‘As we saw it first it was the wildest and most desolate of scenes. We were in an enormous amphitheatre, a vast circular plain, the floor of the giant crater. Its cliff-like wall closed us in on every side . . .’ Thanks to the discovery of an anti-gravity metal, Cavorite, two Victorian Englishman decide to tackle the most prestigious goal – space travel. They construct a sphere that will ultimately take them to the moon. On landing, they encounter what seems like an utterly barren landscape but they soon find signs that the planet was once very much alive. Then they hear curious hammering sounds from beneath the surface, and come face to face with the Selenites, a race of insect-like aliens living in a rigidly organised hive society.
John W. Campbell was the man who made modern science fiction what it is today. As editor of Astounding Stories (later Analog), Campbell brought into the field such all-time greats as Asimov, Heinlein, Sturgeon and many others, while his own writing blazed new trails in science fiction reading pleasure. The Moon is Hell is this great writer-editor’s vision of the first men on the moon – written 18 years before Neil Armstrong made history. This is the story of the American space programme – not as it happened, but as it might have been.
Were they the first men on the moon – or not? If they were not, then what had raised those magnificent buildings, apparently a deserted city, that Kemlo and his friends found standing beneath the cratered crust?
The men of Earth were on the verge of breaking into space. The first of their manned moon rockets was on its way to Luna. Now, after ten thousand years, the celestial Watchers were forced to a decision. Were the Earth people ready to join in the civilizations of sapce – or should they be turned down and wiped out with solar fire? THE TRIAL OF TERRA had begun!The men of Earth were on the verge of breaking into space. The first of their manned moon rockets was on its way to Luna. Now, after ten thousand years, the celestial Watchers were forced to a decision. Were the Earth people ready to join in the civilizations of space – or should they be turned down and wiped out with solar fire? THE TRIAL OF TERRA had begun!
The time: 200 years after man’s first landing on the Moon. There are permanent populations established on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Outer space inhabitants have formed a new political entity, the Federation, and between the Federation and Earth a growing rivalry has developed. EARTHLIGHT is the story of this emerging conflict. Two centuries from now there may be men who do not owe allegiance to any nation on Earth, or even to Earth itself. This brilliant story tells of a time when man stands upon the moon and the planets, tells of men now divided by the vast stretches of the Solar System but once again torn by jealousy and fear. With vaulting imagination Arthur C. Clarke describes life on the strange, awe-inspiring surface of the moon, scene of a most fantastic and exciting contest of arms.
They had been working for a long time to send a ship out into space, but when the great day came it was essential that the ship should be destroyed. They had looked ambitiously at the Moon and at the planets and stars beyond. Now they stared up in fear… Here is the record of the first onslaught of a strange disease that dropped on mankind from the skies. It is the story of an alien plague that worked too swiftly to be counteracted by human science – a plague that did not so much drive men out of their minds as steal the minds from them.
THE DEMONS HAD TO STOP JOHN BRAVAIS His secret assignment was simply – to save mankind from the savage dog-like ‘things’ that used their hands like men. Yet an unknown number of apparently ‘human’ beings were against him too. First transformed by surgery into a superman, John Bravais probes ever more deeply into the secret nightmare world of the ‘things’. At last, when only his mind remains – trapped in a vast robot war machine on the moon – only by an immense act of will-power can he give humanity a future.
Leinster was a scientist with rather odd political ideas. When he discovers a new super-efficient rocket projectile, he decides to publish his findings to the entire world. The implications are tremendous. Who-ever reaches the moon first and establishes a base can control the earth… East and West despatch their various expeditions and the space race ends in something like a photo-finish. Almost every Lunar crater in the Sea of Rains becomes a new base for one or other of the great powers, and a new miniature cold-war develops on the moon. Suddenly the leaders of the various expeditions mysteriously disappear. What sinister power is at work? Does life still exist below the dead surface of Lunar? Has out satellite been the target for non-human space expeditions? Can the earth men combine against this weird scientific peril? Or will they remain divided and fall before the terrible alien aggressor?
Anthologies seldom make history, but Dangerous Visions is a grand exception. Harlan Ellison’s 1967 collection of science fiction stories set an almost impossibly high standard, as more than a half dozen of its stories won major awards – not surprising with a contributors list that reads like a who’s who of 20th-century SF: Evensong by Lester del Rey | Flies by Robert Silverberg | The Day After the Day the Martians Came by Frederik Pohl | Riders of the Purple Wage by Philip José Farmer | The Malley System by Miriam Allen deFord | A Toy for Juliette by Robert Bloch | The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World by Harlan Ellison | The Night That All Time Broke Out by Brian W. Aldiss | The Man Who Went to the Moon – Twice by Howard Rodman | Faith of Our Fathers by Philip K. Dick | The Jigsaw Man by Larry Niven | Gonna Roll the Bones by Fritz Leiber | Lord Randy, My Son by Joe L. Hensley | Eutopia by Poul Anderson | Incident in Moderan and The Escaping by David R. Bunch | The Doll-House by James Cross | Sex and/or Mr. Morrison by Carol Emshwiller | Shall the Dust Praise Thee? by Damon Knight | If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister? by Theodore Sturgeon | What Happened to Auguste Clarot? by Larry Eisenberg | Ersatz by Henry Slesar | Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird by Sonya Dorman | The Happy Breed by John Sladek | Encounter with a Hick by Jonathan Brand | From the Government Printing Office by Kris Neville | Land of the Great Horses by R. A. Lafferty | The Recognition by J. G. Ballard | Judas by John Brunner | Test to Destruction by Keith Laumer | Carcinoma Angels by Norman Spinrad | Auto-da-Fé by Roger Zelazny | Aye, and Gomorrah by Samuel R. Delany Unavailable for 15 years, this huge anthology now returns to print, as relevant now as when it was first published.