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The ship leaped toward the stars, its engines roaring with a desperate burst of energy and its bulkheads audibly protesting the tremendous pressures. In the control room, Emmett Corbin listened to the screech of tormented metal and shuddered. The heat was suffocating, and acrid fumes assailed his nostrils and burned his eyes until he almost cried out in pain. Despite the agony, his gaze did not waver from the video set across the room. In the... 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...

1. Harry Collins—1997 The telescreen lit up promptly at eight a.m. Smiling Brad came on with his usual greeting. "Good morning—it's a beautiful day in Chicagee!" Harry Collins rolled over and twitched off the receiver. "This I doubt," he muttered. He sat up and reached into the closet for his clothing. Visitors—particularly feminine ones—were always exclaiming over the advantages of Harry's apartment. "So convenient,"... more...

We gave this story to a very competent, and very pretty gal artist. We said, "Read this carefully, dream on it, and come up with an illustration." A week later, she returned with the finished drawing. "The hero," she said. We did a double take. "Hey! That's not the hero." She looked us straight in the eye. "Can you prove it?" She had us. We couldn't, and she left hurriedly to go home and cook dinner for her family. And what were they having?... more...

Chapter 1 I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics, and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of... more...


The Tantrums of Ned Land I HAVE NO IDEA how long this slumber lasted; but it must have been a good while, since we were completely over our exhaustion. I was the first one to wake up. My companions weren't yet stirring and still lay in their corners like inanimate objects. I had barely gotten up from my passably hard mattress when I felt my mind clear, my brain go on the alert. So I began a careful reexamination of our cell. Nothing had... more...

On his last night on Earth, Ted Graham stepped out of a glass-walled telephone booth, ducked to avoid a swooping moth that battered itself in a frenzy against a bare globe above the booth. Ted Graham was a long-necked man with a head of pronounced egg shape topped by prematurely balding sandy hair. Something about his lanky, intense appearance suggested his occupation: certified public accountant. He stopped behind his wife, who was studying a... 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...

Colonel Ashley Hampton chewed his cigar and forced himself to relax, his glance slowly traversing the room, lingering on the mosaic of book-spines in the tall cases, the sunlight splashed on the faded pastel colors of the carpet, the soft-tinted autumn landscape outside the French windows, the trophies of Indian and Filipino and German weapons on the walls. He could easily feign relaxation here in the library of "Greyrock," as long as he looked... more...

The big armor-tender vibrated, gently and not unpleasantly, as the contragravity field alternated on and off. Sometimes it rocked slightly, like a boat on the water, and, in the big screen which served in lieu of a window at the front of the control-cabin, the dingy-yellow landscape would seem to tilt a little. The air was faintly yellow, the sky was yellow with a greenish cast, and the clouds were green-gray. No human had ever set foot on the... more...