New Science Fiction at PG Dec 2020 - Short Works
Using the rule of thumb that 8000 words is around an hour of recording, I made that my cutoff between short works suitable for short works collections and longer works that are better as solos or custom collections of several longer works. Because short stories can be used repeatedly in various collections, I'm not going to follow up and keep track of when/whether these are recorded, though I will attempt to do so with the longer works (see separate post)
Strange Exodus - Robert Abernathy
"Gigantic, mindless, the Monsters had come out of interstellar space to devour Earth. They gnawed at her soil, drank deep of her seas. Where, on this gutted cosmic carcass, could humanity flee?"
Patch - William Shedenhelm
"Old pilots like Pop Gillette weren't needed any more to run the big ships. Nowadays you were boosted and roosted by the grace of Gimmick. Sooner or later, Pop predicted, something was gonna louse up...."
The Crowded Colony - Jerome Bixby
"Oh, how decadent these Martians were! Burke, Barnes and the rest of the Conquerors laughed loudly at the dusty shrines, those crude and homely temples in the desert. More softly laughed the Martians, who dreamed of laughing last...."
Mercy Flight - Mack Reynolds
"It was a lesson you learned in the Space-Forces, and you learned it good: Out in the lonely void, when you get in a jam, you're on your own ... it's you against everything and everybody. Anything goes...."
Task to Luna - Alfred Coppel
"Two rocketships bit into lunar dust. Two men-—a Yankee, a Russian—-dueled in nightmare shadow and glare, each eager to destroy the Enemy. What cosmic joke made them drop their weapons and die laughing?"
Poison Planet - William Oberfield
"... It was only a muffled gun-shot, deep in the rank, fetid jungles of Venus—-a single bullet from
the gun of the gaunt, blazing-eyed man called Heinie. But it plunged the crew of the VENUS I into a Hell from which there was no return...."
Monster - Joseph Samachson
"Colonizing Mars was hell, because of one thing—large, hungry critters. They flew, crawled, snarled, howled, burrowed up under the floors, chewed at doors and windows. And then, to make things worse, came the Monster...."
The Timeless Ones - Frank Belknap Long
"It was a peaceful world, a green world, where bright blossoms swayed beneath two golden suns. Why did the visitors from Earth sit in their rocket-ship—-terrified?"
Sign of Life - Dave Dryfoos
"The death-winds of Venus screamed with glee as George Main lay dying. Then the winds brought strange shapes to haunt him-—and a stranger hope—-"
Vengeance on Mars! - Jerome Bixby
"In the dim Water Temple, where the dead grinned down on the dead, Hale met his D-day. Should he give an ex-comrade to the torturing Lhrai or chance the massacre of Terrestrial thousands?"
The Watchers - Roger D. Aycock
"It had taken him ten years to find them-—to even convince himself that they existed. Now Manson was ready to kill!"
Tydore's Gift - Alfred Coppel
"So unpredictable, these dead-world Tower Dwellers! Take old Tydore who placed such an inestimably valuable gift in the greed-hands of one he hated."
Grim Green World - Roger D. Aycock
"Why had five spaceships, each tested again and again right down to its tiniest rivet, started for the Moon and ended up in Hell?"
The Conquistadors Come - Mary Elizabeth Counselman
"The handsome, fair-haired Conquistadors were welcomed by the S'zetnurs with open arms—-the grasping, grotesque arms of a lost race of beauty-worshippers."
The Last Laugh - Bryce Walton
"The visitor from Mars was a first-rate howl. Earthmen reckoned he was endowed with all the qualities of all the greatest clowns in the history of Buffoonery. Often though, the distance between humor and terror can be too short to be funny."4
Wreck Off Triton - Alfred Coppel
"His plans were thorough. Every risk had been closely considered. Now Ron Carnavon, ruthless convict, was ready to loot the wrecked spaceship of its sapphire treasure, and thrust his warped power around the entire, antagonistic EMV triangle."
Last Night Out - Milton A. Rothman
"They shoved through the hate-filled crowds of Terra, looking for a little pleasure, a little entertainment. For tomorrow Ensign Grey and his blue-furred space-mate, Canopus 43C, would go off to war—-if tomorrow ever came."
Halftripper - Mack Reynolds
"Mars was strewn with the human wrecks of halftrippers—terrorized cowards of space travel. But perhaps the saddest, and the most fearful of all was the immortal spacebum called Micheal."
Palimpsest by Roger D. Aycock
"Care to sire a brand new race? Then get aboard the Terra IV, only spaceship to escape demolished Earth, and enter the new-born Venusian sweepstakes."
It - Hayden Howard
"Slowly, inexorably, the struggling Earthman was metamorphosed into a Siamese twin—a twin whose partner was jellied death."
The Android Kill - John Jakes
"The android slaves, insipid pieces of metal, plastic and skin, were constructed to work and work and help men like Caffrey relax. But someone, somewhere, made this batch too perfect. Caffrey, big tough Caffrey laughed out loud at the tremendous irony of the joke as he pondered sending his ravaged ship into the burning maw of the sun."
The Vanderlark - Margaret St. Clair
"The peculiar quality of deep space is hard to put into words. On earth, however isolated we are, whatever happens to us, we are yet on our home planet. The man afloat on the life raft in the Pacific, delirious with exposure and loneliness, floats nonetheless on an element whose very saltiness relates it to the red sea water in his veins. The flyer forced down in the desert curses the rising sun; but the same sun that sucks water out of his drying tissues is the glorious temporal lord on whose radiation all terrestrial life processes depend. On earth our extremest terrors, our ultimate catastrophes, are yet like the blows of a familiar hand. It is very different in deep space."
Last Call - Bryce Walton
"A soldier of the Disciplinary Corps hadn't cracked up in all the years of Captain Morrow's service. Bronson was the first ... Bronson who reckoned he was one of the rare beings who had heard THE CALL from Mars."
Is That You Xeluchi? - Dick Hetschel
"Orena and Xeluchli meant well. But had they obeyed the rules, had they remained bodiless observers, they would have saved BUP, that .O2F star, a hellaceous catastrophe."
Return of a Legend - Raymond Z. Gallun
"Mars' fever they called it. Could the wild boy cheat the Red Planet's skeleton deserts and the dogged trailers from Port Laribee?"
The Bryd - Noel M. Loomis
"Being immortal, the Bryd was a very wise and resourceful Thing—-but even so, the problem of saving Dale Stevenson was a dilly. So much had to be done in one-fourth of a second!"
Blind Play - Chandler Davis
"Nick Pappas, hired-killer from Callisto, was strictly out for Pappas-—out for Number One, as they used to say. And now those fools in the vanishing spaceship thought that number was up!"
Open Invitation - H.B. Fyfe
"The problem was simple—or rather, simply stated: Zoya Lar-Tul must keep those nasty, aggressive little Earthmen from discovering the location of his home-star...."
Lake of Fire - Frank Belknap Long
"When you've been to Mars, when you've struggled with men and ships and supplies like some tremendous Herculean figure in the morning of the world, you'll never really feel at home on Earth...."
Dateline: Mars - Richard Wilson
"It was the story behind the biggest story on Mars—how Fate had grimly reckoned with the Rockhead Rastol—but Scott Warren of Galactic News couldn't write it ... yet."
Out of the Dark Nebula - Milton L. Coe
"Five thousand green space-cadets, manning the mighty Albion on their shake-down cruise, heard that grim message from HQ: 'War with
Xantu! Return immediately to Terra Base!' Which posed a problem ... for lurking in starry battleground, somewhere between Earth and the doom-ship, was half the Xantu fleet!"
Slay-Ride - Winston Marks
"Who ever thought that Frane Lewis-—wholesale triggerman, spaceways pirate-—would be the sweating victim of a simple, webbed, nylon garment known as spaceman's underwear?"
Final Glory - Henry Hasse
"The Sun was dying—and with it the System. Earth was a cold stone. Survivors huddled on a cheerless Mercury, waiting numbly. But Praav in his inscrutable wisdom—"
Atavism - Erik Fennel
"Bombs crashed. Ack-ack hammered. Gunnar and Martha crouched in a cave, slowly starving, grimly preferring death to capture. What a time for a Martian to visit Earth!"
Planet of Creation - Chester S. Geier
"To these hardened spacemen, it was heaven. Bald rock sprouted grass, metal parts popped up as required, new men relieved the weary as soon as the need was merely thought of. Who could imagine there was a joker?"
Scrambled World - Basil Wells
"Redskins! Boston tealeggers! Jeep men! Time traveler Devin Orth clutched his temples, battling insanity. Some "genius" had waved a wand over Terran history and produced a—-Scrambled World!"
The Fatal Third - Theodore L. Thomas
"Peace had had its fling in the 21st century. Now was the time for violence ... and rugged Third Officer Webster ... and the miserable Uranians who knew not what they unloosed."
Distress Signal - Ross Rocklynne
"Marooned! On the cold satellite of a dying sun, light-years away from home.... For Rex there was only one escape. But Carl called it murder!"
Rocket Summer - Ray Bradbury
"The first great rocket flight into space, bearing intrepid pioneers to the Moon. The world's ecstasy flared into red mob-hate when President Stanley canceled the flight. How did he get that way?"
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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