EARTHMEN BEARING GIFTS

by Frederic Brown. Originally Published in Galaxy Magazine, June 1960. Mars had gifts to offer and Earth had much in return if delivery could be arranged! DHAR Ry sat alone in his room, meditating. From outside the door he caught a thought wave equivalent to a knock, and, glancing at the door, he willed it to slide open. It opened. “Enter, my friend,” he said. He could have projected the idea telepathically; but with only two persons present, speech was more polite. Ejon Khee entered. “You are up late tonight, my leader,” he said. “Yes, Khee. Within an hour the Earth rocket is due Continue reading

WHO GOES THERE?

by John W. Campbell. from Astounding, August 1938. Chapter 1 The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air. Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings Continue reading

TRANSITORY ISLAND

by Richard Wilson. From Cosmos, Volume 1, Number 2, May 1941. When three men are alone on a barren island in the middle of nowhere, how can two of them disappear without a trace? DOUG PELTON CHUCKED a valueless penny into the Pacific and laughed grimly. He was remembering a questionnaire he had answered ten years ago in college. "What three objects or persons would you like to have along if you were stranded on a desert island?" He had listed: "Mary Astor, the complete works of Shakespeare, and a shaving kit." Well, here he was on a desert island, but without Miss Astor, with nothing to read Continue reading

THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW

by Washington Irving. . from The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent 1819. Sleepy Hollow is haunted by a merciless ghost with an unpredictable pattern of choosing its victims and beheading them! FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF THE LATE DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER A pleasing land of drowsy head it was, Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye; And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, Forever flushing round a summer sky. Castle of Indolence.               CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.        In the Continue reading

CHILD OF THE SUN

by Leigh Brackett. Originally Published in Planet Stories February 1942. Falken vowed he'd kill himself before the psycho-search could pick his brain of information about the Unregenerates! Eric Falken stood utterly still, staring down at his leashed and helpless hands on the controls of the spaceship Falcon. The red lights on his indicator panel showed Hiltonist ships in a three-dimensional half-moon, above, behind, and below him. Pincer jaws, closing fast. The animal instinct of escape prodded him, but he couldn't obey. He had fuel enough for one last burst of speed. But there was no way Continue reading

TEMPTRESS OF THE TIME FLOW

by Gardner F. Fox. Originally Published in Marvel Science Stories Vol. 3 Number 1, Nov. 1950. Was this the end of the universe, or the beginning? CHAPTER I CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER IV CHAPTER V CHAPTER I TRENTON WAS dead, legally. He stood in the bare room that was filled with a roseate, diffused light. There was a plain desk and chair in the far corner above a dark maroon rug on the floor. Two richly colored prints hung across the room from him. He twisted the brim of his space cap in nervous fingers. The girl receptionist came through the door and smiled at him. "The Interrogator will Continue reading

OUTPOST ON IO

by Leigh Brackett. Originally Published in Planet Stories Winter, 1942. MacVickers glimpsed a dark tentacled shape on the catwalk above, just before the shattering electricity coursed through him! CHAPTER I CHAPTER II CHAPTER III CHAPTER I MacVickers stopped at the brink of the dark round shaft. It was cold, and he was stark naked except for the silver collar welded around his neck. But it was more than cold that made him shiver and clamp his long bony jaw. He didn't know what the shaft was for, or where it led. But he had a sudden feeling that once he went down he was down for good. The Continue reading

THE MYSTERIOUS MUMMY

by Sax Rohmer. from Pearson's Magazine, November 1903. An ancient Egyptian mummy mysteriously vanishes from his tomb. It was about five o'clock on a hot August afternoon, that a tall, thin man, wearing a weedy beard, and made conspicious by an ill-fitting frock-coat and an almost napless silk hat, walked into the entrance hall of the Great Portland Square Museum. He carried no stick, and, looking about him, as though unfamiliar with the building, he ultimately mounted the principal staircase, walking with a pronounced stoop, and at intervals coughing with a hollow sound. His gaunt figure Continue reading

THE AIR-MAIL MURDERS

by Clifford Goodrich. From The Shadow, 3/1/38. Like rain they dropped from the heavens: human bodies!-and The Whisperer made the lightning that exposed the sinister plot! As the stout hempen noose tightened about his neck, The Whisperer knew that he had been expected. The noose dangled from an overhead trestle in the abandoned shipyard. Two blocks away lay the gaunt form of what had once been an ocean liner. Apparently, it had been anticipated that The Whisperer would investigate the ancient ship. It was now a gaudy hotel and night club known as the Paradise Aquatique. Four burly forms sprang Continue reading

A CREEPING TERROR

by Douglas M. Dold. from Danger Trail, vol.1 #1, February 1926. A hunter and a missionary face a voracious menace in the deepest African jungle. GARRY LLOYD lurched into the open, staggered and fell. He was aware that the Terror crept up behind him. He got to his feet, grasping the thorny branch of an acacia for support. He must reach higher ground before it caught up. His bony, mask-like face set. The flat black mustache bristled stubbornly, his brown eyes grew glassy as the pain pounded and pulsed. He longed to take time to cut the "jigger" from its sac under his toenail. Objects swayed Continue reading