This is a collection of four science fiction stories including: Enough Rope by Poul Anderson; The Claustrophile by Theodore Sturgeon; The Children's Hour by Henry Kuttner, and Plus X by Eric Frank Russell.
From the book jacket: In the immeasurable past a mysterious alien race known as The Others left mankind a challenging legacy, a "gate" to the unexplored reaches of the stars. Several hundred years from now, humanity has utilized the gate to painstakingly colonize the Phoebus star system but has left the rest of the galaxy unexplored. In the midst of turbulent political upheaval on Earth, the exploratory ship Emissary leaves through the gate on a voyage of discovery. When the Emissary returns ahead of schedule the Social Welfare Party on Earth impounds the ship and imprisons its crew-and forbids all future space exploration. In the best Hugo award winning tradition of Anderson's characters Nicholas van Rijn and David Falkayn, Dan Broderson, an entrepreneur and adventurer, sets out to win the stars and an empire for Earth. On a commercial spaceship commandeered from his own company, Broderson travels to Earth to find the Emissary.In a desperate maneuver, Broderson and his crew locate the Emissary, confound its captors and rescue some of the explorers, including the first alien being to visit the solar system-but Broderson's ship must flee through the gate unprepared, to become a wanderer among the stars, in space and time, in search of The Others, who can send them home.
Created in an ancient war, implacable machines programmed to destroy all life, they seem invincible. But now humanity has come to a berserker base: Lars, a prisoner of war who will not surrender; the crew of ASTER'S HOPE, peaceful explorers who must now learn to fight; and Holt and Morgan, who will use the alien skills of the primitive 'Reen to face the planet killers.
Tomorrow - and the day after. When men are scattered like dust between the galaxies... In these six full-length novellas, never before published in book form, Hugo Award-winner Poul Anderson creates all the chilling terror and distant hope of man's last frontier - the vast wilderness between the stars! Memory: They peeled his mind from his body and sent him to enslave the planet of his own people... Day Of Burning: An interplanetary Mafia is chosen to save a strange civilization from a Supernova... Brake: Only one thing could stop the ship at such a speed. But with the Solar System in upheaval, who would try? The Sensitive Man: A world balances on the brink of a new dawn - or a new Dark Age. And one man can push it either way. The Moonrakers: They were space pirates with dreams of Empire - nomads from the far edge of the system who must be stopped. Starfog: The ship was trapped in a corner of space so crowded with stars that nothing could penetrate the deadly, glowing fog.
What if we were all designed to be smarter than we actually are? That is the premise of master science fiction novelist Poul Anderson's 1954 debut work, Brain Wave. Unbeknown to its inhabitants, the solar system has for millions of years been caught in a force field that has had the effect of supressing intelligence. When in the course of normal galactic movement the solar system breaks free of the force field that has held it in its sway for so long, gone are the inhibiting effects and a remarkable change begins to sweep across the earth. In fact, the entire world is turned upside-down and Anderson's novel is devoted to detailing the sometimes surprising, sometimes chilling aftereffects of this watershed event. In one of the novel's opening scenes, Archie Brock, a mentally disabled man, finds himself suddenly awash in new kinds of thought as he ponders the night sky. In another scene, a young boy on a summer break works out the basic fundamental foundations of calculus before breakfast. Human life is dramatically transformed, as people with IQs of 400 find themselves living within social structures and institutions designed for people of considerably lower intelligence. There are others who refuse to accept what has happened and instead band together in a rebellion against the new order. Brain Wave is a fascinating "what if" novel and an exploration into the ways in which human society is organized and the assumptions that are made about how we value life. It is also a novel about equality and what happens when the hierarchical structures that we know and arrange our lives by finally disappear.
"The guard said, 'You got a visitor,' and turned the key." Malcolm Lockridge walked from his prison cell to the visiting room to meet his unknown guest, unaware of the weird journey that awaited him in THE CORRIDORS OF TIME POUL ANDERSON It was only the beginning of a strange and tortuous mission when the beautiful and cunning Storm Dalloway rescued Malcolm Lockridge from the electric chair. Death was to become a small price to pay for a cause that spanned past centuries and went beyond tomorrow. Storm was a key leader of the Wardens, who were struggling for supremacy over the Rangers, and Brann their key figure. But the Wardens and Rangers were from centuries past, and it was only by choosing the appropriate gate in an underground tunnel that Lockridge could enter into their warring worlds. Once Lockridge shut the door to the present, he became involved with nations and peoples from history books, and bloody battles fought simultaneously with spears and lethal atomic guns. Moving effortlessly through various periods in history, this is an astounding tale of time-travel by one of the masters of science fiction.
They were four strangers from different ages and lands, snatched up by a time machine and stranded in 1400 B.C.! Duncan Reid was standing on the deck of an ocean liner in the North Pacific when something suddenly seized him like a whirlwind of black thunders, and before he had a chance to cry out he was taken from the world of the 20th Century. When he regained consciousness he found himself standing on the rock-strewn ground of a barren land bordering a sea, and he was not alone! Nearby was a yellow-bearded man in a spiked helmet and chainmail; a short, leather-coated rider on a rearing pony; and a tall, slender woman wearing a long white dress. Each seemed as terrified as he was and the presence of a strange, glowing cylinder added to their fear. With no common language between them, they were forced to use signs and gestures to communicate. But that problem was soon overcome when a man stumbled out of the cylinder and collapsed onto the ground. Badly injured, the man carried two helmets with him and he feebly indicated to Duncan to put one of them on. Somehow the helmet enabled Duncan to understand his language and Duncan learned the fantastic story of how they had all come to this place. The man's name was Sahir, a time traveler whose vehicle had raced out of control and swept up Duncan and the others. They had been deposited in a distant past, and Duncan was warned that a monumental natural disaster was about to occur. But before Sahir could tell Duncan how they might return to their own eras, he died. Was there no way back? With the aid of the helmets they learned each other's languages, and Duncan discovered who these strangers were. The bearded man was named Oleg, a medieval Russian; the other man was Uldin, a pre-Attila Hun. But when the origins of the woman were revealed, Duncan was stunned. Her name was Erissa and apparently she had been thrown back only a few decades from her own time. Although she now lived on Crete, once she had lived in another land that had been totally destroyed in a great cataclysm--Atlantis! Did the destruction of Atlantis cause the wreck of the time machine and, more importantly, could the key to their return rest in that country? Hugo Award winner Poul Anderson has written a fascinating, action-packed adventure that takes Duncan Reid and his companions on a perilous journey through the ancient world to reach Atlantis, the most fabled land in all history.
A collection of mostly psychological SF stories including one from Dangerous Visions. Includes the classic Call Me Joe.
The future holds much in store for the planet Aeneas. Inhabited for over four hundred years by Earth colonists, hostile nomads and strange winged creatures, Aeneas stands at the outpost of the Terran Empire-a solitary orb of intrigue, mystery and political unrest at the edge of the galaxy. And only one man, Ivar Frederiksen, holds the key to planetary peace or a violent war that could easily destroy the Universe. For months Ivar, the proud son of an Aenean nobleman, tried in vain to change the oppressive way the Terrans governed his home planet-first through talk and then with violence. Ivar and his stern group of revolutionaries had twice stormed the capital city-only to be severely defeated on both occasions by the concentrated power of the galactic Empire. Forced to temporarily abandon his quest and flee for his life, Ivar left everything behind, including the girl he loved, to travel with a strange band of gypsies. While living a gay and boisterous life in the Aenean deserts, he heard tales of god-like brain beings called The Elders-an ancient race of supermen whom legend proclaimed the saviors of the universe. They were benevolent creatures that had long ago moved on to a higher mental plane with the promise to return one day to visit and help their "children." There was even talk that a magical prophet had already arrived on Aeneas to proclaim the second coming. Ivar thought the stories to be pure fantasy, but after seeing for himself the magnificent structures The Elders had left behind, he made up his mind to find the prophet and enlist his aid in fighting the Empire. With the help of Erannath, a wing-man with reasons of his own for finding the seer, Ivar set his sights on the city of Orcus-where he encountered the man they called the Savior of Aeneas. But was the prophet sincere? Were his words of wisdom salted with lies and deception? Were The Elders merely returning to visit the galaxy . . . or reconquer it? Many questions ran through Ivar's mind as he uncovered startling secrets far more sinister than the Aeneans or even the Terran Empire could imagine. The Elders were a race that could as easily annihilate the galaxy as befriend it . . . and only Ivar's sharp wits and muscles of steel would determine the climactic outcome.
Ensign Alexander Braithwaite Jones crash-landed on the planet Toka, 500 light-years from the Solar System. Then he met the Hokos, a race of teddy-bear-like aliens, with the astounding ability to transform outdated Earth stories into riotous real life adventures. From the guns and slang of an Old West saloon to a hair-raising drug bust in Victorian England led by a button-nosed, pipe-puffing Hokan Sherlock Holmes, the Hokas demand that Alex Jones live it oil along with them.
At the ends of space--triumph and deadly peril! "They named her Southern Cross and launched her on the road whose end they would never see." In this superior novel of life and death in the farthest reaches of outer space, the reader is taken on a voyage which is at once an epic venture and a supreme testing of the human spirit. Ten generations after the Southern Cross's take-off, successive crews are still being sent out to man it and the four who guide the ship to its final destiny are men we know well by the time we board it: the wealthy and intellectual physicist, Terangi Maclaren; the gentle pilot, Nakamura; Dave Ryerson, the timid son of a space-faring father; and the rebellious colonist, engineer Chang Sverdlov. When the Southern Cross burns out its drive farther from Earth than man has ever ventured before, the lives of the four hang on the minute chance they can effect repairs in space. In their appalling aloneness they find that the need to resolve their clashing natures is as important as scientific knowledge and physical teamwork. It is soon evident that not all four can expect rescue. ...
INTRODUCING ...DOMINIC FLANDRY Before he's through he'll have saved worlds and become the confidante of emperors. But for now he's seventeen years old, as fresh and brash a sprig of the nobility as you would care to know. The only thing as damp as the place behind his ears is the ink on his brand- new commission. Though through this and his succeeding adventures he will struggle gloriously and win (usually) mighty victories, Dominic Flandry is essentially a tragic figure: a man who knows too much, who knows that battle, scheme and even betray as he will, in the end it will mean nothing. For with the relentlessness of physical law the Long Night approaches. The Terran Empire is dying...
A collection of Fantasy Story's and articles by Poul Anderson with an afterword by SandraMiesel. Showing the range of Anderson's talents from the humorous Cappen Varra story's to the somber The Visitor. There are also two essays Thud and Blunder on how to write Fantasy and Fantasy in the Age of Science. A short story set in the world of the Old Norse, Tale of Hawk, and a couple in the 20th century.. And don't forget Bullwinch's Mythology; which doesn't take place in Hell though another story does. The afterword explores the evolution of Anderson's writing and thinking and the development of his Fantasy.
Every thousand years Fire Time came to Ishtar, a time when the giant red sun Anu approached, scorching the planet and driving the barbarian hordes from the north. For once, Larreka hoped that the Tassui might be driven back. Perhaps this time, Ishtar's civilization would survive the onslaught. Suddenly the men of Earth, stationed on Ishtar, found themselves torn between the two warring factions.
In The Fleet of Stars, Poul Anderson brings back the wildly colorful Anson Guthrie, his iconoclastic hero from Harvest of Stars. The staid, somber people of Earth are not only dependent on technology, they are all but ruled by machine intelligence. Suspecting a conspiracy to suppress the last vestiges of freedom known to humankind, Guthrie sets out on a dangerous and hair-raising journey encompassing the realm of the comets, the asteroids, and the stars themselves.
Westward Diana could see no horizon, for the city had grown tall at its center during the past few decades. There the Pyramid, which housed Imperial offices and machinery, gleamed above the campus of the Institute, most of whose buildings were new. Industries, stores, hotels, apartments sprawled raw around. She liked better the old quarter, where she now was. It too had grown, but more in population than size or modernity--a brawling, polyglot, multiracial population, much of it transient, drifting in and out of the tides of space. "Who holds St. Barbara's holds the planet."
A science fiction classic about a most unusual First Contact ... In the year of grace 1345, as Sir Roger, Baron de Tourneville, was gathering an army to join King Edward III in the war against France, a most astonishing event occurred: a huge silver ship descended through the sky and landed in a pasture beside the little village of Ansby in northeastern Lincolnshire. The Wersgorix, whose scouting ship it was, were quite expert at taking over planets, and having determined from orbit that this one was suitable, they initiated standard world-conquering procedure. That is, one of the crew showed himself--a sight that customarily terrorized backward natives. The tactic had never failed; superstitious aborigines were always quickly subdued--or wiped out--leaving the Wersgorix free to establish a base, gather specimens of indigenous plants, animals and minerals, and report their findings home, facilitating future conquest. Ah, but this time it was no mere primitives the Wersgorix sought to slaughter or enslave. They'd launched their invasion against Englishmen! ... Also Englishwomen, children and old folk of every rank, who were duly horrified by the demonic, blue-skinned creature that emerged from the strange ship. Not even the friar's reminder that sorcery could not harm good Christians calmed the throng (for there were many miserable sinners among them). But Sir Roger was undaunted. When the monster dared attack, that brave nobleman led his army charging into the ship--cavalry and foot soldiers fighting the bloody hand-to-hand battles they understood so brutally well. A form of warfare the Wersgorix hadn't seen in centuries. In the end, only one alien was left alive--and Sir Roger's grand vision was born. He intended for the creature to fly the ship, which was large enough to hold Ansby's entire human and animal populations--and all the comforts of home--first to France to aid their King, then on to the Holy Land to vanquish the infidel! But instead of taking them to France, the treacherous alien locked the ship's controls on a course set for one of the Wersgorix's previously conquered planets. And Sir Roger's Crusaders found themselves fighting against the strangest infidels they'd ever seen to win the most unholy land imaginable.
A collection of science fiction and fantasy stories about aliens who closely resemble teddy bears.
The Man-Kzin Wars series created by Larry Niven allowed many other authors to write stories placed during the early period of the "known universe." This novel was created by combining two such stories which take place near the Wunderland colony at Alpha Centauri shortly after the human-kzinti war ended. The story in this particular book is of the only privately owned hyperdrive spaceship, Rover, her captain and crew, and their encounters and triumphs over the kzinti.
Sir Dominic Flandry, Knight in Earth's Imperial Space Navy, gazed at the many pinpricks of light that filled the viewscreen of his starship. This important bit of Imperial space held an estimated four million solar systems. Maybe half of those had been visited at least once. About a hundred thousand worlds of theirs belonged to the Terran Empire, though for most planets the connection was tenuous. There were too many environments, races, cultures and lives. No mind, no government could know the whole, let alone cope. Nevertheless that sprawl of planets, peoples and provinces had to cope somehow --or see the dreaded Long Night fall. Barbarians, who had gotten spaceships and nuclear weapons too early in their history, prowled just outside the Terran borders --waiting for an opportune moment to attack and bring new worlds under their domination. Flandry adjusted the screen controls again, zeroing in on the Taurian sector, one of the outermost galaxies under Terran protection. This was where his next mission would lead him. Trouble was brewing on the planet Dennitza --one of the most populous, wealthy and highly advanced worlds in the system. Secret reports brought word of a fanatical underground army planning a large scale rebellion and secession from the Empire. It would be up to Flandry to stop the movement dead in its tracks. But that was a tall order. Not even Flandry, with his vast knowledge of alien ways and customs, could hope to fathom the deadly secrets of that fringe world. He needed help...and he got it from a beautiful Dennitzian slave girl, Kossara, who'd been taken captive during a previous, unsuccessful rebellion. Unwilling to aid him at first, Kossara eventually fell victim to Flandry's charms. It seemed quite a victory for his ego, but deep down Flandry knew that anyone with a just cause to fight for would have resisted to the death. Kossara had obviously been intricately brainwashed --conditioned to hate and fight against the Empire. But by whom? Was it someone on Dennitza, or perhaps a subversive group on one of the neighboring planets, Diomedes or Chereion? Or could it be that some totally unknown intelligence was chipping away at the Terran Empire from within as well as without? That was the question to be answered and dealt with quickly. If it weren't, Flandry knew it would only be a matter of time before all the civilized planet systems were reduced to nothing but atomic rubble. ... Filled with thrilling action and wonders beyond the imagination, A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS is another in a long line of masterful SF novels by Poul Anderson, author of Fire Time and The Day of Their Return.
What if Shakespeare were a historian and his world a mortal one of men and elves? Somewhere, spinning through another universe is a history almost like ours except for the result of a revolution or two and the earlier incidence of a few inventions. A prince called Hamlet has lived in Denmark, and the English woods are full of Pucks, Titanias, and Oberons. Cromwell is at the throat of King Charles, but locomotives rage through the verdant countryside and observation balloons tower over battle lines. Rupert, prince of the Rhine and defender of the crown, has been captured by the Roundheads, and an eviscerated Royalist force is chased to Glastonbury Tor, the site of lengendary Avalon, the Court of Arthur. But Rupert has escaped, sent on a magic quest for the fairy kingdom that chooses to make its stand in England against the forces of industrial revolution. If his aims succeed, Rupert can save both the land for its spirits and the king for his crown. Poul Anderson brings back heft and haleness to an age that used its language well and its halberd even better. Cavalier and Puritan come full-bodied and lively out of his rich imagination, and science fiction takes an unexpected ride into the past.
Here is the stunning conclusion to Poul Anderson's six-volume future history series. In Mirkheim we feel the awesome movements of grand ideas and great civilizations: the first interstellar war is about to begin. A thousand years have passed; earth has established interstellar colonies; aliens have been contacted. The terran empire is loosely governed by the capitalist Polesotechnic League of trading companies. Nicholas Van Rijn, protagonist of Trader to the Stars, heads one of the largest, and his granddaughter is married to David Falkayne, hero of The Trouble Twisters and Satan's World. But the old order is dying--the PL is collapsing and a few huge corporate blocs are taking power. "Mirkheim" was a gigantic planet blasted and vaporized by a supernova. Its transmuted core survives and becomes the only natural source for vital supermetals. Falkayne discovers this phenomenally rich body, but does not report it to Van Rijn and the PL. Instead, he turns Mirkheim over to an association of poor colonies. But the secret is short-lived, and an alien race--the Baburites--with the help of a few rapacious humans, steps in and claims the planet. This investigate, and the outcome of the Baburian conflict signals a new phase in man's social evolution. Poul Anderson illuminates the sweep of time, the death and birth of human orders on a cosmic scale. Mirkheim is a magnificent and scintillating conclusion to the superb future histories--a splendrous work of science fiction.
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