by Arthur Machen. from Dreads and Drolls, 1926. A woman is charged with practicing the black art of witchcraft! The belief in witchcraft died very hard. Indeed, it is not dead yet; but we call the thing and our belief in it by other names. It is not difficult, if you are so disposed, to consult both men and women who have a familiar spirit, in the year 1926. Richard Hathaway was the defendant in an odd trial in this matter of witchcraft in the first year of Queen Anne. He said he had been bewitched by Sarah Morduck, and twenty years or so earlier, Sarah Morduck would, no doubt, have been Continue reading


by John Buchan. Originally Published in Atlantic Magazine Dec. 1900. After losing his beloved wife to illness, John Ladlaw feels he's being watched by an unseen presence! A chill evening in the early October of the year 189--found me driving in a dogcart through the belts of antique woodland which form the lowland limits of the hilly parish of More. The Highland express, which brought me from the north, took me no farther than Perth. Thence it had been a slow journey in a disjointed local train, till I emerged on the platform at Morefoot, with a bleak prospect of pot stalks, coal heaps, Continue reading


by Lew Merrill. from Spicy Adventure Stories, February 1941. It was a challenge Bill couldnt ignore. His mortal enemy had dared him to combat in that space more than five astronomical units from earth. Though he knew his weapons were far inferior, he knew, too, that Sparling had in his power the girl Bill loved. BILL SPARLING, roused from his well- earned nap by the shout of Vulcan, his Martian aide, went forward to the wheel of the little Jonesing spaceship. Putting his eyes to the refracting optoscope, Bill could see a curious, elongated body some five hundred miles ahead. He glanced at the Continue reading


by Carroll M. Capps (writing as C.C. McApp). Originally Published in Galaxy Science Fiction December 1963. There's nothing wrong with dying; it just hasn't had the proper sales pitch! It all began when the new bookkeeping machine of a large Midwestern coffin manufacturer slipped a cog, or blew a transistor, or something. It was fantastic that the error—one of two decimal places—should enjoy a straight run of okays, human and mechanical, clear down the line; but when the figures clacked out at the last clacking-out station, there it was. The figures were now sacred; immutable; and Continue reading


by Andre Norton. Originally Published in Fantasy Book Vol. 1, No. 3 1948. She was the guardian of the worlds, but HER world was dead! Even here, on the black terrace before the forgotten mountain retreat of Asti, it was possible to smell the dank stench of burning Memphir, to imagine that the dawn wind bore upward from the pillaged city the faint tortured cries of those whom the barbarians of Klem hunted to their prolonged death. Indeed it was time to leave— Varta, last of the virgin Maidens of Asti, shivered. The scaled and wattled creature who crouched beside her thigh turned his Continue reading


by Walter B. Gibson. Originally Published in The Duende History of The Shadow Feb. 1, 1980. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of Men? Chapter I UNDER the gleam of a bluish light, the chart depicting Cobosco Bay stood out in vivid detail. Jutting in from the lower left corner was a promontory that marked the fishing village of Gosport, a stopping place for the old-fashioned double-decked steamers that still plied the bay, as indicated by a dotted line continuing northward. That line veered to the westward to avoid the Twins, two tiny isles that stood side by side, with a narrow channel Continue reading


by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Originally Published in The Strand Magazine July, 1891. Sherlock Holmes matches wits with a blackmailing femme fatale! Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter I Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that Continue reading


by Alfred Bester. from Super Science Stories, vol.3, no.2 Nov. 1941. The strongest man, the last woman, at bay against a world that had destroyed their fellows, take a last grim gamble with eternity that the human race might survive. IF IT please your Imperial Maternity, the day is won. I have here the full report of the last victory, and if your Imperial Maternity would deign to listen...? At the first light our forces were drawn up at the crest of the semicircle of hills surrounding the bipeds' last citadel. In the ten moons following our first attack on their cities, only this last Continue reading


by Miles Breuer. Originally Published in Amazing Stories March 1939. Professor Dragstedt discovers he can communicate with Mars and the Martians want to make a deal! CHAPTER I - The Radium Thefts CHAPTER II - The Martian Ship CHAPTER III - The Attack on the Martians CHAPTER I - The Radium Thefts IN a corner office of the ground floor of the Department of Justice Building in Washington, D. C., a man sat bent over his desk with his forehead in his hands. He was a keen and powerful looking person, but at the present he looked utterly puzzled and helpless. He was Herbert Hawes, Chief of the Continue reading