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INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME NINE Among so many effective and artistic tales, it is difficult to give a preference to one over all the rest. Yet, certainly, even amid Verne's remarkable works, his "Off on a Comet" must be given high rank. Perhaps this story will be remembered when even "Round the World in Eighty Days" and "Michael Strogoff" have been obliterated by centuries of time. At least, of the many books since written upon the same theme as... 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...

â–  Uncle William Boles' war-battered old Geest gun gave the impression that at some stage of its construction it had been pulled out of shape and then hardened in that form. What remained of it was all of one piece. The scarred and pitted twin barrels were stubby and thick, and the vacant oblong in the frame behind them might have contained standard energy magazines. It was the stock which gave the alien weapon its curious appearance.... more...

CHAPTER 1 When shall we three meet againIn thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly's done.When the battle's lost and won. —Macbeth ENTER THREE HUSSARS My name is Greta Forzane. Twenty-nine and a party girl would describe me. I was born in Chicago, of Scandinavian parents, but now I operate chiefly outside space and time—not in Heaven or Hell, if there are such places, but not in the cosmos or universe you know... more...

1 The little Med Ship came out of overdrive and the stars were strange and the Milky Way seemed unfamiliar. Which, of course, was because the Milky Way and the local Cepheid marker-stars were seen from an unaccustomed angle and a not-yet-commonplace pattern of varying magnitudes. But Calhoun grunted in satisfaction. There was a banded sun off to port, which was good. A breakout at no more than sixty light-hours from one's destination wasn't... more...


The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. His grey eyes shone and twinkled, and his usually pale face was flushed and animated. The fire burned brightly, and the soft radiance of the incandescent lights in the lilies of silver caught the bubbles that flashed and passed in our glasses. Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us rather than submitted to be sat upon, and... more...

Chapter 1 "Are we rising again?" "No. On the contrary." "Are we descending?" "Worse than that, captain! we are falling!" "For Heaven's sake heave out the ballast!" "There! the last sack is empty!" "Does the balloon rise?" "No!" "I hear a noise like the dashing of waves. The sea is below the car! It cannot be more than 500 feet from us!" "Overboard with every weight! ... everything!" Such were the loud and startling words which resounded through... more...

CHAPTER ONE "Ideas," she said. "Oh, as for ideas—" "Well?" I hazarded, "as for ideas—?" We went through the old gateway and I cast a glance over my shoulder. The noon sun was shining over the masonry, over the little saints' effigies, over the little fretted canopies, the grime and the white streaks of bird-dropping. "There," I said, pointing toward it, "doesn't that suggest something to you?" She made a motion with her... more...

When you have an engine with no fuel, and fuelwithout an engine, and a life-and-death deadlineto meet, you have a problem indeed. Unless you area stubborn Dutchman—and Jan Van Artevelde wasthe stubbornest Dutchman on Venus. JAN WILLEM van Artevelde claimed descent from William of Orange. He had no genealogy to prove it, but on Venus there was no one who could disprove it, either. Jan Willem van Artevelde smoked a clay pipe, which only a... more...

CHAPTER I. INSOMNIA One afternoon, at low water, Mr. Isbister, a young artist lodging at Boscastle, walked from that place to the picturesque cove of Pentargen, desiring to examine the caves there. Halfway down the precipitous path to the Pentargen beach he came suddenly upon a man sitting in an attitude of profound distress beneath a projecting mass of rock. The hands of this man hung limply over his knees, his eyes were red and staring before... more...