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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...

BY RANDALL GARRETT Any war is made up of a horde of personal tragedies—but the greater picture is the tragedy of the death of a way of life. For a way of life—good, bad, or indifferent—exists because it is dearly loved....   Illustrated by van Dongen Anketam stretched his arms out as though he were trying to embrace the whole world. He pushed himself up on his tiptoes, arched his back, and gave out with a... more...

I smelled the trouble the moment I stepped onthe lift and took the long ride up the side ofthe "Lachesis." There was something wrong. Icouldn't put my finger on it but five years in the Navy gives a man a feeling for these things. From the outside the ship was beautiful, a gleaming shaft of duralloy, polished until she shone. Her paint and brightwork glistened. The antiradiation shields on the gun turrets and launchers were folded back exactly... 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...

Duncan MacLeod hung up the suit he had taken off, and sealed his shirt, socks and underwear in a laundry envelope bearing his name and identity-number, tossing this into one of the wire baskets provided for the purpose. Then, naked except for the plastic identity disk around his neck, he went over to the desk, turned in his locker key, and passed into the big room beyond. Four or five young men, probably soldiers on their way to town, were... more...


In the spring the cherry blossoms are heavy in the air over the campus of Solarian Institute of Science and Humanities. On a small slope that rims the park area, Cameron Wilder lay on his back squinting through the cloud of pink-white petals to the sky beyond. Beside him, Joyce Farquhar drew her jacket closer with an irritated gesture. It was still too cold to be sitting on the grass, but Cameron didn't seem to notice it—or anything else,... more...

The two spaceship crews were friendly enemies, sitting across the table from each other for their last meal before blastoff. Outside the ports, the sky was nothing but light-streaked blackness, punctured periodically by Earth glare, for Space Station 2 whirled swiftly on its axis, creating an artificial gravity. "Jonner, I figured you the last man ever to desert the rockets for a hot-rod tow-job," chided Russo Baat, captain of the Mars... more...

There is no lie so totally convincing as something the other fellow already knows-for-sure is the truth. And no cover-story so convincing… The building itself was unprepossessive enough. It was an old-fashioned, six-floor, brick structure that had, over the years, served first as a private home, then as an apartment building, and finally as the headquarters for the organization it presently housed. It stood among others of its kind in a... 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...

Chapter ONE The recon-patroller's leg and torso-pads fine-tuned their tensions as Lieutenant Pete O'Hare shifted position. His eyes ranged the banks of flickering lights around him. An aberrant indicator caught his eye and he mind-stroked a sensor control. Satisfied, he moved on; the greens held firm. Planet Pluto arced into view from starboard, half a million kay distant. The mottled moonlet, Charon, orbited the mother planet tightly. Only... more...