Friday, June 25, 2010

Islands of Space

Islands of Space by John W. Campbell, Jr.

'As Earth's faster-than-light spaceship hung in the void between galaxies, Arcot, Wade, Morey and Fuller could see below them, like a vast shining horizon, the mass of stars that formed their own island universe. Morey worked a moment with his slide rule, then said, "We made good time! Twenty-nine light years in ten seconds! Yet you had it on at only half power...."

Arcot pushed the control lever all the way to full power. The ship filled with the strain of flowing energy, and sparks snapped in the air of the control room as they raced at an inconceivable speed through the darkness of intergalactic space.

But suddenly, far off to their left and far to their right, they saw two shining ships paralleling their course! They held grimly to the course of the Earth ship, bracketing it like an official guard.

The Earth scientists stared at them in wonder. "Lord," muttered Morey, "where can they have come from?"

Invaders from the Infinite by John W. Campbell, Jr.


The famous scientific trio of Arcot, Wade and Morey, challenged by the most ruthless aliens in all the universes, blasted off on an intergalactic search for defenses against the invaders of Earth and all her allies.

World after world was visited, secret after secret unleashed, and turned to mighty weapons of intense force—and still the Thessian enemy seemed to grow in power and ferocity.

Mighty battles between huge space armadas were but skirmishes in the galactic war, as the invincible aliens savagely advanced and the Earth team hurled bolt after bolt of pure ravening energy—until it appeared that the universe itself might end in one final flare of furious torrential power...."

John W. Campbell first started writing in 1930 when his first short story, When the Atoms Failed, was accepted by a science-fiction magazine. At that time he was twenty years old and still a student at college. As the title of the story indicates, he was even at that time occupied with the significance of atomic energy and nuclear physics.

For the next seven years, Campbell, bolstered by a scientific background that ran from childhood experiments, to study at Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote and sold science-fiction, achieving for himself an enviable reputation in the field.

In 1937 he became the editor of Astounding Stories magazine and applied himself at once to the task of bettering the magazine and the field of s-f writing in general. His influence on science-fiction since then has been great. Today he still remains as the editor of that magazine's evolved and redesigned successor, Analog.

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