The 25th Golden Age of Science Fiction Megapack: 9 Novels and Stories by Raymond Z. Gallun (Golden Age of SF Megapack, Book 25)
Raymond Z. Gallun
The Golden Age of Science Fiction Megapacks are designed to introduce readers to classic science fiction writers who might otherwise be forgotten.
Raymond Zinke Gallun (1911 - 1994) was an American science fiction writer. Gallun (it rhymes with “balloon”) was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He left college after one year and travelled in Europe, working a multitude of jobs in many countries in the years leading up to World War II.
He was among the earliest pulp fiction writers who specialized in science fiction, and he sold many stories to magazines in the 1930s under his own name and several pseudonyms (such as Dow Elstar, E.V. Raymond and William Callahan).
His first novel, “People Minus X” (included here) was published in 1957, followed by “The Planet Strappers” in 1961 (also included here). He was honored with the I-CON Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985 at I-CON IV; the award was later renamed The Raymond Z. Gallun Award.
About the Megapacks
Over the last few years, our “Megapack” series of ebook anthologies has proved to be one of our most popular endeavors. (Maybe it helps that we sometimes offer them as premiums to our mailing list!) One question we keep getting asked is, “Who’s the editor?”
The Megapacks (except where specifically credited) are a group effort. Everyone at Wildside works on them. This includes John Betancourt, Mary Wickizer Burgess, Sam Cooper, Carla Coupe, Steve Coupe, Bonner Menking, Colin Azariah-Kribbs, Robert Reginald. A. E. Warren, and many of Wildside’s authors… who often suggest stories to include (and not just their own!)
• “The Revolt of the Star Men” was originally published in Wonder Stories Quarterly, Winter 1932
• “The Eternal Wall” was originally published in Amazing Stories, November 1942
• “Asteroid of Fear” was originally published in Planet Stories, March 1951
• “Big Pill” was originally published in Planet Stories, September 1952
• “Return of a Legend” was originally published in Planet Stories, March 1952
• “Comet’s Burial” was originally published in Science Fiction Stories (1953)
• “Stamped Caution” was originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1953
• “People Minus X” was originally published in 1957
• “The Planet Strappers” was originally published in 1961
roots of trees, though they had the sheen of floss. All of it was dust of one kind or another. Ed could even hear the clink and rattle as bits of it collided. Everywhere there were murmurings of sound, which made a constant, elfin ringing never heard in the world he knew. Gingerly now he crept across the rough glass surface, back toward the vat from which he had emerged and its companion. Barbara was his first concern. There she was, in the second vat, imbedded in a bead of gelatin. Already she
hues. Ed’s brief rambling of mind ended when Loman did an odd thing. He stopped in Ed’s old neighborhood, after having passed a half-dozen road blocks where uniformed men had entrenched themselves, covering their ugly vehicles with cut branches. Loman had only flashed his Interworld Security badge at each post, to receive respectful permission to go on. Loman stopped his car abruptly before a house adjacent to Ed’s own—one Ed knew well. But Ed had an odd feeling that this was not as strange as
Magnesium and aluminum, of which the major portions had certainly been made, were gone; they could never have endured the rush through the atmosphere. Ramos got down into the pit. After a minute, he gave a queer cry, and climbed out again. His mitten smoked as he opened it, to show something. “It must have been behind a heavy object,” he said very seriously, not like his usual self at all. “That broke the molecular impact with the air—like a ceramic nose cone. Kept it from burning up
the phenomenon through the forward observation bay. It was Shelby who found the first part of the explanation. “It’s the Atomic Ray!” he almost shrieked. “Freeing the atomic energy in the materials that make up the bodies of Alkebar’s men—literally causing their flesh and bones to explode! But how—what the devil—!” “Look!” cried Jan. She pointed far up over their heads to where the cone of faintly bluish light swung, free from the milling horde. Up and up to its apex, and there hung what
vitaplasm. Or the more tedious method that employed natural flesh. Or the tiny cylinders hidden away in vaults. Lives were now in danger again. Human, and almost human…. For a moment Ed wanted to give a warning and to call others into consultation. He wanted to shout, “Dad! Mom! Come here!” He didn’t do so. Between him and the precise, benign personality that he called Dad there was a gradually growing barrier. And for his mother, beautiful and young by art and science, he had that feeling of