 pound slovenly, fat, ungainly, drooling animal that looks like a cross between a walrus and an enormous hog? Well, yes that is pretty much what he looks like and for 50 cents, a good bargain no matter how he tastes. The hungry spaceship crew expect to find out. Of course the Wub may not entirely agree but it doesn't have much to say about it. The second story, The Skull, is a skilful mesh of time travel, unscrupulous governments, prisoners, and religion. With an assassin thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!