We, The Machine & Planet of Dread – Gerald Vance & Dwight V. Swain


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Armchair Fiction presents extra large editions of classic science fiction double novels. The first novel, “We, the Machine” is an outstanding, previously unheralded science fiction classic by Gerald Vance. It was the machine that provided everything. No one had ever thought it possible. It was the ultimate creation of science, a vast underground machine that knew no limits. It provided everything for the people of Mid-America—ample food, expensive clothing, luxurious dwellings—everything. Whatever you wanted was provided to you in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. And the Machine did it without ever making errors or oversights. It was a marvel of scientific perfection. Then one day it started making mistakes—and the world trembled. Gerald Vance was a house name used by numerous authors for pulp science fiction magazines back in the ‘40s and ‘50s. In this case we believe it might have been either Paul W. Fairman or Rog Phillips. “We the Machine” certainly reads like a Fairman or a Phillips story, and the plot is in the same vein as many of their favorite themes. But regardless of who its true author may have been, “We the Machine” is a forgotten science fiction gem of the first magnitude. The second novel is by one of sci-fi’s best storytellers, Dwight V. Swain. “Planet of Dread” is about a slithering horror from outer space. Something was amiss on the distant planet of Lysor. Rumors were rampant that a new super-weapon was now in the possession of Lysor’s ruthless leader, Lord Zenaor. Armed with a Federation starship, Special Envoy Craig Nesom hurtled across the void to investigate. What he found, though, was not so much a weapon as it was a slithering biological monstrosity—a creeping fungus slime that threatened the entire planet of Lysor, and someday perhaps even the Earth itself. It was only the strange gift of a dying patriot that held promise for a way of destroying the crawling horror. Unfortunately for Nesom, his success depended on his trusting a woman he both loved and hated…the beautiful daughter of Lord Zenaor himself!