Theme collection of 12 science fiction stories dealing with space travel taken from the early modern genre pulp magazines. Two stories by Isaac Asimov are included; among the other writers represented are A.E. Van Vogt, Hal Clement, Lewis Padgett (husband-wife team pen name of Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore), L. Ron Hubbard, Manly Wade Wellman & Murray Leinster.ForeworTheme collection of 12 science fiction stories dealing with space travel taken from the early modern genre pulp magazines. Two stories by Isaac Asimov are included; among the other writers represented are A.E. Van Vogt, Hal Clement, Lewis Padgett (husband-wife team pen name of Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore), L. Ron Hubbard, Manly Wade Wellman & Murray Leinster.Foreword (1950) essay by Martin Greenberg Introduction (1950) essay by Willy Ley Men Against the Stars (1938) novelette by Manly Wade Wellman The Red Death of Mars (1940) novelette by Robert Moore Williams The Iron Standard (1943) story by Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore [aka Lewis Padgett] Schedule (1945) story by Harry Walton Far Centaurus (1944) story by A.E. van Vogt Cold Front (1946) novelette by Hal Clement The Plants (1946) story by Murray Leinster Competition/Artur Blord (1943) novelette by E. Mayne Hull When Shadows Fall (1948) story by L. Ron Hubbard...
|Title||:||Men Against the Stars|
|Number of Pages||:||351 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Men Against the Stars Reviews
Since I read this book as a pre-teen, it was one of the early stimulants of my taste for science fiction --though I didn't enjoy all of the stories. (That consideration makes multi-authored, diverse collections like this hard to rate; some stories would have gotten a single star, and one at least a five!) Several stories reflect the technophilic, positivist tradition of Science for its own sake as glorious Progress and Enlightenment, and of cultural imperialism, that flourished in the hothouse atmosphere of the genre ghetto of the pre-World War II American pulps. That rubbed me the wrong way even as a kid --I was more attracted to the genre for its subject matter and speculative possibilities than for the messages of stories like "Trends," which shows Asimov at his religion-bashing worst, or the title story by Manly Wade Wellman, which preaches an almost Fascistic glorification of space exploration as a moral mandate that justifies any amount of sacrifice of life. (Wellman later became one of my favorite authors on the strength of his other work; but his estate ought to have this story quietly cremated and the ashes hidden!) And "The Iron Standard," which celebrates the role of Earth explorers in upsetting the economic stability and harmony of Venusian society by introducing the seeds of cut-throat capitalism, is vastly inferior to the stories C. L. Moore wrote by herself, without her husband's "help." "When Shadows Fall," a far-future story of a dying Earth by future "Church of Scientology" founder Hubbard, seems scientifically and psychologically improbable (and doesn't generate enough emotional depth to carry the reader along despite its improbability). All that said, though, there are enough good stories here to make for some worthwhile reading. Leinster's "The Plants" and H. Walton's "Schedule" are solid tales in which villains get a fitting come-uppance. Hal Clement's "Cold Front" exemplifies the substantial hard science component he was noted for, but it also makes a valuable point about cultural arrogance and presumption. In "Far Centaurus," A. E. Van Vogt deals with both cryogenic sleep as a tool for slower- than-light space exploration, and with time travel; but his real subject is the human heart and psyche. Some of the other stories are okay as well, but my real favorite was Robert Moore Williams "The Red Death of Mars." IMO, this is one of the best "human ingenuity vs. alien predator" yarns ever written, set in the claustrophobic confines of a Martian archaeological dig, and featuring excellent plotting, pacing and characterization.
The Plants short story by Murray Leinster is a highlight in this collection.
An uneven collection of scifi stories from the late 30s and early to mid 40s. A fascinating view of visions of the future from the perspective of that time. Astronauts were longshoremen and space cowboys, adventurous tough guys who would do anything to survive. Some stories gave hints of knowledge of future technologies that were unknown or classified at the time. I especially liked "The Red Death of Mars" and "The Plants". Also "Far Centaurus".
I believe I read this science fiction collection during the summer in Norway with Mother and little brother Fin Einar.