My life in outer space

Six Worlds Yonder – Eric Frank Russell (1958)

six

‘STORIES OF FIRST LANDINGS ON FAR PLANETS

THE PLANET MAPPERS

One thing’s certain about the exploration of outer space – there’s not going to be two worlds alike! In this new collection of interstellar explorers, the fertile and original mind of Eric Frank Russell presents a half dozen of the more extraordinary possibilities.

There’s the world where everything moves at a apace so different from ours that it would take a couple of lifetimes to ensure communication. There’s the planet of immortals, with all that that really signifies. There’s the puzzling problem of keeping important messages secret when surrounded by truculent aliens. And there’s more…

Every story is different. Every story is unique, and every adventure is Science Fiction at its best. ‘

Blurb from the #77785 Ace Double paperback edition, originally published 1958

Eric Frank Russell was a British writer who wrote mainly quirky short stories. This volume contains six pieces on the theme of first landings on distant planets.

The Waitabits (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1955)

Planetary surveyors encounter an entire planet whose inhabitants move very very slowly and are stumped as to how to deal with them. A little absurdist, but enjoyable.

Tieline (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1955)

A poetic if somewhat implausible tale of a man employed to man a space lighthouse and the efforts of those employing him to prevent him going insane. It works on an improbable level.

Top Secret (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1956)

A humourous piece in which a paranoid general, terrified of possible military shenanigans by the alien Zeng (who appear to be quite peaceable folk) sends all his messages to the outpost via a circuitous route, causing a Chinese whisper effect. Mayhem ensues.

Nothing New (Astounding Jan 1955)

Humanity have spread through the stars and meet an intelligent older race.

Into Your Tent I’ll Creep (Astounding Sep 1957)

Another semi-humorous tale about a first encounter, one of whom is telepathic and realises that Humanity is not the only intelligent race on Earth.

Diabologic (Astounding March 1955)

This is the most interesting story, being a parody not only of Dianetics (the quack philosophy from which Scientology sprung) but of A E van Vogt, a keen proponent of Dianetics, whose logical non-violent heroes are often based on its principles.

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