Archive for the ‘Donald Wandrei’ Category

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Beachheads IN SPACE

October 3, 2012

The Book: Beachheads in Space, edited by August Derleth, published by Berkeley Books in 1952.

The Stories:

“The Blinding Shadows” – Donald Wandrei

“Repetition” – A.E. Van Vogt

“Metamorphosite” – Eric Frank Russell

“To People a New World” – Nelson Bond

“The Years Draw Nigh” – Lester Del Ray (read in a different book, but featured in this one as well)

“Breeds There a Man…?” – Isaac Asimov

“And the Walls Came Tumbling Down..” – John Wyndham

The Evaluation: Worth having!  There are a lot of fascinating ideas in this book, and even a few well written stories. I remembered about half of them, which is a pretty darn good ratio.

The Cover: Cover by Richard Powers. And, like so many of his, it’s excellent. It has a really awesome spaceship on the cover, and an outpost on a hill, and is very lovely science-fictiony in general. Awesome.

Etc.: This is the second and last short story wrap up wherein all the stories of a volume are linked, as I am now moving to a new model of reading books of short stories when that volume was originally published, and blogging it as a volume.

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“The Blinding Shadows” by Donald Wandrei

October 15, 2010

The Book: “The Blinding Shadows” by Donald Wandrei. Originally published in the May 1934 edition of Astounding Stories. Edition read in Beachheads in Space, edited by August Derleth, published by Berkeley Books in 1952.

The Setting: New York City, Earth.

The Story: A scientist proves that a four-dimensional world overlaps with ours, with disastrous results. He gets eaten by a three dimensional shadow of a four dimensional creature.

The Science: This story starts out great, with real science that makes sense. Can something exists in the space between? After all, matter is less solid that we suppose – atoms are mostly empty space. (I once read that all the matter in the human body could be condensed to a point the size of a pin head.) So, the scientist expects, there are worlds that exist there. Four dimensional worlds. With three dimensional shadows. And he makes a mirror to see them. The whole mirror thing seems a bit sketchy to me. I don’t buy it. But it starts out all sciencey.

The Reaction: I liked it. It was explicit science fiction which gets a bit spook story at the end. But worth the read.

The Cover: Alas, no cover art credit for this book. Because it has got a really awesome spaceship on the cover, and an outpost on a hill, and is very lovely science-fictiony in general. Awesome.

Etc: A note on the title – beachhead is not a word in my vocabulary. I would have guessed in was like “deadhead” or maybe a synonym for lighthouse. But no, it’s a military term. Not likely to be understood these days.

Next Up: “Repetition” by A.E. Van Gogt.