By: Milo Hastings (1884-1957)
In the Clutch of the War-God
In three parts, from Physical Culture magazine, July - September, 1911. In this story, the author warns of the coming of a world war between Japan and U.S. While the Japanese have a superior society, they suffer from food shortages and over-population so go to war with the U.S., who is plagued by a society of ill health and habit. Some predictions are remarkably accurate. The story itself was commissioned by Bernarr Macfadden, who was an early proponent of health and fitness in the U.S. and founded the magazine publisher McFadden Publications. - Summary by Kate Follis
By: Monroe K. Ruch
The tremendous speed of the dive brought them so close that they could see the skeletons of wrecked ships piled up at the base of the precipice. The moon is not only the most prominent object in our heavens, but also an integral part of the earth. We are, so to speak, an astronomical unit, and we affect each other for better or for worse. We know that the gravitational attraction of the moon causes our tides, and tends to slow up the earth in her daily rotation. It has also been deemed responsible for earthquakes, causing untold suffering among earth's people. Does the moon hold other secrets? - Summary by Author
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.
The Mad Planet
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...
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.
Murder Madness! Seven Secret Service men had completely disappeared. Another had been found a screaming, homicidal maniac, whose fingers writhed like snakes. So Bell, of the secret "Trade," plunges into South America after The Master--the mighty, unknown octopus of power whose diabolical poison threatens a continent!
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!
Tanks and the future of war is what Murray Leinster speculates about in this story. Written in the 1920's he observed the terrible new inventions that were used in World War I to kill people, armored tanks and poisoned gas and then tells us how war will be fought in the future. In this case the war will occur in 1932 and be between the US and the 'Yellow enemy'. It was published in the very first issue of Astounding Stories of Super Science, January 1930. It is science fiction in the sense that it guesses what the future will hold for man based on developing the technology that was coming into being at the time, the 1920's...
The "forgotten" planet had been seeded for life, first with microbes and later with plants and insects. A third expedition, intended to complete the seeding with animals, never occurred. Over the millennia the insects and plants grew to gigantic sizes. The action of the novel describes the fight for survival by descendants of a crashed spaceship as they battle wolf-sized ants, flies the size of chickens, and gigantic flying wasps.
There was no life on the asteroid, but the miles of rock-hewn corridors through which the earth party wandered left no doubt about the purpose of the asteroid. It was a mighty fortress, stocked with weapons of destruction beyond man's power to understand. And yet there was no life here, nor had there been for untold centuries. What race had built this stronghold? What unimaginable power were they defending against? Why was it abandoned? There was no answer, all was dead. But—not quite all. For in a room above the tomb-like fortress a powerful transmitter beamed its birdlike, fluting sounds toward earth...
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...
Planet of Dread
Humans have expanded to myriads of worlds throughout the galaxies but they have found that the only way for colonies to be self sustaining, was to reproduce the total ecology of their home world; the original Earth. This meant bringing the entire ecosystem, the good, the bad and the ugly. Viruses as well as grass, goats as well as stink bugs and allowing the whole mixture to ultimately produce an inhabitable world for humans. But what happens when this system is not properly supervised? Moran and the others in the space yacht Nadine find a world where strange things have been brewing for over a hundred years and may or may not survive an environment gone mad.
In science-fiction, as in all categories of fiction, there are stories that are so outstanding from the standpoint of characterization, concept, and background development that they remain popular for decades. Two such stories were Murray Leinster's The Mad Planet and Red Dust. Originally published in 1923, they have been reprinted frequently both here and abroad. They are now scheduled for book publication. Especially for this magazine, Murray Leinster has written the final story in the series. It is not necessary to have read the previous stories to enjoy this one...
Med Ship Man
Join Space Medical Service officer Calhoun and his sidekick Murgatroyd the tormal on another exciting adventure, this time on what should be a routine visit to the planet Maya, which upon arrival appears to be completely devoid of all life!
Thousand Degrees Below Zero
The War to End All Wars has ended and the world has taken a deep breath and is trying to recover normal life in 1919. But a super Villan intent on ruling the entire world has other ideas. In his super fast helicopter he sorties out to block the major ports and rives of the world until all nations with icebergs made by his fiendishly clever devices until they admit his supremacy and kneel before his might. The might of nations are helpless before him but he does not count on our hero, a scientist specializing in low temperatures who was also a gunner in WWI...
Med Ship Man (version 2)
Scattered through the galaxy are thousands of worlds colonized by humans. Many have native microbes dangerous to the human immigrants. Others have diseases brought to them accidentally—or on purpose—by visiting ships. When millions of lives are threatened, it's a job for the Interstellar Medical Service, and a Med Ship is sent to solve the problem. Calhoun is the best the Med Service has, and hard experience has taught him that often the major obstacle to curing the sick is ... the sick. And removing that kind of obstacle may take very strong medicine...
Murray Leinster does not disappoint with this gem of a story. The dust is deadly. It is slowly drifting down over the North American continent. Not ordinary dust, this dust is highly radioactive and silently deadly. Only one person sees too clearly that the USA is doomed and everyone in it unless this horrible, silent, death brining 'dust' can be stopped. And he, Doctor David Murfree, the only person to see the danger, cannot get permission from his superior to take leave from his civil servant job so that he can find the only man in America who might know what is causing this dust and perhaps even fix it. . - Summary by phil chenevert
By: Olivia Shakespear (1863-1938)
The young, intelligent Mary discovers that through an act of will she can transform her appearance to make herself incredibly beautiful. But will her newfound identity be all that she hopes? This recording is from the novella’s original publication in The Savoy in August and September 1896.
By: Paul Ernst (1899-1985)
Red Hell of Jupiter
What is the mystery centered in Jupiter's famous "Red Spot"? Two fighting Earthmen, caught by the "Pipe-men" like their vanished comrades, soon find out! - Original text
By: Philip Jose Farmer (b. 1918)
The Green Odyssey
Alan Green is a space traveler stranded on a barbaric planet who has been taken slave and made a consort to an insipid and smelly queen. His slave-wife, though beautiful and smart, nags him constantly. He’s given up hope of ever returning to Earth when he hears of two astronauts who have been captured in a kingdom on the other side of the planet, and sets out on an action-packed journey on a ship sailing across vast grasslands on rolling pin-like wheels in a desperate scheme to save them and return home. Due to the non-renewal of its copyright, this book is in the public domain.
Rastignac The Devil
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.
By: Philip José Farmer (1918-2009)
Green Odyssey (version 2)
A rip-roaring, pulpy and quirky space odyssey for your listening pleasure. Follow earth man Allen Green as his space ship fails and leaves him on a barbaric planet filled with other human descendants who have reverted to pre-technology existence. Naturally he is made a slave and must connive, plan, love and fight his way across 10,000 miles of danger to freedom. Full of strange beings, this planet highlights the amazing imagination of Philip Jose Farmer and his ability to make it scary and fun at the same time...
By: Philip K. Dick (1928-1982)
The Variable Man
Predictability has come a long way. The computers of the future can tell you if you’re going to win a war before you fire a shot. Unfortunately they’re predicting perpetual standoff between the Terran and Centaurian Empires. What they need is something unpredictable, what they get is Thomas Cole, a man from the past accidently dragged forward in time. Will he fit their calculations, or is he the random variable that can break the stalemate? – The Variable Man first appeared in the September, 1953 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.