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Planet of the Damned

By: Harry Harrison

Once in a generation, a man is born with a heightened sense of empathy. Brion Brandd used this gift to win the Twenties, an annual physical and mental competition among the best and smartest people on Anvhar. But scarcely able to enjoy his victory, Brandd is swept off to the hellish planet Dis where he must use his heightened sense of empathy to help avert a global nuclear holocaust by negotiating with the blockading fleet, traversing the Disan underworld, and cracking the mystery of the savagely ruthless magter. Summary by Great Plains....

Science fiction

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Make Mine Homogenized (Version 2)

By: Rick Raphael

Just sixty miles from ground zero in Nevada there lies Circle T Ranch run by Hetty Thompson the owner, Barney Hatfield the farmhand, and Johnny Culpepper the assistant manager. It was just another ordinary ranch until, that is, the two cows and the rooster hit the nuclear jackpot. (Introduction by Jeanie1914)...

Science fiction

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This Crowded Earth

By: Robert Bloch

Robert Bloch (1917 – 1994) was a prolific writer in many genres. As a young man he was encouraged by his mentor H. P. Lovecraft, and was a close friend of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Besides hundreds of short stories and novels he wrote a number of television and film scripts including several for the original Star Trek. In 1959 Bloch wrote the novel Psycho which Alfred Hitchcock adapted to film a year later. He received the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and he is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America. Published in Amazing Stories in 1958, This Crowded Earth is a thriller set on an overpopulated Earth of the future. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Security

By: Poul Anderson

“Security”, tells the story of a compartmentalized government physicist ordered by secret police to complete experiments aimed at developing a new weapon. He is brought to a hidden space station and put in charge of the project but there are many questions. In a world of spies watching spies it’s sometimes hard to know what’s patriotic. -- Poul Anderson was a Golden Age Science Fiction and Fantasy author. “Security” first appeared in the magazine “Space Science Fiction” in February of 1953 (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Second Variety

By: Philip K. Dick

Early victories by the USSR in a global nuclear war cause the United Nations government to retreat to the moon leaving behind troops and fierce autonomous robots called “Claws”, which reproduce and redesign themselves in unmanned subterranean factories. After six bloody years of conflict the Soviets call for an urgent conference and UN Major Joseph Hendricks sets out to meet them. Along the way he will discover what the Claws have been up to, and it isn’t good… - Second Variety was first published in the May 1953 edition of Space Science Fiction Magazine. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

By: Edwin Abbott Abbott

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions. As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics and computer science students....

Fiction, Science fiction, Satire

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Anthem

By: Ayn Rand

Anthem is a dystopic science fiction story taking place at some unspecified future date. Mankind has entered another dark age as a result of what Rand saw as the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur, if at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated (for example, the word I has disappeared from the language). As is common in her work, Rand draws a clear distinction between the socialist/communal values of equality and brotherhood and the productive/capitalist values of achievement and individuality. The story also parallels Stalinist Russia, which was currently going on at the time as the story was published. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Science fiction, Philosophy

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Arm of the Law

By: Harry Harrison

A quiet backwater outpost on Mars gets a surprise in the form of a new police recruit - in a box! Yep, it's a prototype robot cop sent to the backwater station for testing. And Harrison tells the strange, funny and scary things that begin to happen after that, as only he can....

Science fiction

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Project Mastodon

By: Clifford D. Simak

Clifford Simak deals with the implications of time travel in his own unique way in this story. What if a group of guys did it on their own, without any help from government or industry? On a shoestring,so to speak? Would anyone believe them? What would you do if you could go back 150,000 years to a time when mastodons and saber toothed tigers roamed North America? And what happens when they run out of money? All these questions are explored in the usual humorous, wry Simak way in this story....

Science fiction

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Time Traders (version 2), The

By: Andre Norton

If it is possible to conquer space, then perhaps it is also possible to conquer time. At least that was the theory American scientists were exploring in an effort to explain the new sources of knowledge the Russians possessed. Perhaps Russian scientists had discovered how to transport themselves back in time in order to learn long-forgotten secrets of the past. That was why young Ross Murdock, above average in intelligence but a belligerently independent nonconformist, found himself on a hush-hush government project at a secret base in the Arctic. The very qualities that made him a menace in civilized society were valuable traits in a man who must successfully act the part of a merchant trader of the Beaker people during the Bronze Age. For once they were transferred by time machine to the remote Baltic region where the Russian post was located, Ross and his partner Ashe were swept into a fantastic action-filled adventure involving Russians, superstitious prehistoric men, and the aliens of a lost galactic civilization that demanded every ounce of courage the Americans possessed. (Summary by Gutenberg text)...

Science fiction

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Time Traders, The

By: Andre Norton

If it is possible to conquer space, then perhaps it is also possible to conquer time. At least that was the theory American scientists were exploring in an effort to explain the new sources of knowledge the Russians possessed. Perhaps Russian scientists had discovered how to transport themselves back in time in order to learn long-forgotten secrets of the past.

That was why young Ross Murdock, above average in intelligence but a belligerently independent nonconformist, found himself on a hush-hush government project at a secret base in the Arctic. The very qualities that made him a menace in civilized society were valuable traits in a man who must successfully act the part of a merchant trader of the Beaker people during the Bronze Age.

For once they were transferred by time machine to the remote Baltic region where the Russian post was located, Ross and his partner Ashe were swept into a fantastic action-filled adventure involving Russians, superstitious prehistoric men, and the aliens of a lost galactic civilization that demanded every ounce of courage the Americans possessed. [summary taken from gutenberg e-text]...

Science fiction

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Make Mine Homogenized

By: Rick Raphael

Widowed cattle rancher Hetty Thompson had done all right for herself since Big Jim’s death. She had Barney, a loyal if dim-witted ranch hand, and Johnny her assistant manager whom she rescued from a drunken father years before. When the government carves out a huge piece of Frenchman’s Flat for an atomic testing ground Hetty and her neighbors object, but the millitary fences in the range anyway. It wasn’t so bad for a while. Then Hetty’s chickens began laying golden eggs, and her prize Guernsey produced explosive milk. Nevada ranch folk are tough but are they ready for mutant livestock? (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Slave Is a Slave, A

By: H. Beam Piper

The Galactic Empire is slowly 'welcoming' into the family of civilized worlds those systems so far off in the backwater of the galaxy that they have been overlooked and ignored for the past 500 years or so. This is purely routine work because every planet offered the chance has eagerly accepted the invitation. Mainly because the enlightened Empire lets the planetary government continue to rule and do whatever it wants...with a few minor restrictions of course; and because the they are shown what happens to planets who decide not to accept the invitation. Aditya is the system in question here. Forgotten for almost a millennium but surviving, thank you very much, with an economy based entirely on slavery. Everyone is a slave except for the few thousand Lords Master. What happens when the this type of society meets the Constitution of the Galactic Empire which forbids any type of slavery? What happens when the poor, oppressed slaves are given their freedom? Funny you should ask .......

Science fiction

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Highest Treason, The

By: Randall Garrett

Set in a future in which humanity’s dream of total equality is fully realized and poverty in terms of material wealth has been eliminated, humanity has straight-jacketed itself into the only social system which could make this possible. Class differentiation is entirely horizontal rather than vertical and no matter what one’s chosen field, all advancement is based solely on seniority rather than ability. What is an intelligent and ambitious man to do when enslaved by a culture that forbids him from utilizing his God-given talents? If he’s a military officer in time of war, he might just decide to switch sides. If said officer is a true believer in the principles that enslave him and every bit as loyal as he is ambitious, that’s tantamount to breaking a universal law of physics, but Colonel Sebastian MacMaine has what it takes to meet the challenge. (Summary by Lee)...

Science fiction

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Knyght Ther Was, A

By: Robert F. Young

But the Knyght was a little less than perfect, and his horse did not have a metabolism, and his 'castle' was much more mobile - timewise! - than it had any business being! In 2178, once time travel had become a simple task, it had also been outlawed. Those who chose to ingnore this law were known as time-thieves, and Tom Mallory was among the best of them. When he learns the precise whereabouts of the Holy Grail in 542, he sets out to obtain it with the intention of returning it to the 22nd century to make a handsome profit and to settle on Get-Rich-Quick Street. Off to the year 542 he travels to the castle of Carbonek where the great Knight Sir Launcelot is said to have possession of the Sangraal. (Summary by Roger Melin with quote from Analog Science Fact & Fiction July 1963)...

Science fiction

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Rebels of the Red Planet

By: Charles L. Fontenay

Dark Kensington had been dead for twenty-five years. It was a fact; everyone knew it. Then suddenly he reappeared, youthful, brilliant, ready to take over the Phoenix, the rebel group that worked to overthrow the tyranny that gripped the settlers on Mars.The Phoenix had been destroyed not once, not twice, but three times! But this time the resurrected Dark had new plans, plans which involved dangerous experiments in mutation and psionics.And now the rebels realized they were in double jeopardy. Not only from the government's desperate hatred of their movement, but also from the growing possibility that the new breed of mutated monsters would get out of hand and bring terrors never before known to man. (Summary from Project Gutenberg text)...

Science fiction, Adventure

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Oomphel in the Sky

By: H. Beam Piper

Natives of the distant planet of Kwannon believe that their world is about to end, and in preparing for the apocalypse, may be unnecessarily bringing about their own demise. The planetary government can’t overcome its own bureaucracy to help them, and the military is overwhelmed. Can a single newsman change the course of a whole people, and save their world? (by Mark Nelson)...

Science fiction, Teen/Young adult

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Star Born

By: Andre Norton

Andre Norton's Star Born pictures a human colony in another galaxy, driven away from Earth generations ago by a repressive government. Considered outlaws, the colonists are in permanent hiding. They have developed friendship and cooperation with a local race of mermen who are equally at home on land or sea. But that race only took to the sea to escape a malevolent power that hunted them and killed them violently for sport - Those Others. With a global decline in the population and reach of Those Others, contacts are few and the humans have no direct knowlege of them. So it is a major surprise when Dalgard, a human scout on his coming-of-age expedition, along with his knife-brother Sssuri of the mermen, run into a party of Those Others who are bent on reclaiming hideous weaponries left behind in one of their abandoned cities... and find that they are being aided by new arrivals from Earth! (Summary by Mark F. Smith)...

Science fiction, Adventure

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