This is the complete collection of the highly regarded and influential Arcot, Morey and Wade science fiction stories by John W. Campbell. When these classic tales of interplanetary wars and high adventure in space were first published in the pioneering days of modern SF they rivalled the work of such renowned contemporaries as E. E. 'Doc' Smith in popularity. Here you will meet the dynamic team of young twenty second century scientists—Arcot, the physicist, Morey, the mathematician and Wade, the chemist. The three books included here, 'The Black Star Passes', 'Islands in Space' and 'Invaders from the Infinite' are ‘hard’ SF, firmly based on current knowledge at the time they were written. Whatever the problem, no matter how threatening the alien menace, the dynamic trio rise to the occasion! Campbell's stories evolve with the maximum amount of pace and satisfying action and are now available from Leonaur in soft cover or collectors’ hard cover with dust jacket.
A tremendous burst of light energy to the rear announced the fact that a Thessian had crashed against the artificial matter wall that surrounded the ship. Arcot was throwing the Thessian destructive beam from side to side now, and twice succeeded in misdirecting it so that it hit the enemy machines.<br>
The Thought sent out its terrific beam of magnetic energy. The ray was suddenly killed, and the fort cruised helplessly on. Its driving apparatus was dead. The diffused cosmic reached out, and as the magnetic field, the relux and the cosmics interacted, the great fort was suddenly blue-white—then instantly a dust that scattered before an enormous blast of air.<br>
From the Thought a great shell of artificial matter went, a visible, misty wall, that curled forward, and wrapped itself around the Thessian ships with a motion of tremendous speed, yet deceptive, for it seemed to billow and flow.
A Thessian warship decided to brush it away—and ploughed into inconceivable strength. The ship crumpled to a mass of broken relux.<br>
The greater part of the Thessian fleet had already fled, but there remained half a hundred great battleships. And now, within half a million miles of the planet, there began a battle so weird that astronomers who watched could not believe it.
From behind the Thought, where it hung motionless beyond the misty wall, a Thing came.<br>
The Thessian ships had realized now that the misty sphere that walled them in was impenetrable, and their rays were off, for none they now had would penetrate it. The forts were gone.
But the Thing that came behind the Thought was a ship, a little ship of the same misty white, and it flowed into, and through the wall, and was within their prison. The Thessian ships turned their rays toward it, and waited. What was this thing?
The ovaloid ship which drifted so slowly toward them suddenly seemed to jerk, and from it reached pseudopods! An amoeba on a titanic scale! It writhed its way purposefully toward the nearest ship, and while that ship waited, a pseudopod reached out, and suddenly drove through the four foot relux armour! A second pseudopod followed with lightning rapidity, and in an instant the ship had been split from end to end!<br>
Now a hundred rays were leaping toward the thing, and the rays burst into fire and gouts of light, blackened, burned pseudopods seemed to fall from the thing and hastily it retreated from the enclosure, flowing once more through the wall that stopped their rays.<br>
But another Thing came. It was enormous, a mile long, a great, shining scaly thing, a dragon, and on its mighty neck was mounted an enormous, distorted head, with great flat nose and huge flapping nostrils. It was a Thessian head! The mouth, fifty feet across, wrinkled into an horrific grin, and broken, stained teeth of iron showed in the mouth. Great talons upraised, it rent the misty wall that bound them, and writhed its awful length in. The swish of its scales seemed to come to the watchers, as it chased after a great battleship whose pilot fled in terror. Faster than the mighty spaceship the awful Thing caught it in mighty talons that ripped through solid relux. Scratching, fluttering enormous, blood-red wings, the silvery claws tore away great masses of relux, sending them flying into space.<br>
Again rays struck at it. Cosmic and moleculars with blinding pencils of light. For now in the close space of the Wall was an atmosphere, the air of two great warships, and though the space was great, the air in the ships was dense.<br>
The rays struck its awful face. The face burst into light, and black, greasy smoke steamed up, as the thing writhed and twisted horribly, awful screams ringing out. Then it was free, and half the face was burned away, and a grinning, bleeding, half-cooked face writhed and screamed in anger at them. It darted at the nearest ship, and ripped out that ray that burned it—and quivered into death. It quivered, then quickly faded into mist, a haze, and was gone!<br>
A last awful thing—a thing they had not noticed as all eyes watched that Thing—was standing by the rent in the Sphere now, the gigantic Thessian, with leering, bestial jaws, enormous, squat limbs, the webbed fingers and toes, and the heavy torso of his race, grinning at them. In one hand was a thing—and his jaws munched. Thett’s men stared in horror as they recognized that thing in his hand—a Thessian body! He grinned happily and reached for a battleship—a ray burned him. He howled, and leaped into their midst.<br>
Then the Thessians went mad. All fought, and they fought each other, rays of all sorts, their moleculars and their cosmics, while in their midst the Giant howled his glee, and laughed and laughed—<br>
Eventually it was over, and the last limping Thessian ship drove itself crazily against the wreck of its last enemy. And only wreckage was left.