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Allamagoosa

Eric Frank Russell

Hugo Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1955 and was reprinted on Sci Fiction, September 15, 2004. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Hugo Winners, Volume 1: (1955-61) (1963), edited by Isaac Asimov, Men of War (1984) edited by Jerry Pournelle, and The Great SF Stories 17 (1955) (1988), edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg. It is included in the collections Far Stars (1961), The Best of Eric Frank Russell (1978) and Major Ingredients: The Selected Short Stories of Eric Frank Russell (2000).

Yellow Blue Tibia

Adam Roberts

Russia, 1946. With the Nazis recently defeated, Stalin gathers half a dozen of the top Soviet science fiction authors in a dacha in the countryside. Convinced that the defeat of America is only a few years away-and equally convinced that the Soviet Union needs a massive external threat to hold it together-Stalin orders the writers to compose a massively detailed and highly believable story about an alien race poised to invade the earth. The little group of writers gets down to the task and spends months working until new orders come from Moscow to immediately halt the project. The scientists obey and live their lives until, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, the survivors gather again, because something strange has happened: the story they invented in 1946 is starting to come true.

What Mad Universe

Fredric Brown

BUG-EYED MONSTERS ON BROADWAY Pulp SF magazine editor Keith Winton was answering a letter from a teenage fan when the first moon rocket fell back to Earth and blew him away. But where to? Greenville, New York, looked the same, but Bems (Bug-Eyed Monsters) just like the ones on the cover of Startling Stories walked the streets without attracting undue comment. And when he brought out a half-dollar coin in a drugstore, the cops wanted to shoot him on sight as an Arcturian spy. Wait a minute. Seven-foot purple moon-monsters? Earth at war with Arcturus? General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of Venus Sector? What mad universe was this? One thing was for sure: Keith Winton had to find out fast - or he'd be good and dead, in this universe or any other.

The Best of Frederik Pohl

Ballantine's Classic Library of Science Fiction: Book 5

Frederik Pohl

Classic Science Fiction

Here in one superlative volume 17 Science-Fiction tales by a master storyteller.

"The Midas Plague" - They had committed the greatest crime: failure to consume enough! So their punishment was to consume more and more and more....

"The Day the Icicle Works Closed" - The world was facing total unemployment, and the people had only one thing left to hock, their bodies!

"Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" - There was peace on Earth. But joy to all men? Well, that was another matter!

"The Martian in the Attic" - What's the value of a real, live Martian? Duniop was determined to find out - and he did!

"Tunnel Under the World" - Things are not always what they seem, in fact. Not even what they seem to seem!

And lots more!

Table of Contents:

  • A Variety of Excellence - (1975) - essay by Lester del Rey
  • The Tunnel Under the World - (1955)
  • Punch - (1961)
  • Three Portraits and a Prayer - (1962)
  • Day Million - (1966)
  • Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus - (1956)
  • We Never Mention Aunt Nora - (1958)
  • Father of the Stars - (1964)
  • The Day the Martians Came - (1967)
  • The Midas Plague - (1954)
  • The Snowmen - (1959)
  • How to Count on Your Fingers - (1956)
  • Grandy Devil - (1955)
  • Speed Trap - (1967)
  • The Richest Man in Levittown - (1959)
  • The Day the Icicle Works Closed - (1960)
  • The Hated - (1958)
  • The Martian in the Attic - (1960)
  • The Census Takers - (1956)
  • The Children of Night - (1964)
  • What the Author Has to Say About All This - (1975) - essay by Frederik Pohl

The War Against the Rull

A. E. Van Vogt

"Man has conquered space and spread throughout the galaxy. Many civilizations of widely varied life forms on several thousand planets are joined in a vast confederation whose existence is threatened by one paranoid race--the Rull. A form so alien that it may have come from some other galaxy, the Rull are man's equal in intelligence and they have a technology which may be superior. Their space-ship fleets have captured several hundred planets, and the final Armageddon which will decide man's fate and that of his galaxy is imminent.

"Scientist Trevor Jamieson, an advance scout in this war of the worlds, ranges the Milky Way as he tries to formulate a last-ditch plan of defense. Of necessity, he plays a lone hand. The Rulls can change their outward appearance at will, and anyone--even his closest friends and colleagues--may be Rull spies. Jamieson fights preliminary skirmishes on several planets thousands of light-years from home.

"At the end he meets the Rull commander in a man-to-Rull duel in which no holds are barred and the weapons used are the most sophisticated instruments of warfare that man and Rull (and Van Vogt) have yet devised."

This novel is based on stories which originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine under the following titles:

  • "Repetition", 1940
  • "Cooperate or Else", 1942
  • "The Second Solution", 1942
  • "The Rull", 1948
  • "The Sound", 1950"

All the Colors of Darkness

Jan Darzek: Book 1

Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Someone is sabotaging the Universal Transmitting Company's new technology--instantaneous transport of objects and people around the world. When Detective Jan Darzek investigates, the mystery seems inexplicable--out of this world.

Space Opera

Catherynne M. Valente

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented -- something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision -- part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny -- they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London - Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes -- have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

Restoree

Anne McCaffrey

Sara had been torn from Earth by a nameless black force and taken to Lothar where she was forced to care for a strange man, who she discovered was the Regent. She escaped in panic, and become a fugitive in a world of multiple evils....

Martians, Go Home

Fredric Brown

THEY WERE GREEN, THEY WERE LITTLE, THEY WERE BALD AS BILLIARD BALLS AND THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!

Luke Devereaux was a science fiction writer, holed up in a desert shack waiting for inspiration. He was the first to see a Martian - but he certainly wasn't the last. It was estimated that one billion of them had arrived - one to every three human beings on Earth. Obnoxious green creatures who could be seen and heard (but not harmed) and who probed private sex lives as shamelessly as they exposed government secrets.

No one knew why they had come. No one knew how to make them go away - except perhaps, Luke Devereaux. Unfortunately he was going slightly bananas, so it wouldn't be easy. But for a science fiction writer nothing was impossible.

This Island Earth

Raymond F. Jones

This Island Earth's thrills and romance begin when engineer Cal Meacham places a routine order for parts; he never dreams he is making himself a pawn in a struggle for galactic supremacy.

A fixup novel derived from three stories appearing in Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1949 and 1950.

The 1955 film version, directed by Joseph Newman, is one of the best-known science fiction films of the 1950s.

The Butterfly Kid

Chester Anderson

It was a nothing-special Greenwich Village day...

And good ole Chester Anderson - sometime poet, rock 'n' roll singer and self-proclaimed kinf of the Village - strolled along, content.

Content, that is, until he saw a kid make butterflies.

Real butterflies. The kind with pretty wings that flutter.

What at first seemed amusing, if a little strange, quickly changed. Chester and his ragtag pack of singers, groupies and street-wise prophets had stumbled onto a mind-blowing phenomenon that threatened the whole world.

And only Chester an his ragamuffin crew could save it.

From what? From six-foot, blue lobsters from outer space.

How? With a horrifying plan that hinged on the innocence of... The Butterfly Kid.

The Stainless Steel Rat Returns

The Stainless Steel Rat: Book 11

Harry Harrison

After a ten-year absence, the return of one of the most enduring series characters in modern SF

James Bolivar "Slippery Jim" DiGriz, Special Corps agent, master con man, interstellar criminal (retired), is living high on the hog on the planet of Moolaplenty when a long-lost cousin and a shipful of swine arrive to drain his bank account and send him and his lovely wife, Angelina, wandering the stars on the wildest journey since Gulliver's Travels.

In this darkly satiric work, Harry Harrison bring his most famous character out of retirement for a grand tour of the galaxy. The Stainless Steel Rat rides again: a cocktail in his hand, a smile on his lips, and larceny in his heart, in search of adventure, gravitons, and a way to get rid of the pigs.

Brain Twister

Psi-Power: Book 1

Mark Phillips

The fantastic story of a spy who could read minds!

Brain Twister - follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J. Malone as he attempts to unravel the machinations of a telepathic spy. How do you find a telepath to catch the first telepath? A fun piece of sci fi that features claims of immortality, mind-reading, spies and insanity.

The Pirates of Zan

Murray Leinster

Because Bran Hoddan was a serious electronice engineer, he didn't want any part of his planet's heritage. For he was from Zan -- and Zan's only occupation was spaceship piracy!