Steemit's Free Online Sci Fi Compendium - Vol #8
This is the eighth edition of a collection where I recommend free, legal, high-quality Science Fiction online. Missed the first ones? Check them out: vol#1, vol#2, vol#3, vol#4, vol#5, vol#6 and vol#7.
Last time I feature stories from the fifties, now it's from the sixties. Enjoy!
Norman Spinrad - Carcinoma Angels
At the age of nine Harrison Wintergreen first discovered that the world was his oyster when he looked at it sidewise. That was the year when baseball cards were in. The kid with the biggest collection of baseball cards was it. Harry Wintergreen decided to become it.
Harry saved up a dollar and bought one hundred random baseball cards. He was in luck—one of them was the very rare Yogi Berra. In three separate transactions, he traded his other ninety-nine cards for the only other three Yogi Berras in the neighborhood. Harry had reduced his holdings to four cards, but he had cornered the market in Yogi Berra. He forced the price of Yogi Berra up to an exorbitant eighty cards. With the slush fund thus accumulated, he successively cornered the market in Mickey Mantle, Willy Mays and Pee Wee Reese and became the J. P. Morgan of baseball cards.
Norman Spinrad is an American science fiction author, known for some of his controversial topics when writing. Carcinoma Angels was the first story purchased for the anthology Dangerous Visions, in 1968. Here I include an audiobook version of this story taken from the Starshipsofa podcast.
Bob Shaw - Light of Other Days
Leaving the village behind, we followed the heady sweeps of the road up into a land of slow glass.
I had never seen one of the farms before and at first found them slightly eerie—an effect heightened by imagination and circumstance. The car's turbine was pulling smoothly and quietly in the damp air so that we seemed to be carried over the convolutions of the road in a kind of supernatural silence. On our right the mountain sifted down into an incredibly perfect valley of timeless pine, and everywhere stood the great frames of slow glass, drinking light. An occasional flash of afternoon sunlight on their wind bracing created an illusion of movement, but in fact the frames were deserted. The rows of windows had been standing on the hillside for years, staring into the valley, and men only cleaned them in the middle of the night when their human presence would not matter to the thirsty glass.
Bob Shaw was an Irish science fiction author, that once said "I write science fiction for people who don't read a great deal of science fiction". Light of Other Days is one of his most famous stories. It was first published in Analog Science Fiction magazine in the August 1966 edition.
David I. Masson - Traveller’s Rest
It was an apocalyptic sector. Out of the red-black curtain of the forward sight-barrier, which at this distance from the Frontier shut down a mere twenty metres north, came every sort of meteoric horror: fission and fusion explosions, chemical detonations, a super-hail of projectiles of all sizes and basic velocities, sprays of nerve-paralysants and thalamic dopes. The impact devices burst on the barren rock of the slopes or the concrete of the forward stations, some of which were disintegrated or eviscerated every other minute. The surviving installations kept up an equally intense and nearly vertical fire of rockets and shells. Here and there, a protectivized figure could be seen “sprinting” up, down, or along the slopes on its mechanical “walker,” like a frantic ant from an anthill attacked by flamethrowers. Some of the visible oncoming trajectories could be seen snaking overhead into the indigo gloom of the rear sight-curtain, perhaps fifty metres south, which met the steep-falling rock surface forty-odd metres below the observer’s eye. The whole scene was as if bathed in a gigantic, straight rainbow. East and west, as far as the eye could see, perhaps some forty miles in this clear mountain air despite the debris of explosion (but cut off to the west by a spur from the range), the visibility-corridor witnessed a continual onslaught and counter-onslaught of devices. The visible pandemonium was shut in by the sight-barriers’ titanic canyon-walls of black, reaching the slim pale strip of horizon-spanning light at some immense height. The audibility-corridor was vastly wider than that of sight; the many-pitched din, even through left ear in helm, was considerable.
David I. Masson was a British author whose bibliography consists solely on ten short stories, but still became popular nonetheless. Traveller’s Rest was the first was those stories, and it was first published at New Worlds magazine on Sep 1965.
And that's it for the eighth volume of Steemit's Free Online Sci Fi Compendium. What's your favorite story? What's your favorite Sci Fi author? Leave a comment and it might be featured in the next volume!
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Excellent series! I'm forever taken aback when I discover what a minority fans of hard science fiction continue to be, in spite of Star Wars and Star Trek. Then again, maybe *because of * the fans who don costumes andstage mock laser battles, in public...
I paid $100 for four cartons of old science fiction magazines. Most are from the 1990s - early 2000s, with Nancy Kress e.g., but I also have the original issue in which Enders Game first appeared. If I can sell that, it pays for the cartons of old magazines, which I'll likely donate, or mail out an issue at a time as contest prizes (honorable mentions).
I've blogged about Joseph Green, and the old magazines that first published his science fiction: https://carolkean.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/joseph-green-is-running-wild-after-his-nasa-career-and-still-writing-scifi/
Just too many stories, too many magazines, to list here.