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A. E. van VOGT


  • "The Ship of Darkness" (1948) - a golden-age s-f/fantasy story by A. E. van Vogt - 3 July

    The Ship of Darkness was first published as the cover story in the February 1948 issue of Fantasy Book, Vol. 1, Number 2, pictured here.
    A. E. van Vogt had tried his hand at the fantasy vein with his (very) fantastic novel The World of Ptath, which first appeared in the October 1943 issue of the fantasy magazine Unknown Worlds, and then, somewhat revised, in hard-cover format in 1947 - perhaps with some assistance from his wife and fellow-Canadian and sometimes collaborator E. Mayne Hull, (...)

  • "The Weapon Shops of Isher" (1949) - a major golden-age novella by A. E. van Vogt never before republished! - 28 May

    This long, well-developed novella, revisiting the saga (initially recounted in the 1941 story The Seesaw, and revisited in the 1942 novella The Weapon Shop and in the 1943 novel The Weapon Makers) of the mysterious "Weapon-Shops" organization that acts as a check-and balance on the powers of the world-dominant Isher dynasty some 7000 years in the future, was first published as the cover story of the February 1949 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories.
    It has never before been republished!. (...)

  • "The Weapon Shop" (1942) by A. E. van Vogt - 17 May

    One of van Vogt’s iconic stories, this theme of a mysterious "Weapon Shop" organization, subtly fighting to oppose by advanced technological, ideological and organizational means the overreaching tyranny of a populist-style family dictatorship, provided the central theme to a number of works by van Vogt during the forties and early fifties.
    This series of stories and novels, all placed 7,000 years in the future and all featuring a vast network of technologically-advanced semi-underground (...)

  • "Juggernaut" (1944) by A. E. van Vogt - 14 May

    This is an interesting wartime story inspired by the immense possibilities for both war and peace of new technological discoveries - here in the domain of metallurgy - that were so rapidly reshaping the world in that crucial decade.
    It embodies in a way that special flavour of enthusiasm about the exciting possibilities of the major new breakthroughs in science that were so newsworthy then (and still are!), that gave science-fiction tales from the forties their distinctive aura that has (...)

  • "War of Nerves" (1950) by A. E. van Vogt - 1 March

    War of Nerves was first published in the May 1950 issue of the interesting magazine Other Worlds Science Stories (this was only the fourth issue of Other Worlds Science Stories , which had been created the year before with the avowed objective of competing with the long-standing leading science-fiction magazine, the renowned (then and now) Astounding Science-Fiction), only a month or two - according to a comment in the editorial column of that issue - before the publication of van Vogt’s (...)

  • "M33 in Andromeda" (1943) by A. E. van Vogt - the original text and graphics - 2 February

    M33 in Andromeda, first published in the August 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, was the third of van Vogt’s great series of stories, after Black Destroyer and Discord in Scarlet, about the adventures of the spaceship The Space Beagle on man’s first trip of scientific discovery outside of his own Milky Way galaxy.
    Quite up to the remarkable level of those other two famous stories, it became a key part of van Vogt’s masterful novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), albeit with a (...)

  • "Discord in Scarlet" (1939) by A. E. van Vogt - the original text and graphics - December 2016

    This is the dramatic story of the struggle for survival of the inter-galactic exploration ship The Space Beagle, after having being invaded by an incredibly powerful alien being – a narrative familiar to viewers of Ridley Scott’s 1981 masterpiece Alien, which was largely based on this story.
    First published in the December 1939 issue of the Astounding Science Fiction magazine, Discord in Scarlet is the direct sequel of van Vogt’s equally dramatic novella Black Destroyer, which had appeared (...)

  • "Black Destroyer" (1939) - the original text of A. E. van Vogt’s first published s-f story - December 2016

    The July 1939 issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine, featuring A. E. van Vogt’s first published s-f story Black Destroyer on its iconic cover by Graves Gladney, is generally considered to have initiated the golden age of science-fiction, extending throughout the forties and into the early fifties.
    It later became the initial six chapters of van Vogt’s great 1950 "fix-up" novel of interstellar exploration, The Voyage of the Space Beagle.
    However there there are very many textual (...)

  • The "Mixed Men" series of golden-age s-f stories by A. E. van Vogt - December 2016

    These three linked golden-age stories pursue the theme of man’s expansion beyond the Milky Way Galaxy explored in van Vogt’s initial and iconic Black Destroyer (1939) tale, from a completely different but just about as interesting perspective – the discovery by a gigantic Earth exploration spaceship of a race of super-evolved men that had escaped from Earth’s domination of the entire Milky Way galaxy into the nearby Lesser Magellanic Cloud galaxy some thousands of years earlier.
    These stories (...)

  • Fifteen golden-age science-fiction stories by A. E. van Vogt - January 2016

    These fifteen stories are all fine examples of this great writer’s best work from his most creative period - the forties and early fifties, the "golden age" of science-fiction.
    All of the stories published here are the original magazine versions, with the magazine artwork and cover for each story.
    e-book versions of this sizable anthology (185,000 words, 600+ standard printed pages) are available for downloading below.
    date of last update: Jan. 7, 2017:
    the original magazine (...)

  • "Away and Beyond" - A. E. van Vogt’s other great 1952 anthology (the complete text) - October 2015

    This outstanding collection of nine of van Vogt’s best golden-age science-fiction stories was published in 1952, as a sort of companion volume to Destination Universe, his first short-story anthology published earlier that same year.
    Curiously, almost all editions of Away and Beyond printed after 1952 - notably the (American) Berkley Books, the (British) Panther and the (French) Presses Pocket editions - have omitted the remarkable first story in this anthology, Vault of the Beast – van (...)

  • "Destination Universe!" - the full text of A. E. van Vogt’s superb first anthology of his science-fiction short stories (1952) - October 2015

    With the original magazine illustrations and covers of each story.
    Introduction by A. E. van Vogt
    1. Far Centaurus (1944)
    2. The Monster (1948)
    3. Dormant (1948)
    4. Enchanted Village (1950)
    5. A Can of Paint (1944)
    6. Defense (1947)
    7. The Rulers (1944)
    8. Dear Pen Pal (1949)
    9. The Sound (1950)
    10. The Search
    e-book versions of this anthology are available for downloading below.
    INTRODUCTION To my readers:
    Science fiction is a field of writing where, (...)

  • "Defense" (1947) - A. E. van Vogt’s shortest (and most shattering!) story - October 2015

    This tiny 2-pager, in spite of its brevity or perhaps partly because of it - there is not a wasted syllable - is one of van Vogt’s most dramatically effective stories.
    With its central theme of the dangers posed by ultra-sophisticated atomic-age weaponry to man’s very existence - certainly one of the first literary explorations ever of that immense subject - interlaced with the mysteries of alien technology and the hazards of interplanetary exploration, this quite amazingly intense and (...)

  • "The Cataaaaa" (1947) - one of A. E. van Vogt’s best and most original golden-age science-fiction stories - October 2015

    If you have ever wondered what strange, mysterious thoughts are lurking behind your cat’s impenetrable gaze, then you will be interested by the particularly remarkable cat in this quite brilliant golden-age van Vogt story.
    Unusually, it was published separately in two different magazines: initially in the short-lived but quite spectacular large-format and beautifully-illustrated West Coast (Los Angeles) magazine FANTASY BOOK, Vol. 1 No. 1 in July 1947, and then in the more mainstream East (...)

  • "The Harmonizer" (1944) - a science-fiction classic by A. E. van Vogt - July 2015

    Although the November 1944 issue of Astounding Science Fiction featured Killdozer by Theodore Sturgeon on its cover, the outstanding story in that issue in our humble opinion was this strangely credible tale by A. E. van Vogt, about how an alien "ibis" plant, quite its central character, was not only responsible for the disappearance of the dinosaurs from Earth (!) but also for an equally dramatic impact on life in our own time (!!).
    With the original Astounding illustrations by Kramer. (...)

  • "Dormant" (1948) - a great golden-age sci-fi story by A. E. van Vogt - July 2015

    This dramatic tale of the harrowing results of the discovery of a huge and very strange alien object on a remote Pacific island in the immediate post-WW2 years, told in typical and most effective van-Vogt-style from the “other’s” point of view, was first published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, whose snappy cover here has surely not escaped your attention.
    There was the following interesting comment by the editors in that rather splendid issue (198 large-format pages!!) (...)

  • "The World of Null-A" (1945) by A. E. van Vogt - the full text - June 2015

    First published in monthly installments in the August-October 1945 issues of Astounding Science Fiction, this fast-paced and very ambitious blockbuster novel set in 2580 A.D. was A. E. van Vogt’s fourth major novel in that glorious heyday-decade of science fiction, the golden forties.
    Regularly reissued ever since in hardcover, paperback and foreign-language translations, it is certainly the author’s most-republished work, and one that, with Slan, established him definitively in the front (...)

  • "Slan" (1940) - A. E. van Vogt’s first and most famous novel (the complete text) - May 2015

    First published in four installments in the September-December 1940 issues of Astounding Science Fiction, this smoothly-written and ambitious first novel with its action-oriented, science-minded, Big-Ideas-About-The-Evolutionary-Future-of-Humanity theme, its dramatic story line involving an incredibly intense and long-lasting manhunt, wild careening all over the solar system, much grim violence and some pretty intense man-woman confrontations, is a quintessential golden-age masterpiece that (...)

  • "Not Only Dead Men" (1942) - the complete text of an early s-f story by A. E. van Vogt - May 2015

    First published in the November 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, this well-written wartime story, only ever republished in the sixties in a little anthology of van Vogt stories bizarrely - and off-puttingly - entitled Monsters (Bug-Eyed Monsters - even worse! - in the UK edition at the time), tells of confrontation and - yes! - (eventual) cooperation between a group of isolated whale-fishermen in the northern seas and strange aliens desperately fighting a ferocious enemy that has (...)

  • "The Voyage of The Space Beagle (1950)" by A. E. van Vogt - the complete text of this great science-fiction writer’s best novel - April 2015

    If there is one "golden-age" science-fiction novel that has passed the most demanding literary test of all - the test of time – with flying colours, it is this brilliant account of the exciting - and thought-provoking - adventures of mankind’s first voyage of exploration outside of his own galaxy, first published in 1950.
    And if there is one science-fiction novel that can be unreservedly recommended to one and all, especially those who have never delved into the genre, it is this masterwork (...)

  • "Vault of the Beast" (1940) - the full text of A. E. van Vogt’s first s-f story - March 2015

    A. E. van Vogt’s first published story was the celebrated Black Destroyer, which appeared in the August 1939 edition of Astounding Science-Fiction, and which became the first chapter of his great novel of extragalactic space exploration The Voyage of the Space Beagle.
    But Black Destroyer was not actually van Vogt’s first science-fiction story (until 1938, the Canadian and sometime civil servant van Vogt had written numerous "true-romance" pulp fictions, 50-odd radio scripts, and numerous (...)

  • "The Sea Thing" (1940) by A. E. van Vogt - February 2015

    In this very early story first published in the January 1940 edition of Unknown Worlds magazine, A. E. van Vogt made a rare but very successful venture into the realm of fantasy. Or rather near-fantasy, as the shark-god "Thing" (in human form!) that comes out of the sea to wreak revenge on a group of fishermen in an isolated area of the South Seas is an interesting and just-about-credible (especially at night in sufficiently-eerie surroundings) incarnation of the ancestral lore of the (...)

  • "Centaurus II" (1947) by A. E. van Vogt - a golden-age novella never before republished - February 2015

    This novelette, which was the cover story in the June 1947 issue of the celebrated science-fiction magazine Astounding Science Fiction, covers some of the same ground as van Vogt’s magnificent 1950 novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle: exploration of far-off star systems, discovery of highly-developed not to say superior alien civilizations and, especially, the grave dangers that internal social/sociological conflicts can and probably always will pose to the very survival of such long-term (...)

  • "The Monster" (1948) - A. E. van Vogt’s best short story (the full text) - October 2013

    This golden-age story, first published in the August 1948 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, was considered by its author to be one of his best - an opinion we heartily concur with.
    It was later republished in some anthologies as Resurrection, but it appeared in van Vogt’s first anthology of his own short stories (Destination: Universe!, in 1952) with its original title, and it was referred to by that name by him in later interviews, so The Monster clearly is the proper "canonical" title (...)

  • "Femworld" - a late (1979) tale by A. E. van Vogt - September 2013

    This stark and very frank portrayal of the struggle of the sexes in an Orwellian world utterly dominated by females - thanks to aliens, chemicals and above all optics - was never reprinted after its publication in the June-July 1979 issue of Galaxy magazine.
    It is well worthy of your attention, in our humble opinion.
    e-book versions of Femworld are available for downloading below.
    PETER GRAYSON, PH.D., physicist, vice-president of Haskett Man­ufacturing Laboratories, Inc., (...)

  • "The Beast" - an early van Vogt novella now available for the first time since 1943 - September 2013

    This golden-age novella by the author of The Monster and Black Destroyer, which appeared in the November 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, has never been included in any anthology of van Vogt’s works, possibly because of its length: 22,000 words, the equivalent of some 65 paper-back pages. An overview of this very imaginative war-time story, featuring rocket ships with atomic engines (!), a deadly world-wide Nazi conspiracy (the Nazis have lost the war but are actively preparing (...)

  • "The Shadow Men (1950)" - the full text of an outstanding golden-age science-fiction novel by A. E. van Vogt never before republished - September 2013

    This striking novel from the golden age of science-fiction (the nineteen-forties and early fifties) was never republished in either magazine or book form after its initial appearance in the January 1950 issue of Startling Stories , where it was highlighted on the quite spectacular cover (the iconic pulp-fiction graphic on the cover of that issue does not however relate to The Shadow Men , but to another story, The Return of Captain Future by Edmond Hamilton) by Earle Bergey.
    With its (...)

  • The complete stories and novels of A. E. van Vogt: synopses, comments and ratings - June 2013

    date of last update: November 19, 2016 [1]. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. Biographical Notice
    2. The 101 short stories and novellas
    3. The 35 Novels
    4. References
    A. E. van Vogt (1912-2000) was born on a farm in the vicinity of Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) in a family of Dutch extraction. He spoke Frison (a Germanic language spoken in the north of Holland [2]) at home until the age of four.
    He was brought up in the small rural town of Neville in the neighbouring (...)