• "The Golden Egg" (1941) by Theodore Sturgeon - 22 April

    This quite wonderful exploration of man-woman relationships by an enormously superior being from another dimension of space-time will for sure have you chuckling and nodding in agreement throughout, and admiring the skill and talent of Theodore Sturgeon in his initial and possibly most creative period in the early forties, just before taking a break of several years before embarking on other s-f directions.
    This clever, amusing, quite timeless little masterpiece was sort of hidden away (...)

  • "Mitkey Rides Again" (1950) by Frederic Brown - 19 April

    If you liked Frederic Brown’s superb story The Star Mouse about the rocket scientist Professor Oberburger and his precious and very precocious mouse-assistant Mitkey - and how could you not have liked/loved it? - then you will want to catch up on the later adventures of Mitkey and his Minnie published in the November 1950 issue of the magazine Planet Stories , whose striking cover by Allen Anderson and several story illustrations by Herman Vestal are all included here.
    ebook versions of (...)

  • "Farewell to the Master (The Day the Earth Stood Still)" (1940) by Harry Bates - 13 April

    First published in the splendid October 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction , this extremely ambitious 50-page novella became the basis of one of the most highly-regarded science-fiction films of its time and even all time, the quite wonderful "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), remade in 2008 by Scott Derrickson with Keanu Reeves - the title under which this thoughtful, well-paced and very ambitious story has been known ever since.
    We have included here the several original - (...)

  • "He Who Shrank" (1936) by Henry Hasse - 11 April

    The greatest scientist the world has ever had has invented a extraordinary new means of exploring the world of the infinitely small, and sends his devoted assistant - notwithstanding his objections to the scheme - on a mind-boggling series of adventures exploring the infinite series of concentric universes contained within the most minute particle (!!), thus providing the scope and scale of one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging and thought-provoking science-fiction stories ever.
    This (...)

  • "The Star Mouse" (1942) by Frederick Brown - 8 April

    Featuring a genial German rocket scientist - ah, if only they had all been as good-natured and likeable and well-intentioned as him! - and his charming and soon-to-be-super-intelligent mouse neighbour, with whom he has struck up a warm and talkative and very cheese-based relationship, that he sends out on the first-ever space mission in the history of mankind (we are in 1942), this inventive story about very-hard-to forget mice and men cannot fail to leave you with a smile on your lips and (...)

  • "Correspondence Course" (1945) by Raymond F. Jones - 7 April

    A soldier returning from war subscribes to a correspondence course and opens up a whole new vista of exciting possibilities for himself – and for the world: what a great theme, and what a great story!
    This very classy and evocative tale was first published in the April 1945 issue of Astounding Science Fiction , the most important popular science-fiction magazine of the “golden-age” forties by far, a magazine in which most issues during that decade had a full-page ad on page 1 by the (...)

  • "The Twonky" (1942) by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Lewis (Lewis Padgett) - 6 April

    Kerry and Martha have bought a modern radio console without realising that although it has the look and feel of a modern-forties appliance, it had just been made by a time-warped and very expert worker from another dimension according to the standards of that mysterious time-space.
    Boy, are they (and we) in for a surprise!
    The Twonky was first published in the September 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction under the pen-name of Lewis Padgett, which was used by the prolific (...)

  • "Uncommon Sense" (1945) by Hal Clement - 4 March

    This interesting tale of conflict and survival in a hostile and unknown land was first published in the September 1945 issue of the (great) Astounding Science-Fiction magazine, with the striking illustrations by Williams that we have reproduced here.
    Its author Hal Clement (1922-2003) was a trained astrophysicist who brought an emphasis on the "science" part of science-fiction that was particularly effective, interesting and convincing in this quite perfect little story that has so well (...)

  • The funniest golden-age s-f story: "The Proud Robot" (1943) by Henry Kuttner (Lewis Padgett) - 3 March

    We just loved this lively and often frankly hilarious account of how a very gifted (when under the influence of the demon Drink) scientist struggles to come to grips with the wackiness of his almost-perfect robot - which he had just created with quite extraordinary powers, for a purpose which he cannot remember - and with his seemingly inextricable financial predicament(s).
    It was first published in the October 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction as by "Lewis Padgett", a nom de plume (...)

  • "A Matter of Size" (1934) by Harry Bates - 2 March

    We found this imaginative and rather charming story, about one personable and very resourceful scientist’s encounter with the emissary of a surprisingly-advanced civilization that requires his services for an unnamed but really pretty basic function, in one of the first - and one of the best ever - major anthologies of science-fiction stories and novellas: the remarkable 1000-page "Adventures in Time and Space", edited by Raymond J. Healy and G.J. Francis McComas, that first appeared in (...)

  • "Skirmish (Bathe Your Bearings in Blood!)" (1950) by Clifford Simak - May 2015

    Originally published in the December 1950 issue of Amazing Stories under the rousing title Bathe Your Bearings in Blood!, always republished under the later and somewhat subtler - and rather more in keeping with the spirit of the story, it must be said - title of Skirmish, this striking account of one very average man’s struggle against machine-like aliens bent on rallying all of the world’s machines to their cause will probably leave as strong and unforgettable impression on you as it did to (...)

  • "S.M.O.G." by Bruce David - September 2013

    We found this striking strip in the Winter 1985 issue of Wierd Tales [1] and think you will like it too.

  • "When Time Was New" (1964) by Robert F. Young - May 2013

    Robert F. Young (1915-1986) was a prolific science-fiction writer whose 200-odd stories were published in all of the leading s-f magazines of his day as well as in Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post and Playboy. Although many of his stories were also published in book form, they are today almost all out of print and are unfortunately very hard to find, even in second-hand bookstores, on the Internet or elsewhere.
    This charming and very inventive tale first appeared as the cover story of (...)

  • "The Wishes We Make" (1943) by E. Mayne Hull - April 2013

    A genie suddenly appears before a condemned man in his death cell and offers him not just one wish but six - what is the problem? you might ask. Well, avoiding one’s destiny is not as easy as it sounds, as this quite brilliant and very amusing golden-age tale with the most sombre of overtones, first published in the June 1943 issue of Unknown Worlds, shows us.
    Its author, Edna Mayne Hull was born and brought up in Manitoba, Canada, as was her husband, our favourite science-fiction writer A. (...)

  • The Funniest Science-Fiction Story: “MUGWUMP 4” (1959) by Robert Silverberg – the complete text - April 2013

    Science fiction is not a domain noted for its humour - adventure in far-off spaces, dramatic encounters with alien life forms and cosmic strife involving the fate of whole galaxies or at least that of mankind are more what come to mind when the term is evoked.
    But a number of noteworthy efforts have regularly been made in a lighter vein, sometimes to spoof the whole genre, sometimes to hide a serious intent behind surface frivolity, and more often than not just to benefit from the idiom’s (...)

  • Kingsley Amis "SF-drink" stories - November 2012

    These two unusual and very original stories (from his "Collected Short Stories", edited by Hutchinson, 1980, recently republished by Penguin Classics - highly recommended) are examples of a rare genre invented by the brilliant author of Lucky Jim: "SF-drink".
    They had me chuckling and even hooting, an enjoyable and all-too-rare experience indeed, and I dare say that they will have you doing the same!
    1. The 2003 Claret (1958)
    2. The Friends of Plonk (1964)
    e-book versions of these (...)