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Ambitious Brill slid smoothly into her berth in the Brooklyn Navy Yard after far too many weeks at sea, as far as her crew were concerned. After all the necessary preliminaries had been waded through, the majority of that happy crew went ashore to enjoy a well-earned and long-anticipated leave in the depths of the brick-and-glass canyons of Gomorrah-on-the-Hudson. The trip had been uneventful, in so far as nothing really dangerous or exciting... more...

There was a dizzy, sickening whirl of mental blackness—not true blackness, but a mind-enveloping darkness that was filled with the multi-colored little sparks of thoughts and memories that scattered through the darkness like tiny glowing mice, fleeing from something unknown, fleeing outwards and away toward a somewhere that was equally unknown; scurrying, moving, changing—each half recognizable as it passed, but leaving only a vague... more...

The kids who tried to jump Mike the Angel were bright enough in a lot of ways, but they made a bad mistake when they tangled with Mike the Angel. They’d done their preliminary work well enough. They had cased the job thoroughly, and they had built the equipment to take care of it. Their mistake was not in their planning; it was in not taking Mike the Angel into account. There is a section of New York’s Manhattan Island, down on the... more...

ord Barrick Sorban, Colonel, H.I.M.O.G., Ret., sipped gently at his drink and looked mildly at the sheaf of newsfacsimile that he'd just bought fresh from the reproducer in the lobby of the Royal Hotel. Sorban did not look like a man of action; he certainly did not look like a retired colonel of His Imperial Majesty's Own Guard. The most likely reason for this was that he was neither. Not that he was incapable of action on a physical level if it... more...

Peter Wayne took the letter out of the machine, broke the seal, and examined it curiously. It was an official communication from the Interstellar Exploration Service. It read: FROM: Lieutenant General Martin Scarborough, I.E.S.TO: Captain Peter Wayne, Preliminary Survey Corps Report immediately to this office for assignment to I.E.S. Lord Nelson. Full briefing will be held at 2200 hours, 14 April 2103. By order of the Fleet Commandant. It... more...


Commander Benedict kept his eyes on the rear plate as he activated the intercom. "All right, cut the power. We ought to be safe enough here." As he released the intercom, Dr. Leicher, of the astronomical staff, stepped up to his side. "Perfectly safe," he nodded, "although even at this distance a star going nova ought to be quite a display." Benedict didn't shift his gaze from the plate. "Do you have your instruments set up?" "Not quite. But... more...

"Beep!" said the radio smugly. "Beep! Beep! Beep!" "There's one," said the man at the pickup controls of tugship 431. He checked the numbers on the various dials of his instruments. Then he carefully marked down in his log book the facts that the radio finder was radiating its beep on such-and-such a frequency and that that frequency and that rate-of-beep indicated that the asteroid had been found and set with anchor by a Captain Jules St.... more...

Tomorrow's technocracy will produce more and more things for better living. It will produce other things, also; among them, criminals too despicable to live on this earth. Too abominable to breathe our free air. The clipped British voice said, in David Houston's ear, I'm quite sure he's one. He's cashing a check for a thousand pounds. Keep him under surveillance. Houston didn't look up immediately. He simply stood there in the lobby of the big... more...

Alfred Pendray pushed himself along the corridor of the battleship Shane, holding the flashlight in one hand and using the other hand and his good leg to guide and propel himself by. The beam of the torch reflected queerly from the pastel green walls of the corridor, giving him the uneasy sensation that he was swimming underwater instead of moving through the blasted hulk of a battleship, a thousand light-years from home. He came to the turn in... more...

"I want you to put me in prison!" the big, hairy man said in a trembling voice. He was addressing his request to a thin woman sitting behind a desk that seemed much too big for her. The plaque on the desk said: LT. PHOEBE HARRISTERRAN REHABILITATION SERVICE Lieutenant Harris glanced at the man before her for only a moment before she returned her eyes to the dossier on the desk; but long enough to verify the impression his voice had given. Ron... more...