terça-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2010

Perilous Planets


INTRODUCTION

Long before I began compiling this book, I could see what it had to contain. Its title and its contents leaped at me while I was working on the first anthology in this series, Space Opera*, three years ago.

For the majority of readers new to science fiction, a landing on another planet - a planet, because unknown, even more perilous than Earth - must be their peak experience of the genre. If they don't get the true sf charge out of touchdown on Procyon v, they will never get any charge at all. The cutting edge of science fiction lies along the interface between the known and the unknown.

So what I wanted for my anthology was that seminal story in which our brave astronauts, or space-travellers as they used to be called, make the first-ever voyage through space, see the stars like jewels flung into the sack of night, and touch down on a totally unknown planet. There they jump out to test the atmosphere, find it even better than Earth's, and take a stroll amid the glorious scenery. Whereupon something awful appears and - according to which seminal story you read -attempts to eat them, warps their minds with obscene telepathic messages, or captures them and takes them into subterranean tunnels.

It was a fantastic story, one you remember for the rest of your life. My trouble was, I had forgotten which story it was. For months, I leafed my way through my library, looking for the seminal story. I found plenty of stories like it, but never that actual story. Eventually the truth dawned. That seminal story had no actual existence. It was a creation of my memory, compounded from elements common to many similar firstlanding stories. It was, you might say, a folk memory of landing on a strange planet.

(* Space Opera was followed by Space Odysseys, Evil Earths, and Galactic Empires (in
two volumes), all from the publishers of this companion volume.)



CONTENTS
Introduction

'How Are They All on Deneb IV ?'
C. C. Shackleton

SECTION 1 UNINHABITED PLANETS
'. . . Because They're There'
Mouth of Hell
David I. Masson

Brightside Crossing
Alan E. Nourse

The Sack
William Morrison

SECTION 2 INHABITED PLANETS

Whatever Answers the Door . . .
The Monster
A. E. van Vogt

The Monsters
Robert Sheckley

Grenville's Planet
Michael Shaara

Beachhead
Clifford D. Simak

SECTION 3 A DASH OF SYMBOLS

No Names to the Rivers
The Ark of James Carlyle
Cherry Wilder

On the River
Robert F. Young

Goddess in Granite
Robert F. Young

The Seekers
E. C. Tubb


SECTION 4 MARS AND VENUS
Love and War

When the People Fell
Cordwainer Smith

The Titan
P. Schuyler Miller

SECTION 5 BECOMING MORE ALIEN
A Universal Home Truth

Four in One
Damon Knight

The Age of Invention
Norman Spinrad

The Snowmen
Frederik Pohl

Schwartz Between the Galaxies
Robert Silverberg

Afterword



Perilous Planets - Antologia organizada por Brian Aldiss [ Download ]