By: John W. Campbell (1910-1971)
The Ultimate Weapon
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...
By: John Wood Campbell Jr. (1910-1971)
The Black Star Passes
A sky pirate armed with superior weapons of his own invention... First contact with an alien race dangerous enough to threaten the safety of two planets... The arrival of an unseen dark sun whose attendant marauders aimed at the very end of civilization in this Solar System. These were the three challenges that tested the skill and minds of the brilliant team of scientist-astronauts Arcot, Wade, and Morey. Their initial adventures are a classic of science-fiction which first brought the name of their author, John W. Campbell, into prominence as a master of the inventive imagination.
By: John Wood Campbell. Jr. (1910-1971)
Islands of Space
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...
Invaders from the Infinite
The famous scientific trio of Arcot, Wade and Morey, challenged by the most ruthless aliens in all the universes, blasted off on an intergalactic search for defenses against the invaders of Earth and all her allies. World after world was visited, secret after secret unleashed, and turned to mighty weapons of intense force--and still the Thessian enemy seemed to grow in power and ferocity. Mighty battles between huge space armadas were but skirmishes in the galactic war, as the invincible aliens savagely advanced and the Earth team hurled bolt after bolt of pure ravening energy--until it appeared that the universe itself might end in one final flare of furious torrential power....
By: Joseph E. Kelleam (1913-1975)
Hunters Out of Space
Originally published in the May, 1960 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. Jack Odin has returned to the world of Opal, the world inside our own world, only to find it in ruins. Many of his friends are gone, the world is flooded, and the woman he swore to protect has been taken by Grim Hagen to the stars. Jack must save her, but the difficulties are great and his allies are few.
By: Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
An early science fiction novel written by the second most translated author, French writer Jules Verne, the classic tale depicts an incredible sea expedition on board a state-of-the-art submarine. First published in 1870 and a part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series, the novel is regarded as one of the most thrilling adventure stories and one of Verne’s greatest pieces of work. Immersed in themes of exploration, avant-garde technology, and man’s insatiable desire for knowledge and scientific progression, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been an influence for many writers as well as an inspiration for numerous film adaptations...
The Mysterious Island
The Mysterious Island is another exquisite novel written by the master of adventure writing, Jules Verne. The novel has been seen as the sequel to two other famous novels written by the same author: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaway. The story revolves around five Americans who live in a dark and harsh environment as prisoners of the American Civil War. Depleted by famine and death all around them, the five war prisoners take a big risk and escape by hijacking a hot air balloon...
From the Earth to the Moon
One of the earliest examples of literature written in the science fiction genre, From the Earth to the Moon is a part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series by French novelist Jules Verne. Written more than a century before the Apollo mission, Verne’s classic is somewhat a prophetic novel of man’s travel to the moon with its thorough and descriptive detail. A remarkable blend of action, humor, science, and audacious schemes, the timeless classic is sure to fascinate with its unique vision of lunar exploration...
The Master of the World
Published in 1904, The Master of the World is the penultimate novel in the Voyages Extraordinaires series, by renowned French novelist and pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne. The novel acts as a sequel to Verne’s novel Robur the Conqueror, and consequently brings back some of its most notable characters, including the brilliant, yet villainous inventor Robur. Set in the summer of 1903, the adventure kicks off when a string of enigmatic events have been reported in the western part of North Carolina, leaving residents in fear of a possible volcanic eruption, even though the Blue Ridge Mountains are known to be non-volcanic ...
Off on a Comet
The story starts with a comet that touches the Earth in its flight and collects a few small chunks of it. Some forty people of various nations and ages are condemned to a two-year-long journey on the comet. They form a mini-society and cope with the hostile environment of the comet (mostly the cold). The size of the 'comet' is about 2300 kilometers in diameter - far larger than any comet or asteroid that actually exists.
Topsy Turvy is a translation of Sans dessus dessous (1889) . This anonymous translation was first published by J. G. Ogilvie (New York, 1890). We meet our old friends Barbicane and J.T. Maston from “Earth to the Moon” who now give us their own approach to the topic of “global warming”. Although they are searching for coal and not oil, readers will find that the auction of the Arctic energy reserves has a definite 21st century ring.
Jules Verne is back with another action-packed adventure--this time in India with a steam-powered elephant! Maucler, Captain Hood, Banks, and Colonel Munro set out for a pleasure trip across India in their train pulled by Behemoth, their mechanical elephant, but soon realize that they are in the midst of a plot by the Colonel's archenemy, Nana Sahib, to get vengeance for past wrongs and seize control of India once and for all. Will they be able to escape from a hidden assassin and uncover a secret hidden for decades in time to stop Nana Sahib? You’ll have to join us in this exciting story read by volunteers to find out!
From the Earth to the Moon, Version 2
Jules Verne takes aim at some amusing stereotypes of Americans in this story of a pre-rocketry attempt to shoot a cannonball to the Moon. Those Yankees don’t do anything by halves! His means is a Columbiad cannon so enormous that it must be bored 900 feet into the ground, so immense that 1200 smelting furnaces would be needed to create the iron for its casting, so stupendous that 100 tons of guncotton would be needed to loft its cannonball heavenwards. The journey must be watched from the tallest peak of the Rocky Mountains through a new telescope with a reflector measuring 16 feet in diameter and a tube reaching skyward 280 feet...
A novel with some utopian elements, but primarily dystopian. A French doctor and a German professor both inherit a vast fortune as descendants of a French soldier who married the rich widow of an Indian prince. They both decide to go to America and establish their own "ideal" society. Dr. Sarrasin, the French doctor, is focused on maintaining public health. He builds Ville-France. Professor Schultze, the German scientist, is a bit of a militarist and racist. He builds Stahlstadt and devotes his city to the production of ever more powerful weapons so that he can destroy Sarrasin's city...
By: Katherine MacLean (1925-?)
Minos was such a lovely planet. Not a thing seemed wrong with it. Excepting the food, perhaps. And a disease that wasn't really. Originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction, October, 1950. Katherine Anne MacLean (born January 22, 1925) is an American science fiction author best known for her short fiction of the 1950s which examined the impact of technological advances on individuals and society.
By: Keith Laumer (1925-1993)
Gambler's World & The Yillian Way
Here are two stores starring the always unconventional Terrestrial Diplomat, Retief. As a diplomat, Retief does not always follow procedure. Well the truth is that he almost never follows procedure but somehow his wit and strength manage to salvage most situations from the bumbling of his superiors. His sardonic approach to inter galactic negotiations in these two stories is a delight to hear. Despite everything, he manages to save the day and come out on top.
Trace of Memory
Legion was homeless and hungry and looking for a way to get to Miami when he crossed paths with Foster. Foster enlists Legion's aid in dealing with the mysterious light-beings called Hunters who he says have been chasing him, and also in recovering his lost memories. He possesses a journal with entries dating back centuries which contain the only clues to his identity. Their quest involves Stonehenge, alien space ships, far away planets and unique ways of dealing with age and life's memories. - Summary by Nick Bulka
Bad Day For Vermin by Keith Laumer
For your listening pleasure, here are three stories by the ingenious Keith Laumer from the glorious days of Science Fiction in the early 1960s: A Bad Day for Vermin, The King of the City and Doorstep. They were all published in various Science Fiction magazines then flourishing in the United States at that time. I won't spoil your fun of listening to them by giving detailed story outlines, but be assured that there are aliens of various disgusting and/or beautiful shapes involved in several and a sad view of our future life when the US government collapses.
By: Kurt Becker. S. J. (1915-2010)
The first flight to outer space became an actual fact – Mars would be the first stop. But before the spaceship took off, two insane enemies almost succeeded in preventing the departure. This science fiction story for teens was written by a Catholic priest.
By: Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)
2 B R 0 2 B
In this chilling short-story by a master of the craft, Kurt Vonnegut creates a fictional world of the future where life and death are no longer matters of individual choice or destiny. The title refers to the famous quote from Hamlet, “To be or not to be....” with “0” being pronounced as “naught.” It also refers to the eternal dilemma of life and death that face every human being at some point in their lives. Written in 1962 it is set in some unspecified time in the future, when earth has become a Utopia...
By: L. D. Biagi
Published in 1911, 15 years before the first verified discovery of the North Pole and in the same year when F. Cook published a memoir claiming his own discovery of the Pole, this short SciFi about the discovery of the Pole and the civilisation on the other side which is supposedly 6 centuries in advance compared to our own, was doomed to sink in the unknown from the beginning on. But reading it a century later, this SciFi shows its own charm by conveying the general sentiment in the society short before the big discovery and the motivation behind the continued exploration despite the associated hardships...
By: Laurence M. Janifer (1933-2002)
FBI agent Kenneth Malone lives in a world where psionic powers such as telepathy and teleportation exist. He must cope with them as well as an FBI Director who leaves Malone continually confused about what situation he is being asked to handle and what he is expected to do about it. Someone or something is causing confusion in the U.S. Government, Unions, The Mafia, and other sectors of society and Malone has been given the job of finding the source of the confusion. A good story composed of science fiction and slap stick comedy with a bit of romance thrown into the mix.
Fruyling's World ... rich in the metals that kept the Terran Confederation going—one vital link in a galaxy-wide civilization. But the men of Fruyling's World lived on borrowed time, knowing that slavery was outlawed throughout the Confederation—and that only the slave labor of the reptilian natives could produce the precious metals the Confederation needed! As the first hints of the truth about Fruyling's World emerge, the tension becomes unbearable—to be resolved only in the shattering climax of this fast-paced, thought-provoking story. - Summary by Book Intro
By: Lee Sutton (1916-1978)
If you ever make a trip to the green planet of Venus, the first thing you'll see will be the fifty-foot high statue of Venus' greatest hero. It stands on the very top of towering New Plymouth Rock at the edge of the old colony of New Plymouth. Even from the rocket cradle, anyone can tell that the statue is of a twelve-year-old boy smiling up at the Venusian jewel bear perched on his shoulder. Cut into the huge rock below the statue are the words, "Virgil Dare Watson And the Marva, Baba. May their Friendship Endure!" Virgil Dare Watson, called Johnny by his friends, was the first human being born on Venus...
By: Leigh Brackett (1915-1978)
Black Amazon of Mars
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...
By: Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915-1978)
Dragon Queen of Jupiter
The French Foreign legion has been exported to Space as the Space foreign legion. They are fighting now on Jupiter and the natives, led by their Dragon Queen, are winning. Earth and Mars need places for people to live and grow food but Jupiter may be too hard a nut to crack. Will the Legion be able to hold off the hordes Beetle Bombs and venomous snakes until a relief column arrives? Or will they die in horrible pain like most of them already have? And then the Dragon Queen uses the ultimate weapon, a parasite that stops them from drinking any water. - Summary by phil chenevert
Jewel of Bas
There was a boy-God, sleeping through eternity. And there were his "Stone of Life" and the androids he had created of matter and energy. And there was a world that was to die from the machinations of the androids' diabolic minds. There were Mouse and Ciaran to stem the death-flood—two mortals fighting the immortals' plans for conquest. [Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Planet Stories Spring 1944. - Summary by Publisher
Thralls of the Endless Night
This is a classic story from the early days of science fiction pulp magazines. Leigh Brackett, a female author who stood with the best of them during the period, always has a quirky way of examining human behavior whether on earth or a distant planet. A "tribe" composed of Hans, Officers and a Captain have been marooned on a strange place, out of touch with other humans for many generations. They have to eke out a living with great difficulties in a difficult and hostile environment. Does this sound sort of familiar? There are also really neat 'Piruts' in the story who always try to get the supposed benefit of living close to the Ship...
Lorelei of the Red Mist
Ray Starke, a small time criminal, crashes his shuttle while trying to escape pursuit after robbing a payroll worth millions of credits. When he comes to there is an alien woman telling him he's dying but she will put his consciousness in another body and help him escape using telepathy. - Summary by kirk202
Queen Of The Martian Catacombs
This is the very first story with the Conan-like barbarian hero, Eric John Stark. There were more written by Brackett and all just as exciting so look for them if you like swashbuckling space stories. This is not the fantastical Mars of Burroughs, nor the hard science of a Bradbury with ray guns, but there are ancient alien civilizations all over the place reacting to the influx of humans. With a title like this, how can it not be a fabulous tale, eh? First published in Planet Stories 1949. - Summary by Phil Chenevert
Three Science Fiction Novellas by Leigh Brackett
ENCHANTRESS OF VENUS: Laughing, she cast him down into the hideous depths, beneath the seas of flaming gas, to where dead blossoms swayed, whispering, over strangely jumbled ruins.... But there he found the secret of her power, and came surging back—up from the depths, up from the seas, the tortured swamps—to storm her forbidding shrine and seek her within, death like a gift in his hands. SHANNACH—THE LAST: Even in this grip of alien horror a man could not throw away his lifetime goal ...
Beast-Jewel of Mars
Following the suspicious death of his girlfriend, Captain Burk Winters sets off down the dangerous path of a Martian vice called 'Shanga'-- the Going Back. What starts out as an effort to rescue Jill Leeland will pit the former starship captain against the dark underbelly of the canal cities, conspiracies of greed and, above all, the vengeance of a planet that will not bow to economic conquest without a fight. - Summary by EVKesserich