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HEN it comes to picking locks and cracking safes I admit to no master. The door to Inskipp's private quarters had an old-fashioned tumbler drum that was easier to pick than my teeth. I must have gone through that door without breaking step. Quiet as I was though, Inskipp still heard me. The light came on and there he was sitting up in bed pointing a .75 caliber recoilless at my sternum. "You should have more brains than that, diGriz," he... more...

Patrol Cruiser "IP-T 247" circling out toward Pluto on leisurely inspection tour to visit the outpost miners there, was in no hurry at all as she loafed along. Her six-man crew was taking it very easy, and easy meant two-man watches, and low speed, to watch for the instrument panel and attend ship into the bargain. She was about thirty million miles off Pluto, just beginning to get in touch with some of the larger mining stations out there, when... more...

Nobody ever saw the message-torp. It wasn't to be expected. It came in on a course that extended backward to somewhere near the Rift—where there used to be Huks—and for a very, very long way it had traveled as only message-torps do travel. It hopped half a light-year in overdrive, and came back to normality long enough for its photocells to inspect the star-filled universe all about. Then it hopped another half light-year, and so on.... more...

The human race was expanding through the galaxy ... and so, they knew, were the Aliens. When two expanding empires meet ... war is inevitable. Or is it ...?   At 04 hours 10 minutes, ship time, the Niccola was well inside the Theta Gisol solar system. She had previously secured excellent evidence that this was not the home of the Plumie civilization. There was no tuned radiation. There was no evidence of interplanetary... more...

Nahuatl's larger moon pursued the smaller, greenish globe of its companion across a cloudless sky in which the stars made a speckled pattern like the scales of a huge serpent coiled around a black bowl. Ras Hume paused at the border of scented spike-flowers on the top terrace of the Pleasure House to wonder why he thought of serpents. He understood. Mankind's age-old hatred, brought from his native planet to the distant stars, was evil symbolized... more...


Unnamed world, 2559 CE Joste was waiting in front of his desk when two guards brought the just-captured human into his office. He found it hard to look at the man without becoming physically ill, and wondered briefly how the guards could tolerate touching him. Well, that was their job; his was to question the man, and he found himself hoping the foul thing would resist, give him an excuse to use force. It wasn't because the other was human, or... more...

The launch carrying the mail, supplies and replacements eased slowly in toward the base, keeping the bulk of the Moon between itself and Earth. Captain Ebor, seated at the controls, guided the ship to the rocky uneven ground with the easy carelessness of long practice, then cut the drive, got to his walking tentacles, and stretched. Donning his spacesuit, he left the ship to go over to the dome and meet Darquelnoy, the base commander. An open... more...

Jon Venex fitted the key into the hotel room door. He had asked for a large room, the largest in the hotel, and paid the desk clerk extra for it. All he could do now was pray that he hadn't been cheated. He didn't dare complain or try to get his money back. He heaved a sigh of relief as the door swung open, it was bigger than he had expected—fully three feet wide by five feet long. There was more than enough room to work in. He would have... more...

CHAPTER I. THE HURRICANE OF 1865—CRIES IN THE AIR—A BALLOON CAUGHT BY A WATERSPOUT—ONLY THE SEA IN SIGHT—FIVE PASSENGERS—WHAT TOOK PLACE IN THE BASKET—LAND AHEAD!—THE END. “Are we going up again?” “No. On the contrary; we are going down!” “Worse than that, Mr. Smith, we are falling!” “For God’s sake throw over all the ballast!” “The last... more...

The slingshot was, I believe, one of the few weapons of history that wasn't used in the last war. That doesn't mean it won't be used in the next! "Got a bogey at three o'clock high. Range about six hundred miles." Johnson spoke casually, but his voice in the intercom was thin with tension. Captain Paul Coulter, commanding Space Fighter 308, 58th Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, glanced up out of his canopy in the direction indicated, and smiled to... more...