Horne, the spaceship’s pilot, had been warned. “Don’t forget the meteor swarm.” And Horne’s directional calculations for the Vega Queen‘s course took that advice into account; the spaceship would go fifteen thousand miles out of its way to avoid those deadly celestial rocks. But when Horne went off duty, he felt himself numbed by a curious druglike leadenness. And the next thing he knew, he was in a lifeboat, speeding away from the floating wreckage of the Vega Queen. Eighteen survivors out of one hundred and fifty-three passengers. And each one in the tiny space shell believed Horne responsible…deliberate negligence, calculated destruction… Someone had drugged Horne, he knew; someone had tampered with the ship to alter its course. But who? And for what cosmic purpose?
Arcot, Wade, Morey, and their computer, Fuller, put together a ship which will travel faster than light; they gave us what may have been the first space-warp drive. The concept was simple, to make it plausible wasn’t – unless you were John W. Campbell. With this out-of-space drive they hightail it among the stars. They locate the fugitive planets of the Black Star, find a frozen cemetery-world of a lost race, then head out for another galaxy and wind up in a knock-down-drag-out interplanetary war!
Moon dust that comes alive in an attempt to destroy the invaders from Earth . . . A diabolical snare set on a fiery star for a desperate inter-galactic fugitive . . . An alien ‘primitive’ life form that has the last laugh on condescending space-men . . . This is a perverse Pandora’s box of startling surprises and deadly perils – nine breakthrough stories by one of the most exciting and imaginative talents of SF
A mothballed space fleet, the great ships were silent and shut down. Each up to fourteen kilometres long, they had been circling Jupiter in their hundreds for nearly a millennium. To the little band of fugitives, they were both their hope for the future and a terrible reminder of the past. Once they had been the slave ships of their time, transporting whole populations of unwilling humans to the star colonies at the behest of the Master System. Now, reactivated, one might not only help them escape the Master System but take them in search of the five gold rings that were the key to its control and their freedom. Cautiously, nervously, their craft edged towards the huge empty hull that loomed in the sky before them…