The Wailing Asteroid & The World that Couldn’t Be – Murray Leinster & Clifford D. Simak


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Armchair Fiction presents extra large editions of classic science fiction double novels. The first novel is sci-fi maestro Murray Leinster’s “The Wailing Asteroid.” There was no life on the asteroid, but the miles of rock-hewn corridors through which the Earth party wandered left no doubt about the purpose of the asteroid. It was a mighty fortress, stocked with weapons of destruction beyond man’s power to understand. And yet there was no life here, nor had there been for untold centuries. What race had built this stronghold? What unimaginable power were they defending against? Why was it abandoned? There was no answer, all was dead. But—not quite all. For in a room above the tomb-like fortress a powerful transmitter beamed its birdlike, fluting sounds toward Earth. Near it, on a huge star map of the universe, with light-years measured by inches, ten tiny red sparks were moving, crawling inexorably toward the center. Moving, at many times the speed of light, with the acquired mass of suns…moving, on a course that would pass through the solar system. The unknown aliens would not even see our sun explode from the force of their passing. They would not even notice the tiny speck called Earth as it died… The second novel is “The World that Couldn’t Be” by one of the top-tier science fiction writers of all time, Clifford D. Simak. Life on the planet Laynard was more than unusual. Gavin Duncan had settled on this distant planet because it was virtually unspoiled and unpopulated by man, making the farming opportunities endless. While his livelihood depended on this plantation being a success, he did not know the planet well, or its peculiarities, and had virtually no knowledge about the wildlife. When he found he’d lost part of his crop to a strange beast, his job was plain… Like every farmer on every planet, Duncan had to hunt down anything that damaged his crop, and kill it. The natives were quite peculiar regarding the hunting of certain beasts, especially the one he was after, the Cytha. With a lot of persuasion, he finally sets out with a local native to track the beast. During the hunt, the strangest things began to take place, and Duncan gets a lesson the hard way about xeno-ecology!