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Short Science Fiction Collection 017

By: Various

Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science or technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories that entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed. Summary by Cori Samuel, with Wikipedia input.

Fiction, Science fiction, Short stories

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Space Viking

By: H. Beam Piper

A galactic war has left the Terran Federation in ruins. Formerly civilized planets have decivilized into barbarism. Space Vikings roam the wreckage, plundering and killing for gain. Lord Lucas Trask of Traskon was no admirer of the Space Vikings, but when murder takes his wife on his wedding day, Trask trades everything he has for his own Space Viking ship and sets out on a galaxy-wide quest for revenge. (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Science fiction, Fiction

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Stealing Arturo

By: William Ledbetter

Description: Clarke, a mechanic and technician on board the space craft, makes a daring plan to steal and take over the space ship in order to free himself and the other people forced to stay and work on the ship.

Excerpt: The soft, yet insistent chiming from my wrist unit eventually made me open my eyes. At first confused by my surroundings, I then spotted Nora standing next to her mother's regrowth tank and it all came back in a rush. If my alarm was sounding, it meant I had an hour before my automated units went active and I wasn't ready yet.

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Balance

By: Marina J. Lostetter

Description: Jamal, with the new 'birth' of his little sister, learns the history of how babies were made before in history as opposed to the cloning process which they now use to reproduce the human race in space.

Excerpt: Well wasn’t that just... He didn’t feel left out, but he wanted to be left out. If he never had to see his sister it would be too soon. They were making a big, fat, ugly mistake. Why’d they want to go and ruin their perfect family with a sister, huh? Weren’t the three of them enough?

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Edison's Conquest of Mars

By: Garrett P. Serviss

Edison's Conquest of Mars, by Garrett P. Serviss, is one of the many science fiction novels published in the nineteenth century. Although science fiction was not at the time thought of as a distinct literary genre, it was a very popular literary form, with almost every fiction magazine regularly publishing science fiction stories and novels. Edison's Conquest of Mars was published in 1898 as an unauthorized sequel to H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, but did not achie...

Fiction, Science fiction

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Creature from Beyond Infinity, The

By: Henry Kuttner

A lone space traveler arrives on Earth seeking a new planet to colonize, his own world dead. At the same time a mysterious plague has infected Earth that will wipe out all life. Can a lone scientist stop the plague and save the world? Or will the alien find himself on another doomed planet? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Science fiction, Fiction

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Null-ABC

By: H. Beam Piper ; John J. McGuire

There's some reaction these days that holds scientists responsible for war. Take it one step further: What happens if book-learnin' is held responsible ...? (quote from Astounding Science Fiction, Feb 1953)

Fiction, 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...

Fiction, Science fiction, Satire

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Last Man, The

By: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

The Last Man is an early post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Mary Shelley, which was first published in 1826. The book tells of a future world that has been ravaged by a plague. The plague gradually kills off all people. Lionel Verney, central character, son of a nobleman who gambled himself into poverty, finds himself immune after being attacked by an infected negro, and copes with a civilization that is gradually dying out around him. (Summary from wikipedia)

Science fiction, Fiction, Teen/Young adult

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Born Again

By: Alfred Lawson

I doubt that anyone who reads [Born Again] will ever forget it: it is quite singularly bad, with long undigestible rants against the evils of the world, an impossibly idealistic Utopian prescription for the said evils, and - as you will have gathered - a very silly plot. - oddbooks.co.uk Alfred Lawson was a veritable Renaissance man: a professional baseball player, a luminary in the field of aviation, an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism and economic reform, and the fo...

Fiction, Science fiction, Adventure, Philosophy

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Auf zwei Planeten

By: Kurd Laßwitz

Als die Wissenschaftler Saltner, Grunthe und Thorm in einem Ballon aufbrechen, um den Nordpol zu erforschen, ahnen sie nicht, dass ihnen eine weit größere Entdeckung bevorsteht. Am Pol finden sie eine Station der Bewohner des Mars, die sich selbst Nume nennen. Von hier aus erforschen sie die Erde, die sie Ba nennen, und deren Bewohner, die Bate. Der Ballon verunglückt, Saltner und Grunthe werden von den Numen gerettet, doch Thorms Schicksal ist ungewiss, man befürchtet, ...

Science fiction, Fiction

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Looking Backward: 2000-1887

By: Edward Bellamy

Looking Backward: 2000-1887 is a utopian novel by Edward Bellamy, first published in 1888. It was the third largest bestseller of its time, after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The book tells the story of Julian West, a young American who, towards the end of the 19th century, falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes up more than a century later. He finds himself in the same location (Boston, Massachusetts) but in a totally changed world: ...

Science fiction, Fiction

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Operation Terror

By: Murray Leinster

An unidentified space ship lands in a Colorado lake. Equipped with a paralyzing ray weapon, the creatures begin taking human prisoners. A loan land surveyor and a journalist are trapped inside the Army cordon, which is helpless against the mysterious enemy. Can they stop the aliens before it is too late? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Fiction, Science fiction

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No Great Magic

By: Fritz Leiber

They were a traveling group of Shakespearean players; perfectly harmless, right? wrong. For one thing, why did they have spacemen costumes in their wardrobes,next to caveman ones? Why was the girl in charge of backstage suffering from amnesia and agoraphobia? No Great Magic is needed to perform the plays they put on, but sometimes great science. No matter where, or when. (Summary by Phil Chenevert)

Fiction, Science fiction

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Magic and Other Honest Lies

By: Robert Buettner

Description: Tam and Jamieson work together in hopes to locate a missing telepathic cub.

Excerpt: With her knife pricking his throat, she tugged his wrists so that one was atop and one beneath the steering wheel rim. Then she dug in the pocket of the loaded vest beneath her cloak until her fingers closed around the handcuffs. The real cuffs, not the breakaways. Tam locked Jamieson to her car’s steering wheel.

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Soft Casualty

By: Michael Z. Williamson

Description: Alejandro and his co soldier Jase fall ill when their food is tampered with by local rebels.

Excerpt: He had materiel to process. Three huge cargontainers sat in the bay, pending sort. This shipment was ammunition, spare parts, tools, generators and nuclear powerpacks for them. He had units and their transport chains on cue, with quantities needed. Those always exceeded quantity available. He broke them down by percentage, then applied the urgency codes to adjust the amounts. Once the Captain signed off, the loader operators would dispense it to be tied down and...

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An Imperium Pursuit

By: Jody Lynn Nye

Description: The Imperium consists of those thousands of systems in the Milky Way Galaxy to which human beings have spread over the last ten millennia. Over that time, its ruling nobility has become, apart from the Emperor or Empress and those working cabinet ministers and planetary governors, a trifle on the self-indulgent, useless side. Lord Thomas Innes Loche Kinago is one who occasionally applies his intelligence and many talents to be actually helpful, a fact that m...

Excerpt: I tested out my trusty flyer on a turn or so around the building, humming as close as I could to the sides of the edifice without tearing out any of its windows by the velocity of my passage. I tuned a fitting here and a restraint belt there, to reduce as much wind resistance as possible and track down the source of that buzz. On the third revolution, I discovered that one of the housings above Tybalt’s power plant was not damaged but had come loose.

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Pariah Planet (version 2)

By: Murray Leinster

When the blue plague appeared on the planet of Dara, fear struck nearby worlds. The fear led to a hate that threatened the lives of millions and endangered the Galactic peace. (Summary by Gutenberg text)

Science fiction, Fiction

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Mercenary

By: Mack Reynolds

Every status-quo-caste society in history has left open two roads to rise above your caste: The Priest and The Warrior. But in a society of TV and tranquilizers--the Warrior acquires a strange new meaning... (Introduction from the Gutenberg text)

Fiction, Science fiction

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Short Science Fiction Collection 038

By: Various

Science Fiction is speculative literature that generally explores the consequences of ideas which are roughly consistent with nature and scientific method, but are not facts of the author’s contemporary world. The stories often represent philosophical thought experiments presented in entertaining ways. Protagonists typically “think” rather than “shoot” their way out of problems, but the definition is flexible because there are no limits on an author’s imagination. The re...

Fiction, Science fiction, Short stories

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