By: Terry Carr (1937-1987)
Warlord of Kor
Warlord of Kor was originally published in 1963 as half of an Ace Double, selected by legendary editor Donald A. Wollheim. It is an interplanetary adventure, as humans probe the mysteries of the planet Hirlaj and the few remaining aliens who live there. Terry Carr never really shone as a writer, though he did write some remarkably thoughtful stories. However, his talents as an editor and anthologist were important and undeniable, and he brought many good writers and authors into science fiction and fantasy...
By: William Morris (1834-1896)
News From Nowhere
News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems...
By: E. E. Smith (1895-1965)
Spacehounds of IPC
When the Inter-Planetary Corporation's (IPC) crack liner “IPV Arcturus” took off on a routine flight to Mars, it turned out to be the beginning of a unexpected and long voyage. There had been too many reports of errors in ship's flight positions from the Check Stations and brilliant physicist Dr. Percival (“Steve”) Stevens is aboard the Arcturus on a fact-finding mission to find out what's really happening, and hopefully save the honor of the brave pilots of the space-liner Arcturus from the desk-jockeys' in the Check Stations implications of imprecision - the nastiest insult you could cast at a ships pilot...
This is a sequel to The Skylark of Space. The novel concerns Richard Seaton and his allies who have encounters with aliens while fighting DuQuesne and the Fenachrone..
By: Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
Erewhon, or Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler, published anonymously in 1872. The title is also the name of a country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist. In the novel, it is not revealed in which part of the world Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere backwards, even though the letters “h” and “w” are transposed. It is likely that he did this to protect himself from accusations of being unpatriotic, although Erewhon is obviously a satire of Victorian society.
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: Robert Bloch
This Crowded Earth
Robert Bloch 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.
By: Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)
“Mark Phillips” is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one. Originally published as That Sweet Little Old Lady, Brain Twister follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J...
By: Henry Kuttner (1915—1958)
The Creature from Beyond Infinity
A lone space traveler arrives on Earth seeking a new planet to colonize, his own world dead. At the same time a mysterious plague has infected Earth that will wipe out all life. Can a lone scientist stop the plague and save the world? Or will the alien find himself on another doomed planet?
The Ego Machine
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.
By: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)
The House on the Borderland
In 1877, two gentlemen, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, head into Ireland to spend a week fishing in the village of Kraighten. While there, they discover in the ruins of a very curious house a diary of the man who had once owned it. Its torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Classic American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.
By: Edward Elmer Smith (1890-1965)
Masters of Space
The Masters had ruled all space with an unconquerable iron fist. But the Masters were gone. And this new, young race who came now to take their place–could they hope to defeat the ancient Enemy of All?
By: E.E. “Doc” Smith (1890-1965)
“Doc” E.E. Smith pretty much invented the space opera genre, and Triplanetary is a good and well-known example. Physics, time, and politics never stand in the way of a plot that gallops ahead without letup. Having earned a PhD in chemical engineering, it’s understandable that the heroes of Smith’s story are all scientists. He didn’t want to be constrained by the limits of known science, however, so in his hands the electromagnetic spectrum becomes a raw material to be molded into ever-more amazing and lethal forms, and the speed of light is no bar to traveling through the interstellar void...
By: Grant Allen (1848-1899)
The British Barbarians
After Civil Servant Philip Christy crosses paths with the mysterious Bertram Ingledew in the respectable suburb of Brackenhurst, Philip and his sister Frida, married to the wealthy Scot Robert Monteith, become friends with the stranger. Bertram has some unconventional concepts about society, and as the story unfolds, his beliefs and actions cause much disruption in the family and the neighbourhood.Who is Bertram? Where does he come from? Allen explores some interesting ideas about society, some of which are curiously relevant today...
By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)
The Coming Race
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873) was an English novelist, poet, playright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and the infamous incipit “It was a dark and stormy night.” Despite his popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. San Jose State University holds...
By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin’s monthly magazine Forerunner.
By: Tom Godwin (1915-1980)
AFTER TWO CENTURIES….The sound came swiftly nearer, rising in pitch and swelling in volume. Then it broke through the clouds, tall and black and beautifully deadly — the Gern battle cruiser, come to seek them out and destroy them. Humbolt dropped inside the stockade, exulting. For two hundred years his people had been waiting for the chance to fight the mighty Gern Empire … with bows and arrows against blasters and bombs!
By: Warner Van Lorne
Wanted – 7 Fearless Engineers!
A great civilization’s fate lay in Dick Barrow’s hands as he led his courageous fellow engineers into a strange and unknown land. None of them knew what lay ahead–what dangers awaited them–or what rewards. But they did not hesitate because the first question asked them had been: “Are you a brave man?”
By: Randall Garrett (1927-1987)
The Highest Treason
Set in a future in which humanity’s dream of total equality is fully realized and poverty in terms of material wealth has been eliminated, humanity has straight-jacketed itself into the only social system which could make this possible. Class differentiation is entirely horizontal rather than vertical and no matter what one’s chosen field, all advancement is based solely on seniority rather than ability. What is an intelligent and ambitious man to do when enslaved by a culture that forbids him from utilizing his God-given talents? If he’s a military officer in time of war, he might just decide to switch sides...
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: Robert Silverberg (1935-)
Travelling at speeds close to that of light, spacemen lived at an accelerated pace. When one of the twin boys left the starship, he grew older while his twin in space barely aged. So the starship twin left the ship to find what happened to his brother who was aging away on earth.
By: Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett (1935-)
The Judas Valley
Why did everybody step off the ship in this strange valley and promptly drop dead? How could a well-equipped corps of tough spacemen become a field of rotting skeletons in this quiet world of peace and contentment? It was a mystery Peter and Sherri had to solve. If they could live long enough! [from the Judas Valley]Originally published in Amazing Stories, October 1956
By: Robert Silverberg (1935-)
Here are two early stories by the well known SF Author Robert Silverberg. The Happy Unfortunate was published first in Amazing Stories in 1957 and explores the angst caused when the human race reaches into space but at the cost of needing to breed a new species; specialized 'spacers' who can withstand the tremendous rigors of acceleration. The Hunted Heroes was published in Amazing stories a year earlier, in 1956. It is a futuristic story that holds great hope for the resilience of the human race after the war destroys most of the world.
By: Ward Moore (1903-1978)
Greener Than You Think
Do remember reading a panic-mongering news story a while back about genetically engineered “Frankengrass” “escaping” from the golf course where it had been planted? That news story was foreshadowed decades previously in the form of prophetic fiction wherein a pushy salesman, a cash-strapped scientist, and a clump of crabgrass accidentally merge forces with apocalyptic consequences. A triple-genre combo of science fiction, horror, and satire, Greener Than You Think is a forgotten classic that resonates beautifully with modern times. This is a faithful reading of a 1947 first edition text.
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: Raymond Z. Gallun (1911-1994)
Asteroid of Fear
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.
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!
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.
By: Stanley Grauman Weinbaum (1902-1935)
Works of Stanley G. Weinbaum - A Martian Odyssey
Stanley G. Weinbaum is best known for his short story “A Martian Odyssey” which has been influencing Science Fiction since it was first published in 1934. Weinbaum is considered the first writer to contrive an alien who thought as well as a human, but not like a human. A Martian Odyssey and its sequel are presented here as well as other Weinbaum gems including 3 stories featuring the egomaniacal physicist Haskel van Manderpootz and his former student, playboy Dixon Wells.
By: John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912)
A Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future
A Journey in Other Worlds: A Romance of the Future is a science fiction novel by John Jacob Astor IV, published in 1894. The book offers a fictional account of life in the year 2000. It contains abundant speculation about technological invention, including descriptions of a world-wide telephone network, solar power, air travel, space travel to the planets Saturn and Jupiter, and terraforming engineering projects — damming the Arctic Ocean, and adjusting the Earth’s axial tilt (by the Terrestrial Axis Straightening Company)...