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1. The Players of Null-A
2. The World of Null-A
3. Transfinite: The Essential A.
4. The Voyage of the Space Beagle
5. The War Against the Rull
6. The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume
7. The Empire of Isher: The Weapon
8. Vault of the Beast
9. Mission to the Stars (originally
10. Transgalactic
11. Triad: Three Complete Science
12. Null -A Three
13. Slan: A Novel
14. Destination Universe
15. The Money Personality
16. The Worlds of A. E. of Van Vogt
17. Wizard of Linn
18. Destination universe
19. The Violent Man
20. The Far-Out Worlds of A. E. Van

1. The Players of Null-A
by A. E. Van Vogt
 Paperback: 196 Pages (1990-04)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$110.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898041546
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this sequel to World of Null-A, Gilbert Gosseyn must learn to use both hisbrains and function in various bodies in order to save the universe from Enrothe Red. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good and Much Better than the First in the Series
This book is the second in the Null-A series by van Vogt.

In my opinion, it was a very good book and much better than the first. The present book had a tighter storyline than the first and came to a more "satisfying" conclusion - one that explained a lot and only left the reader hanging a little. The technology and "special effects" in this second book do not seem "outdated" and "quaint" as in the first and should be more "believable" for readers of the present time - the book was written in the 1940's. There is better explanation of General Semantics/Null-A in this book as well, including information on the "pause"; readers don't have to take quite so much about it on faith (so to speak) as they might have to if all they knew was as given in the first book.

I have read that the third book in the series was written much later and was inconsistent with the previous ones and not well liked. It has been said that maybe van Vogt was already ill when he wrote it. There is "another" third book in the series, Null-A Continuum I think it is called, written by someone else that follows the first two better apparently - this is the one I plan to go to next.

Not to give too much away, but in this the the second book, a very shadowy character called the Follower appears and creates havoc. Gosseyn's mind is shuttled back and forth without his consent between his body and that of a Prince Ashargin who is closely connected to Enro - the latter mentioned in the first book as the head of a great interstellar empire. We meet the race of the Predictors. Gosseyn discovers new abilities like prediction of the future and hones others. On Enro's home world, there is a strange religion involving the Sleeping God which plays a very important part in the book as revealed towards the end - this is tied up with the origin of humans in the galaxy no less! Crang and Patricia from the first book reappear.

If you liked the first book, you should really like this one. If you didn't care for the first, you may still find this one worthwhile. It seems to be out of print, but used copies are available. Give it a try.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic of Science Fiction
A.E. Van Vogt is the premiere science fiction writer of the early period (1940's-50's).His novels paved the way for nearly all that came later.Only Aurthur C. Clark's "Against the Fall of Night" (1939) comes anywhere close to Van Vogt's work."The Players of Null-A" is the first of his trilogy about Gilbert Goyessen, who could be called the first superman, mutant,Esper, X-man, etc.Echos of his capabilities have been incorporated into science fiction characters ever since.Goyessen is the first character to teleport himself and to control energy sources with his brain.Van Vogt's use of General Semantics as a vehicle for telling the story shows how forward thinking his ideas were.Aside from being technologically dated (it was written in 1946), it is a first rate story as well as being ground breaking writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Supreme Space-Age Fiction
This book is one of the best works of speculative fiction I have ever read, far superior to the work of Heinlein and Asimov, which appears tepid, plodding, and unimaginative by contrast.
Enro the Red, undisputed tyrant of the hundred thousand worlds of the Greatest Empire, had declared war on Earth. A mysterious galactic shadow-being with the power to see through time has been sent to Null-A Venus with a single purpose: assassinate Gilbert Gosseyn! The plan succeeds... apparently. But the fourth-dimensional powersof Gilbert Gosseyn's Null-A trained double brain allow him to survive and corner one of the agents of his killer. The man nonchalantly hands him an innocent looking calling-card. "You have been caught in the most intricate trap ever devised for one man." By the time he read those words, it is too late.
And this is only the first chapter.
Gilber Gosseyn, amnesiac superhuman, the next step of evolution beyond man, must use his every resource to combat the sinister foes whose power has an origin older than human life in this galaxy. Ultimately, however, it is not strength of arms or brilliance of science that will prevail, but the sanity and integrity of the mind, the power, so to speak, of a superior philosophy.
The richness and depth of the imagination, the headlong pace, the sudden reversals, make this book a must for any reader who longs for that sense of wonder that defines science fiction.
Players of Null-A is a sequel to the famous World of Null-A by the same author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Continuation and expension of the story of Goseyne.
Wonderfull , wonderfull book , with more entriges thrown in , enemies revealed , and the true story is begining to take form.

Writen in the masterly style of that author's-god , that if you don't know by now , youwill-and admire.

Van-Vogt let's us know at the end (an excellent one) ofthe real origin of Gilbert Goseyne. This book is , by the way , the sequelof "A World OF Null-A".

Excellent book , I can't say enaughabout it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A dumb little book that could change your life.
The novel itself didn't impress me that much as a work of fiction -- although it's been a bestseller for years, and has won some science fiction awards.It's certainly entertaining enough, but it doesn't rank with Heinlein or Asimov, for instance.I read it againrecently, and I still found it kind of simplistic and naive -- very much a product of the 1940's, when it was written. On the otherhand, the 'real' subject of this book is not the protagonist, or the plot: it's a discipline called General Semantics.Gilbert Gosseyn ("Go Sane" -- get it?) has mastered this deceptively simple-seeming, but very complex discipline.As a result, he's able to deal with some pretty daunting challenges, and (well, of course) win out in the end. I discovered this book years ago, and after reading it, I began to wonder if "General Semantics" was 'real'.I did some investigating.Turned out it was, indeed, real. I studied the stuff, and have continued to study and apply it, for years.I can't transport myself across the universe like old Gilbert, -- but I sure owe van Vogt a debt for having put me in touch with gs. ... Read more

2. The World of Null-A
by A. E. van Vogt
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-10-25)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$8.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765300974
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Grandmaster A. E. Van Vogt was one of the giants of the Golden Age of classic SF, the 1940s. Of his masterpieces, The World of Null-A is most famous and most influential. It was the first major trade SF hardcover ever, published in 1949, and has been in print in various editions ever since. The careers of Philip K. Dick, Keith Laumer, Alfred Bester, Charles Harness, and Philip Jose Farmer were created or influenced by The World of Null-A. It is required reading for anyone who wishes to know the canon of SF classics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Way of Thinking

Okay, so I stole my title from another critic's comment. But that's what all the Null-A books are about, and I will be grateful all my life that I read the Null-A books when I was young enough to grok them, not just understand them. The word is not the thing. The map is not the world. If anybody can remember these two things, the thalamic pause, which I never did understand, isn't necessary to hold onto sanity with both hands as the world collapses around one. The sooner Kindle gets all the Null-A books and all the Weapon Makers books, the happier I will be. Van Vogt is a seriously underrated writer now, and too many people know nothing of the age in which he was writing except for Heinlein's deservedly remembered books. But this book is great, although its being published by Kindle before the earlier books handicaps the reader, who should be able to read this series in order--a problem hard to solve, as Van Vogt repeatedly rewrote the same material and republished it. He was very fond of revision. But his work is worth the extra work on the part of both the writer and the reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Sure Yet
Read the book to see origins of Dick, Laumer, Bester. etc. Still reading
as of this moment...One amusing feature so far is the HUGE number of
ridiculous anachronisms...No mention of computers...Mail is still delivered...
books are common...."cars" and "helicopters" still are used....Venus is an
hospitable place to live...newspapers are sold on the street...no mention
of satellite communication (global positioning?), books still exist...tele-
phones and phone numbers are still used in communication...no mention of
details of DNA and envionment in the determination of "mind"...all of this
in the year 2600 more or less? The main ideas (I will leave you to discover
them. Most of the reviewers on this page seem to have missed them almost
entirely) I have already read about in one form or another, especially in ZEN
bothered by the matter of our personal demise....we cannot imagine are own
nonexistence...so, religions and other forms of speculation come to our rescue.
As van Vogt points out, we like the calming effect of explanations. On just
finishing NULL-A, did I have a positive reaction? "YES"! But shortly thereafter,
I read in the New Scientist an article about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem,
and other gaps being discovered in the Peano's Rules of Arithmetic. Here,
mathematicians have tried to fill these gaps with (fictional?) Cardinal
Infinities, with which many other mathematicians are quite uncomfortable.
INFINITY is described by some of these as not even "wrong". but "complete
nomsense". I am not in a position to know, about these matters - but they
do cause me to be cautious about van Vogt's speculations. Someone has written,
"Nothing is more appealing to the human mind than complex nonsense." The
Hadron Collider is looking for the carriers of mass to explain the
behavior of Vector Bosons. Hawkings has placed a $100.00 bet they do not exist.
Other physicists have bet thousands of dollars on the matter. Dark Matter has
been fudged into Cosmology to explain the rate at which Galaxies revolve
around ane another. So far, dark matter remains a fiction. van Vogt's mention
of measurements (to nth decimals) may be meaningless, his vague use of
"similarities" might be similarly meaningless. Van Vogt does not seem to
distinguish "energy" "information" "entropy" "transfer" "thought" at all well.
The transfer of "mind" and the matters involved is swept away with a few vague
phrases. Of what value are his speculations? His ideas are "appealing" but
we need to know "Why?". As Feyhnman has stated, "It doesn't hurt a mystery to
know a little about it." E.0. Wilson in his writings often inserts, "Of course,
I could be wrong!" Also, the same writer cautions about withdrawing into
the securities of subjectivism. In short, I do not know if I have benefitted
from reading this novel or not. I enjoyed it, though asthe execution could
and been better. The density of ideas in Orwell's BRAVE NEW WORLD is much
greater amd ideas are better executed in the action.

5-0 out of 5 stars The World of Null-A
I have not received it yet.I bought the book specifically for my 21 year old grandson but he drowned in a boating accident 12 days ago. I haven't thought about it until just now. The review is based on my recollection when I read it many years ago.


3-0 out of 5 stars The World of Null-A VS the World of A
To start with: for 1945, the science is excellent. Roboplanes, sentient Machines, and a system of instantaneous transportation/communications, that after being called ansible in the seventies or quantum-whatever in our days is still a common device among SF writers. Not to mention an Avatar-like counterattack of peaceful Venusians on the bad guys.
Also, as a reader, I felt I liked the main hero, Gilbert Gosseyn, perhaps because his strong wish to discover his true identity reflects my (and I suppose everyone else's) wish to discover the same in a metaphysical way of thinking.
Moreover, all the loose threads are tied in the last sentence, something that makes the novel quite remarkable.

However, I felt I could have used some more help in:

The World of Null-A VS the World of A. The novel left me in the darkness and I had to search the Internet to find some thought provoking material about Alfred Korzybski and his world of General Semantics. I'm not saying that Van Vogt should have written a thesis instead of a novel, but not all of us were born philosophers or linguists.

Also, for a book that is written in first POV, thinly disguised as third (the story is completely linear, and could have very well been in the form of "I stared out of the window of my hotel room. From a thirty-story vantage point, I could see the city of the Machine spread out below me" etc etc), the narration is convoluted and difficult to follow, like a good film with a bad editor.

All in all, a remarkable, albeit paradoxical novel. 3 ½ stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good
I was very surprised at how much I like this book. Surprised only because I have read other Hugo winners and nominees from this time period and was generally disappointed.But, I thought this story was well written, and interesting. I'm confident I didn't fully understand the themes being explored, but that just means I'll enjoy reading it even more the second time!:-) ... Read more

3. Transfinite: The Essential A. E. Van Vogt
by A. E. Van Vogt
Hardcover: 576 Pages (2003-02)
list price: US$29.00 -- used & new: US$29.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1886778345
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Contains the most popular and important stories from van Vogt's wide and varied career. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

Yes, Van Vogt spins a great yarn! Yes, they're fun to read. And yes, the writing is clear as glass. But don't expect human character driven fiction, because it's not. The humans, regardless of how effectively and empathetically they're portrayed, are merely props. He cares nothing for them.

Van Vogt's interest is in the concepts, the aliens---the humans are often left as so many soiled tissues at the ends of his stories. Win or lose, these poor puppets are not the focal point of the stories---they (and we) only think they are.

The guy never gets the gal because the guy only thinks he exists. The humans beat the alien, not because they're tougher or smarter, but because they hold a certain technology. The protagonist fails to resist temptation and do what is right, but is saved by a mathematical oddity. These are stories about human pawns, placeholders, extras in tales where the math, the alien, the concept of time travel is the real protagonist.

So, by all means read him, enjoy him, but not for the human story, because that is nearly always a red herring, a false trail, and the real scent leads in a different direction, to the resolution, not of man's emotions or ethics or character, but to an abstract scientific principle. And there you have the main, perhaps the only, flaw in a vastly entertaining body of work by a master.

4-0 out of 5 stars Retrospective on an Early SF Giant
This collection of Van Vogt's short fiction (sometimes stitched together into longer works) reveals both the good and bad in his writing. The great John W. Campbell said of him, "The son-of-a-gun gets hold of you in the first paragraph, ties a knot around you, and keeps it tied in every paragraph thereafter -- including the ultimate last one." And that's mostly true. On the other hand, Damon Knight, as early as 1945 wrote, "Van Vogt is not a giant as often maintained. He's only a pygmy using a giant typewriter."

Van Vogt wasn't as flamboyant as, say, E. E. Smith, in his use of over the top adjectives. But he was pretty careless with his facts. The opening story in this collection, "Black Destroyer," is the memorable tale of the alien Coeurl, who has a Chlorine-based metabolism. He breathes the oxygen atmosphere of the human starship just fine. The invading Yevd in "The Sound" are fluorine-based, but they, too, do just fine breathing our air.

Still, the stories are generally well-plotted, if you can suspend your disbelief. They are, in Le Guin's phrase, "careless of science," but great fun. Van Vogt's human characters tend to be very nearly perfect, if slow learners - they repeatedly bring the evil alien into the ship for example - and there is an annoying sexism that I suppose traces to the time the stories were written.

But these are unmistakably science fiction's roots. You can see "Alien" here, and bit of "Star Wars," and even the Starship Enterprise in its voyages of exploration. The roots may be a little worn and gnarly, but clearly the antecedent for the more modern stuff. The collection is worth a read and place on a collector's bookshelf; kudos to NESFA for getting them back in print. But the later, long novels like "World of Null-A" and "The Silkie" are better written and more fun.

Four stars for the great ideas nicely presented. But only four stars. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless classics of science fiction
Most of these classic stories are from the years 1939-1950, an era where A.E. van Vogt was, along with Robert Heinlein, the most popular science fiction author in America.And although much science fiction written so many years ago has become dated, van Vogt's stories, for the most part, are still fresh and exciting.

If you have never read van Vogt, be prepared to be swept away from the very first sentence.His stories are not always logical, nor are all loose ends always tidied up, but they move along at breakneck speed, are filled with ideas, and will containmoments that you will remember forever.

From a historic perspective, you will see some of the first science fiction stories dealing with human-alien warfare (The Sound, The Rull), humans that can travel back through time (The Search), encounters with energy vampires (Asylum), humans of varied nationalities populating a spaceship that explores the galaxy, and beyond (Black Destroyer, War of Nerves), and so much more.

A few of van Vogt's classic novels have recently been reprinted, but sadly most of his work is out of print.Here is probably your last chance to own a large collection of his best short stories - stories that are timeless classics of science fiction. ... Read more

4. The Voyage of the Space Beagle
by A. E. van Vogt
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-07-08)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0044KN2BG
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

One of the great original classics of modern SF returns!

An all-time classic space saga, The Voyage of the Space Beagle is one of the pinnacles of Golden Age SF, an influence on generations of stories. An episodic novel filled with surprises and provocative ideas, this is the story of a great exploration ship sent out into the unknown reaches of space on a long mission of discovery. They encounter several terrifying alien species, including the Ix, who lay their eggs in human bodies, which then devour the humans from within when they hatch. This is one of the most entertaining and gripping stories in all of classic SF.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sci-FI Masterpiece from my Childhood
Been many years since I've read this seminal science fiction classic. Must have read it 50 times as a child. When you return to a work you think so highly of after so many years you often find a sense of disappointment. Your memories of the work don't match a rereading. Not so here. The "Voyage of th Space Beagle" remains one of the two or three best works in the genre. And it is so clear in hindsight the debt Gene Roddenberry owed to A.E Van Vogt's book for its influencing him in the creation of Star Trek. Too bad Obama did not have the privilege of reading this book when he was a child. We might still have a functioning space program. Don't fail to read "Slan" and "World of Null-A" by the same author. And imagine what our world wold be like if we could all become Nexialists. Long live Applied Wholism!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of the Poorly Titled
This book is a classic. Don't let the odd title or the stitched together nature of the story fool you; it's a classic space romp that puts Star Trek to shame. A.E. Van Vogt is at his best when you're getting a new idea every few pages, and where he isn't quite as prolific with the ideas, he's still masterfully building upon what he's laid out previously.

1-0 out of 5 stars These stories are not a novel, not new and not his best
If you've read Van Vogt's stories, you've read the best of these 5 stories before. They've taken some Beagle stories, added the worst of Van Vogt as padding, and republished it in a gorgeous package. But that doesn't change the fact that it's not a novel, not new and not nearly his best. Just know what you're getting before you buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars I have one of the first paperback editions
read this book several times over the years. My copy is showing signs of age, as all old paperbacks will, but the concepts the author created made me wonder about a lot of things. Still this book stays in my mind. Great story, great characters, especially the nexalist. and fantastic ending! you gotta get it! and read it! I don't know why it hasn't been brought to the silver screen instead of remakes of old themes!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent
Top class science fiction
I read it because i knew that the movie alien had been based
on one of the stories on this book, i have read Vogt before.
The reality is, the story has not much to do with the Movie Alien
so i don't know where people got this idea from, the creatures
are totally different and the two stories have nothing
in common, except the eggs. ... Read more

5. The War Against the Rull
by A. E. Van Vogt
Hardcover: Pages (1959)

Asin: B000GDAMK4
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars war against the rull
The War Against the RullI first read the start of this series in the late 50's and now for the first time i am looking forword to reading the three of them in sequence as they were written.They are not famous for the most indepth plots or a ton of caracter development but they are entertaining and I think will be enjoyed by all except for the most critical.

5-0 out of 5 stars Od School
In "The War Against the Rull", A.E. Van Vogt did for me in Sci Fi what Nathaniel Hawthorne did in his "Last of the Mohicans". The central character in each story is a man of courage who goes against societal norms to reach out to members of completely alien cultures, to save those he loves from a common enemy. Here, Trevor Jamieson encounters blind and unyielding hatred from fellow humans for the Ezwal, a creature whom only he knows may hold the secret to humanity's life-or-death struggle with the insectoid Rull, a struggle which until now they were losing. In dealing with this hatred, he teaches those humans with whom he works the necessity of overcoming their fears and prejudices, to build the kind of alliances that would save them. Van Vogt's book begins with Jamieson's efforts to link up with an extremely hostile and dangerous Ezwal, to survive being stranded on Eristan II, a planet inhabited by the most intensely feral life forms in the galaxy. His survival there, his close brush with asassination on Carson's Planet, and his enlistment of his young son in the struggle were all wonderfully enjoyable reading. Make no mistake, the technology in the story may be dated, but so what........ The courage, empathy, fierce determination, and vision are all character traits that are timeless. Now if only we could see this wonderful creature - the Ezwal - come alive in the movies................

5-0 out of 5 stars Goose-bump city, after all these years.
Van Vogt's greatest achievement, I think, was his remarkable emulation of
lucid dreaming -- or 'crazed oneiric intensity', as Paul di Filippo has
it. This was from his weird technique of breaking up the story into
500-word (or so) blocks, each with a new idea or paradigm. Perhaps the
crowning glory of this strange technique is the last "War Against the Rull"
story -- the one with the human and Rull champions, stranded on a high plateau.
Goose-bump city, after all these years.

Needless to say, this didn't always work... [Horrible example: "The

But my candidate for Van's masterwork is "Enchanted Village", where he
eschews lucid dreaming in favor of an old fashioned, linear, absolutely
marvelous sense-of-wonder-full story. I've read this story at least a
dozen times, each time with pleasure.

And I love the Mixed Men stories (vt Mission to the Stars), with the
great interstellar storms, and Grand Captain Laurr, the Lady Laurr
of Noble Laurr... "Nova O, we call that brightest of all stars; and
there's only one in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, the great and
glorious S Doradus."

What a pity he fell for the Hubbard scientology bullshlt. But he wrote some
marvellous stories!

Happy reading--
Peter D. Tillman

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be a movie
I have read this book several times and have always thought it should be turned into a movie.The possibilities for special effects, the characters, the story, etc. are about endless, and it IS a highly entertaining story too.

5-0 out of 5 stars my favourite
My favourite van vogt book. This is the book which got me hooked on to sci-fi. Exciting and gripping till the end. ... Read more

6. The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 3: Lester Del Rey, Frederik Pohl, Damon Knight, A. E. van Vogt, and Jack Vance
Paperback: 480 Pages (2002-04-20)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$8.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000VYPCIU
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented, by active members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. The Grand Master Award is given to a living author for a lifetime's achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.

Frederik Pohl, an eminent figure in science fiction, has been authorized by the SFWA to edit an anthology in three big volumes featuring substantial selections of the work of all the first fifteen Grand Masters. These are the seminal writers of the modern SF field, whose works are of dominant importance and influence. This series of collections is a permanent record of greatness in SF.

Volume Three, presenting the last five writers to receive the Grand Master award, features the fiction of Lester Del Rey, Frederik Pohl, Damon Knight, A. E. Van Vogt, Jack Vance.
Amazon.com Review
Three cheers for Tor Books! The SFWA Grand Masters, VolumeOne, is a terrific idea: a collection of stories by the Golden Agewriters (in this volume, Robert A. Heinlein, Jack Williamson, CliffordD. Simak, Fritz Leiber, and L. Sprague de Camp) who established thefundamentals of the science fiction genre ... the writers who firstdazzled the world with their brilliant ideas and sent our imaginationszooming into the future. Representative short stories from each of thewriters--such as a tale of the ever rich and strange world of Nehwonfrom Leiber--are accompanied by a sample of each writer's nonfiction,an overview of their life and career by Pohl--who knew them all--and arecommended reading list. All together, this volume is both theperfect way to introduce someone just discovering science fiction tothe classic writers of the field, and ideal for veteran sciencefiction readers to remind themselves just why they love the genre somuch. "With Folded Hands," anyone? --Blaise Selby ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The First of the Grand Master Books
I admit that my background in the classics of sci-fi and fantasy is weak.So, I snatched up Volume I of The SFWA Grand Masters to see what these authors wrote and how constructed stories and used language.If I have any disappointments at all, it's that so many writers since these five have used the basic premises that the stories seemed familiar, and that's not a dig against them, it's a complement (hell, I've already come up with a great character and premise, myself).

Here is the list of authors and stories:

Heinlein, Robert A., (1907-1988)
--The Roads Must Roll, 1940. (novelette) (Astounding, June, 1940.) SFHF
--The Year of the Jackpot, 1951. (Galaxy, March, 1951.)
--Jerry Was a Man, 1947. (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October, 1947.)
--The Farthest Place, 1992. (excerpt from Tramp Royale, 1992.)
--The Long Watch, 1976. (The American Legion, 1976.)

Williamson, Jack, (1908- )
--With Folded Hands, 1947. (novelette) (Astounding, July, 1947.)
--Jamboree, 1969. (Galaxy, December, 1969.)
--The Mañana Literary Society, 1984. (excerpt from Wonder's Child: My Life in Science Fiction, 1984.)
--The Firefly Tree, 1997. (short short) (Science Fiction Age, #28, May, 1997.)

Simak, Clifford D., (1904-1988)
--Desertion, 1944. (Astounding, November, 1944.)
--Founding Father, 1957. (Galaxy, May, 1957.)
--Grotto of the Dancing Bear, 1980. (Analog, April, 1980.) Hugo

de Camp, L. Sprague, (1907-2000)
--A Gun for Dinosaur, 1956. (Galaxy, March, 1956.)
--Little Green Men from Afar, 1976. (article) (The Humanist, July, 1976.)
--Living Fossil, 1939. (Astounding, February, 1939.)

Leiber, Fritz, (1910-1992)
--Sanity, 1944. (Astounding, April, 1944.)
--The Mer She, 1978. (novelette) (Heroes and Horrors, Whispers Press, 1978.)
--A Bad Day for Sales, 1953. (Galaxy, July, 1953.)

For me Heinlein's stories were the best, but I've always been a fan.Some of the other highlights, however:

Jack Williamson's With Folded Hands feels like a story that has spawned so many other robots replace human stories throughout the ages.It's spooky, straightforward, and masterfully simple.

The Mer She by Fritz Leiber is a Grey Mouser story and was really engaging, a fun read which kept me in wonderment as to where it was going.

Desertion by Clifford Simak is a story I've read before and it remains one of my all-time favorites.It deserves to be a movie, and now that the technology can make that happen, I hope it comes to be.

Great stories, great authors, and a great collection.I'll be reading volume II soon.

- CV Rick

1-0 out of 5 stars Another Bust for Fred Pohl
It is extemely difficult to select stories from five of the greatest SF writers (add Clarke and Asimov and you have the top seven) of the 20th century to give the whole volume a negative, downbeat tone, but Fred Pohl has managed it.If you like your stories upbeat and hopeful for the human race (in the editorial fashion of John Campbell) this book is a definite "save your money."I have been reading these authors since the 1950s, and I can't imagine a worse set of choices.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Breadth of the Genre
firstly, this book is from the "golden age" of science fiction - generally, the time span of the 1950s - late 1960s. of course, there is quite the sf debate to be had as to whether this was really a "golden age" or not, but that's left out of this review ;) there are three volumes, each containing assorted works by five grandmaster award winners.

essentially, the grandmaster award "may not be awarded more than six times in ten years" and is given to a contemporary (re: living) science fiction author.

heinlein's stories are very good - they take up approximately 1/3 of the book, though. "the roads must roll" was quite dated, and definitely the worst of the bunch; though that alone is completely relative, by itself it wouldn't have been nearly so bad. the rest of his stories are magnificant, and he remains arguably one of the best science fiction writers to ever put the pen to the paper.

jack williamson, clifford simak, l. sprague de camp, and fritz leiber all produce fantastic stories for this anthology, as well.

one of the best aspects of this anthology is that it offers stories which may not otherwise have been discovered. frederick pohl does an appropriate and respectful job introducing the authors, and his love of the genre is apparant. this book should not be overlooked and is one of the most valuable science fiction short story anthologies i have come across. highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Humorous, and Thought-Provoking
I'd been frustrated by the "Golden Age" because it is often written or talked about and is often impossible to find, even in used bookstores. Heinlein can still be found, but even works of his, some considered classics, are out-of-print. Anthologies of those times are difficult to find, and modern anthologies often throw in a "Golden Age" story as an afterthought.

This anthology is different. Each of the authors featured in this volume (Heinlein, Williamson, Simak, de Camp, and Leiber) were the "Golden Age".

With the exception of two stories by Fritz Leiber ("Sanity" & "A Bad Day for Sales") whose pessimism put me off, each story in this volume captured and held my attention throughout. The themes of these stories inspired my own speculations, and unlike much of modern science fiction, the entertainment value alone makes this volume worth purchasing.

Frederik Pohl has written succinct, informative introductions and recommends further reading which has sent me to the used bookstores already. More importantly, however, he has chosen great stories and has let the authors speak for themselves.

Personally, I would recommend "The Year of the Lottery" ( a humorous story about the ultimate bad day), "With Folded Hands" (inhuman "perfection" taken to the extreme), all of Clifford D. Simak, and "Gun for Dinosaur" (30 years ahead of Jurassic Park and infinitely superior). However, cracking this book at any place will lead to good results.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great mix of familar stories and little-seen material
Frederik Pohl has done a fantastic job of assembling this collection of material.Himself one of the first 15 SFWA grand masters, Pohl's personal reflections on each of these authors are worth the purchase price bythemselves.

For each writer, Pohl has selected at least one seminal gemfrom their body of work, and at least one neglected treasure, withadditional pieces that show the tremendous range each of these authorswas/is capable of.

Although most of Heinlein's fiction is still in print,these days it can be hard to find the work of these other Grand Masters,especially the older material.That makes this volume especiallyvaluable.

For myself, Clifford Simak and Fritz Leiber are two of myall-time favorite writers, and I am happy to see there work exposed to anew generation of readers, especially in this context.Both the ScienceFiction Writers of America and Frederik Pohl should be applauded for thisworthy tribute. ... Read more

7. The Empire of Isher: The Weapon Makers / The Weapon Shops of Isher
by A. E. van Vogt
Paperback: 288 Pages (2000-05)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$332.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312875002
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Two classic Van Vogt works, The Weapon Makers and The Weapon Shops of Isher form the complete story of Robert Hedrock and the Empire of Isher. They are about revolution through time travel, the right to bear arms, the end of the universe and the beginning of the next.

Amazon.com Review
Having more stories from A.E. van Vogt repackaged and reprinted can only be good news: along with Heinlein and Asimov, thisprolific, wild-eyed author deserves much of the credit for pioneeringscience fiction's golden age back in the '40s and '50s. As a sort of crazyold uncle of modern sci-fi, though, van Vogt doesn't always get his due:his writing wasn't always spectacular, his plot and pacing fell somewhere between harum-scarum and willy-nilly, and his ideas were delivered in relentless salvos, each more outlandish than the last. But an embarrassment or not, the visionary van Vogt is indisputably part of the family, an entertaining and daring author whose influence can be seen in the work of countless other writers.

This 288-page paperback binds together two of van Vogt's better stories,"The Weapon Makers of Isher" and "The Weapons Shops of Isher," published insequel-prequel order back in 1946 and 1951. These time-hopping, politicallyconvoluted tales follow the struggle between the oppressive (but beautiful)Empress Innelda and the superadvanced libertarian Weapon Shops ("The rightto buy weapons is the right to be free," reads the storefront sign). Much of the melodramatic plot revolves around the Shops' immortal, ultragenius founder Robert Hedrock, his conflict with the Empress, and their differing visions for the future of humanity, but don't fret too much over the details: van Vogtkeeps your head comfortably a-swim in a steady stream of whiz-banggadgetry, plot twists, and breakneck action. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The air was like wine."
Someone once said that a simple definition of science fiction would be: "ordinary people doing extraordinary things in extraordinary situations". The reader is captivated NOT by strange, futuristic technology, space travel, monsters and aliens, but by how the genre's protagonists live and move about in a world where such possibilities are commonplace. This is why Golden Age pulp sci-fi has so far never translated well to the movie screen. A classic like Asimov's original Foundation series does not consist of action/wars/battles/grotesqueries (which is what movie viewers want), but of well-written, cerebral characters who attempt to discuss and make sense of wild events and mind-bending dilemmas happening all around them. So too is this omnibus edition of A.E.van Vogt's two outstanding novels, "The Weapon Shops of Isher" and "The Weapon Makers". Well-respected but never one of the biggest names of 1940s sci-fi, van Vogt wrote voluminously but never exceeded the scope, imagination, and wonder of this all-too-brief series. He has a devoted readership and has elicited much scholarly discussion, but is mostly dismissed as too "far out" by today's self-congratulating distopians. I will not defend everything he ever wrote (he is definitely an acquired taste), but The Empire of Isher is highly, highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Astounding-era sci-fi and is much more accessible and less bizarre than most of his oeuvre.

Your best introduction to this magical world would be to read van Vogt's original 1942 short story, "The Weapon Shop" (it has been anthologized many times, most significantly in Avon Books' 1971 "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume I"). It is one of three stories (from 1941, 1942, and 1949) that were put together with connecting links to form this edition's first book, "The Weapon Shops of Isher". This "fix-up" reads like a mosaic, with 3 storylines weaving together to tell the story of an underground benevolent organization with superior technology that protects and empowers the citizens of a worldwide empire that would otherwise exploit them. Founder/overseer Robert Hedrock must deal with a catalyst (Cayle Clark) who threatens to destroy the financial stability of the Solar System while two innocent bystanders (Chris McAllister and Fara Clark) are caught in the struggle for power between Empress Innelda Isher's corrupt government and the idealistic Weapon Shops. Because the three original stories were all conceived separately, there is a sense of disjointedness in the narrative where major characters and storylines can disappear, then suddenly reappear many chapters later. Nevertheless, the depth and breadth of van Vogt's vision is brilliantly awe-inspiring, and while a quieter book than its sequel, "The Weapon Shops of Isher" is both absorbing yet paradoxical, and fun yet thought-provoking.

The second book, "The Weapon Makers", was conceived as a full-fledged novel in 1943. This raises the questions: is book 1 a prequel to book 2, or is book 2 a sequel to book 1? This writer holds the second possibility, because book 2 answers many of the unusual questions raised in book 1. But then most of book 1 appeared in magazine form in 1949, while book 2 appeared in 1943. Then book 1 was published in novel form in 1951, while book 2 was revised and published in 1952. A paradox, just as van Vogt would have liked it. "The Weapon Makers" features the same world of the Weapon Shops and the Isher Empire with Robert Hedrock, Innelda Isher, and a few minor characters also returning. This is a much wilder ride than the first book. There is much more emphasis on story than on characters, and there is an impossible-to-escape cliff-hanger at the end of seemingly almost every chapter. All-powerful, unbeatable interstellar aliens are also introduced, and of course they never stand a chance. The scenes where Hedrock visits the crooked CEOs of the gigantic firms he secretly owns are both priceless and prophetic, almost ripped from today's business world headlines. Some might consider it a change of premise when the Weapon Shops do not prove to be as altruistic as they are in the first book, but this is a typical van Vogt device where nothing is quite what it seems to be at first. And while I would have loved for the series to have been continued or expanded, "The Weapon Makers" does conclude with a definitive ending.

One final thought. The cover of this omnibus edition depicts a long-barrelled gun, looking very much like real-world firearms or at least a typical movie-style laser blaster. The defensive guns that figure so prominently in the two novels were described by van Vogt as a brass-knuckles type device that fitted easily in the hand, being activated by thought. In the Prologue of "The Weapon Shops of Isher", they are described as: "It was a tiny thing, shaped like a pistol, but with three cubes projecting in a half-circle from the top of the slightly bulbuous firing chamber." Later on, in Chapter 16, we're told of one model: "Notice the flanges on this barrel are little more than bulges." These descriptions of course do not mesh with the cover illustration. It can only be assumed that the publisher did not want to commission a more representative illustration, but do not let that deter you from buying this awesome, visionary sci-fi masterpiece. I've been continuously reading and re-reading these books since the 1980s, and have yet to tire of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Empire Of Isher
A classic, wonderfully written story I first read in high school.Nearly forty years later it's still outstanding.

This is one that should be adapted for film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Van's best series in one big book
"The Weapon Shops of Isher" is an interestingly mosaic novel based on a few short stories published in the '40s, and the plot strands understandably hardly touch, but the overall effect is one of a nice cross-section of this society.

"The Weapon Makers," a 1943 novel that was written as a finale to the stories that made up "The Weapon Shops of Isher" is even better than the first, and is perhaps Van's finest novel.The plot is very straight-forward but nonetheless full of surprises and interesting turns.The writing style is far better than most of his output, which when combined with the excellent plot and characters makes an outstanding masterpiece.

3-0 out of 5 stars Confusion about two different books
Another reviewer has reviewed a different book. "Reviewer: Trevor J Hall (see more about me) from PERRY,, ME USAAt last the two books of the life of the mutant prince of the House of Lin have been combined in onecover...."

This is actually a review of _Empire of the Atom_, anSFnal re-telling of Robert Graves's _I Claudius_, and a quite differentbook, also by Van Vogt.

As to the books at hand, they are some of vV'sbest, but suffer from all his characteristic faults -- the too frequentplot changes, the endless consipiricies (often where the leaders of twoopposed sides are secretly the same person) a society whose economic basisis dubious at best.But it is a page-turner, and one that keeps thisreader returning from time to time. A classic that any SF fan should readsometime or other.

5-0 out of 5 stars a classic by a giant in the field
At last the two books of the life of the mutant prince of the House of Lin have been combined in one cover. A E van Vogt is a master wordsmith, 'thus died a whole legion of men', and this is one of his masterpeices. Somehowboth dated and yet timeless this is the career of a mutant princeovercoming his handicaps and ultimately triumphing against his politicalfoes, inspiring loyalty in his companions and gaining the cooperation andadmiration of his piratical foes.The tale is told in a somewhat ironicvein which is unforgettable. I have spent many years wishing for afurther sequel. ... Read more

8. Vault of the Beast
by A. E. van Vogt
Kindle Edition: Pages (2008-11-24)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B001M0N0FO
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It came to Earth to find a genius mathematician . . . the one human in the solar system capable of understanding the ultimate prime number. Time is running out. The time-lock on the Beast's millennia-old Martian cage is about to open, and mankind will never be able to deal with the threat!

A classic from the Golden Age of science fiction, originally published in the August, 1940 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.
... Read more

9. Mission to the Stars (originally published as "The Mixed Men")
by A E Van Vogt
 Paperback: Pages (1955)

Asin: B0045WEE3S
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Early Space Opera by A. E. van Vogt
A. E. van Vogt spins a great space opera in this short (157) page volume.Mission to the Stars was originally published under the name The Mixed Men.Here is a brief plot summary:The Lady Gloria Laurr, Gran Captain of the Earth Space ship Star Cluster is sent (initially to map) the renegade civilization (called the Fifty Suns) of Dellians, non-Dellians, and Mixed Men in the Greater Magnetic Cloud. The Mixed Men are second class citizens in the Fifty Suns civilization and have the weigh the benefits and disadvantages of declaring the presence of their culture to the Earth vessel.Maltby, the hereditary leader of the superhuman Mixed Men who is also an officer in the Fifty Suns space fleet is presented with a series of moral choices.I will not give away anymore of the plot but it involves a "forced" (in an interesting way) romantic element.

A. E. van Vogt writes with admirable prose for the time (especially the introductory chapter). I was also very impressed with his use of female characters - most importantly the Lady Gloria Laurr.Albeit, the two main characters, Gloria and Maltby aren't particularly well rounded but then again rarely do we find well rounded characters in space opera of this time.Also, the uniqueness of Gloria's position in sci-fi of the time is reduced substantially by the end - i.e. she is a "career woman" who "needs a husband".That said the far future technology is fantastic, the plot moves quickly (a little too quickly in some places to the detriment of interesting detail and depth), the dialogue is almost always pretty weak, and sadly Vogt skimps on many interesting battle scenes involving the powerful Earth ship Star Cluster.All in all, this was a quick, fun, light, and interesting read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Golden Age Commentary
This is a book with two titles, Mission to the Stars and The Mixed Men, and as such I'm posting this review under both books.

Van Vogt writes about a refugee people who escaped from Earth's clutches thousands of generations ago and mixed, Dellians with non-Dellians.The result of this union is a race of Mixed Men who are telepathic supermen.These people are hiding within the countless stars of the Greater Magellanic Cloud and call themselves Fifty Suns.Into this cloud comes an Earth warship, more powerful than the combined resources and power of the entire Dellianic race. It's the Captain of the Star Cluster, Lady Gloria Laurr, who is determined to subjugate these wayward humans back under Earth's control.

The leader of the Mixed Men fights back, falls in love, and then becomes distrusted by his own men.It's a grand drama and one of the earliest space operas I've read.I loved the writing for its simplicity, straight-forward and nothing wasted in advancing the plot.The dialogue is a bit stilted . . . okay, it's a lot stilted .. . but it fits in with the era in which van Vogt wrote the novel.All the characters except Maltby, the leader of the Mixed Men, and Laurr are carboard throwaway characters, reminding me of the legion of red-shirts used up in the many seasons of Star Trek series.

It's a fun read, especially if you don't think about it too much.

- CV Rick

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorites
_Mission to the Stars_ aka _The Mixed Men_ is one of those books I read way back in adolescence and kept reading until my 50 cent Berkley copy became too fragile to keep in anything but plastic.They are reprinting Van Vogt's works, and I check periodically to see if just maybe someone has had the sense to reprint this one.

First, you should understand that this is space opera.But it has those quirky Van Vogt twists, like _The War against the Rull_ that give pause for reflection.I'm trying to come up with a useful comparison, and the best I can do is call it a more thoughtful _Flandry_ (Pohl Anderson).

The other review gives you a reasonable plot summary and I can only say in addition that I hope you can find a copy in reasonable shape.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic:the definitive space opera.
Generations after the Dellian "robots" (actually humans whose genetic and molecular makeups have been subtlely modified by their forebears' use of an early model of teleportation device) have fledpersecution by starship into the myriad solar systems of the GreaterMagellanic Cloud, the Right Honourable Lady Lorr commands an armed starshipexpedition to ferret them out and return them to Earth's control.

Shefinds them, along with far more than she had bargained for, bothromantically and otherwise.

The "mixed man" Malxby's effectivetaming of this delicious intergalactic shrew is instructive for those whowish to coexist romantically with today's strong-willed, demanding feministprofessionals. ... Read more

10. Transgalactic
by A.E. Van Vogt
Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-09-26)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416520899
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn: Global war smashed civilization?or so the legends told?but not all of its machines. A caste of ?scientists? arose who knew how to repair and operate the ancient machines?but not how they worked?and worshipped at the altars of the atomic gods who were said to make the machines run. Society was a strange mix of the modern and the medieval, with armies riding on horseback into huge spaceships, then flying to human colonies on other planets to wage war with swords and arrows. Then came the mutant Clane, who would have been put to death for his deformities had he not been born into the ruling family. Though his body was twisted, his mind was brilliant, and he not only recovered the lost science behind the ancient machines, but found the truth behind the legends of civilization?s downfall. Alien invaders, not human war, had reduced humanity to barbarism as a prelude for a later return in force to colonize the Solar System. And that return would happen soon, unless Clane could find a way to stop it. . . . For the first time, the entire Clane saga, told in the two novels Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn, is complete in one volume.

Mission to the Stars, Van Vogt?s sweeping novel of interstellar adventure, is also included, along with the two short novels in the ?Ezwal? series, chronicling the struggle of one man to convince a feral but intelligent species to join with humanity in the battle against a mutual enemy?but first he must convince the lone Ezwal who is trapped with him in a deadly jungle to co-operate, or neither will survive. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Transgalactic
This is A.E. Van Vogt at his peak of power, the twists and turns of the action come at a headlong pace. I had read these when in the late 40's-early 50's, I was an avid reader of ASF. For anyone looking to capture the "Golden Years" can do no worse than starting with this collection.


4-0 out of 5 stars Great Classic, small women
To own Transgalactic by A. E. Van Vogt is to own a classic from the "classical age" of Science Fiction.A compendium of novels and short stories written around a common theme of aliens from outer space, this thick book is a page burner and it was only when I was well into the second novel that I realized that van Vogt could only write about scheming women and even then avoided women characters like a plague.But the volume was fun to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The aftermath of a global war which has ended civilization
A.E. Van Vogt's TRANSGALACTIC tells of the aftermath of a global war which has ended civilization, leaving 'scientists' to repair and operate their old machines. A brilliant mutant recovers the lost science behind these machines, uncovering in the process the truth about humanity's decline. ... Read more

11. Triad: Three Complete Science Fiction Novels
by A. E. Van Vogt
 Hardcover: Pages (1951)

Asin: B000T49AI0
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Early van Vogt
Triad (1951) is an omnibus edition of early SF novels by this author, containing The World of Null-A, The Voyage of the Space Beagle and Slan.These three works were novelizations of his most famous SF short story series published prior to 1950.Only the series that were later published as The Book of Ptath are excluded.

In The World of Null-A (1948), the Earth has been gradually influenced by the principles of General Semantics over several centuries under the direction of the Semantic Institute and the Games Machine.Those who show the greatest comprehension of these principles are transported to Venus to live in a Non-Aristotelian society.Those who don't score high enough to be allowed on Venus are awarded with high offices on Earth.

In this novel, Gilbert Gosseyn has traveled to the city of the Machine to participate in the annual Games.Joining the local self-protection group, his identity is challenged by a resident of his home town.A lie detector confirms that he is not Gilbert Gosseyn, but states that his true identity is not known within his mind.

Ejected by the hotel staff into the crime filled night, Gilbert is bewildered by these events.Without any warning, a young woman runs into him and almost knocks them both off their feet.The woman claims to be pursued by two men, but Gilbert doesn't see them.

Teresa Clark tells him that she has been evicted from her boarding house and lacks a place to spend the night.Gilbert finds them a vacant lot and they settle down amidst the bushes.During their discussion, various things she says and does contradict her story.The next day, he learns that she is actually Patricia Hardie, the woman that he had believed to be his dead wife.

In this story, Gilbert meets various members of a group that has taken over the government of Earth and Venus.Patricia's father is the President of Earth.Thorson is the personal representative of the leader of the Greatest Empire.Elred Crang is the commander of the local Greatest Empire forces and John Prescott is his vice-commander.Dr. 'X' is a gravely injured Earth scientist whose personality has been distorted toward megalomania.

They all seem to be interested in his brain.After his interrogation and examination, Gilbert is carried down, still bound to his chair, into a dungeon and locked up.Later, Patricia releases him and they escape to her room.Then guards come searching for him and he slips out the window.As he is approaching the Games Machine, cars come out of the trees and attack him.He is shot by projectile weapons and burned by energy guns, quickly passing out from the blood loss.

Later, Gilbert wakes up on Venus.He doesn't have any scars or other signs of the wounds and burns, but he still has all his memories, including those of extreme pain.He visits the house of Prescott and Crang, but is then captured and returned to Earth.There he is shown the corpse of Gosseyn I.Apparently he is Gosseyn II, alive and well after the death of his previous body.

In The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950), the Space Beagle is a roving laboratory ship that is outward bound to another galaxy.Almost every human science is represented onboard the great ship, including one Nexialist.These scientists are searching for new and unusual data that they can use to evaluate and revise existing scientific theories.

In this novel, Ellott Grosvenor -- the Nexialist -- observes as the other scientists encounter a huge black cat-like animal on a previously unexplored planet.The creature is obviously intelligent, as is shown by its straight-forward, yet cautious, approach to the scientists.It even has manipulative tentacles around its neck.

Coeurl is hungry, but knows that it cannot directly attack the small strangers and survive.It acts friendly and later ambushes a lone individual among the ruins of the Builders.For the first time in weeks, it absorbs life sustaining id from the body.But its feeding is interrupted by the approach of a small flyer.

The strangers are suspicious of Coeurl after the body is found.Gregory Kent -- head of the chemistry department -- is very angry at the death of his friend Jarvey.He wants to terminate the creature immediately, but is overruled by Hal Morton, the expedition director.

The chemistry department analyses the remains and discovers a shortage of potassium.They prepare a soup of potassium suspended in an organic compound similar to its state within the human body and Kent presents a bowl filled with the substance to the alien creature.Before most of the department heads, Coeurl angrily dumps the contents of the bowl into Kent's face.

After being thrown off his feet by the forcefully thrown substance, Kent responds by drawing his vibrator gun and shooting the creature.He is quickly disarmed, but the whole incident results in a loud argument.Eventually one of the participants notes that Kent's shot struck Coeurl without harming the creature.

In this story, Grosvenor leads the creature into a specimen cage and the doors are locked from the outside.Grosvenor submits a report to the director about the incident and points out that, with the creature's known and suspected abilities, the current confinement has certain flaws.Later that night period, Coeurl manipulates the electrical lock with its control of electromagnetic energy and starts killing off the humans.

At first, the creature kills humans in individual bedrooms and returns to the cage in sufficient time to fool the roving guards.When it reaches a dormitory, however,Coeurl goes into a killing frenzy and returns late to the cage.As it is killing the guards, one cries out and sets off alarms throughout the ship.It throws the bodies far down the corridor and slips into the cage, locking the door behind it.

In Slan (1951), slans are a mutation of humanity that have high intelligence and telepathic capabilities.Their popular name came from Samuel Lann, the man who discovered their abilities.The most distinctive difference from humanity is the golden tendrils growing from their scalp, but they also have internal dissimilarities, including a modified heart.

In this novel, Jommy Cross is the son of Peter and Patricia Cross.His father had been killed by a mob of humans about four years before.Since Jommy is charged with retrieving his father's papers from the catacombs when he reaches fifteen, his mother is taking him into Centropolis to show Jommy a secret entrance into the tunnels.

Unluckily, the humans have noticed the pair and suspect that they are slans.The secret police are closing in, although Jommy is not mature enough to detect their presence until they are quite close.His mother shoves him between two other people and tells him to run.

Jommy climbs onto the rear bumper of a car that is soon moving swiftly down the street.Jommy tunes in to the thoughts of the men within the car.He has no difficulty reading the thoughts of the driver, but the passenger only shows the upper level of his thoughts.

Soon Jommy realizes that the passenger is John Petty, chief of the secret police.Moreover, the radio is announcing his flight from the area where his mother has just been killed.John Petty is realizing that his car is probably the one mentioned in the radio report.

The car is traveling too fast for Jommy to jump off and survive.Yet Petty is having the driver slow down and stop to check the rear bumper.As soon as the car has slowed enough to jump, Jommy is off the bumper and fleeing down a poorly lit alleyway.But the driver gets one good shot at him and doesn't miss.

Jommy wonders at the lassitude of his body, which is usually not tired by any effort.He is feeling woozy, but he pulls himself over a pile of boxes and inside a hole in the wall.He finds that the irritating objects under him are shards from the wall and replaces them, using mud as mortar to hold them in place.

While he is preparing his bolthole, he discovers that an evil mind is also thinking of the hiding place.Later, after the pursuers have left the area, he crawls out and is snatched by the owner of the evil thoughts.She puts him into her wagon under a smelly cover and smuggles him out of the neighborhood.

In this story, Granny is a former show girl who uses her good looks and sex to advance in show business.Yet she is eventually betrayed and tossed out onto the street.Since then she has become an alcoholic rag lady.But she is still capable of finding a way to use Jommy to gain money.

Granny takes Jommy to a department store to swipe valuable trinkets.He brushes against a man heading out of the store and scans his mind.He is quite startled to find that the man is a slan.Yet the man lacks tendrils and is unable to read minds.

He follows the man to his destination and then naively shows his tendrils to two men within the building.He barely escapes their attempts to capture and then kill him.He climbs up the building to the roof and sees a spaceship launched into space.

These early SF novels show most of the elements that earned the author a lofty reputation:high adventure, exotic science, and extraordinary individuals.The second novel incorporates his first published short story -- "Black Destroyer" -- from the July 1939 issue of Astounding.

While this omnibus edition was published over fifty years ago, the stories still seems to be as futuristic as the latest tales in SF magazines.The author had a way of presenting complex concepts in such a downright and convincing manner that the reader could almost believe that such ideas were already being implemented in obscure workshops or laboratories somewhere in the world.

Highly recommended for van Vogt fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of high adventure, political intrigue, and strange talents.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

12. Null -A Three
by A. E. Van Vogt
Paperback: 254 Pages (1985-07-02)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$124.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0886770564
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Null-A disaster
Van Vogt's earlier Null-A novels explore a philosophic, educational and analytical system advanced by Alfred Korzybski called General Semantics.The stories are interesting if more than a little off the GS mark.The third Null-A novel is a disaster.I won't go into details of plot but each of the Null-A books explores a theme.The first addressed a question of identity that remains both fresh and current.The second, well, it seems to continue that exploration, more or less, after a fashion, sort of; and it tosses in a direct contradiction to Null-A philosophy as key plot device.It still hangs interesting GS quotes at the chapter headings, but, well van Vogt tried too hard.And 3?Well in 3 it doesn't seem as if he tried at all.If anything, 3 seems to be about child rearing and education, with an attractive widow.Stick to Null-A 1 and if you must, Null-A 2.
... Read more

13. Slan: A Novel
by A. E. Van Vogt
Paperback: 272 Pages (1998-02-15)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312852363
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the 1940s, the Golden Age of science fiction flowered in the magazine Astounding. Editor John W. Campbell, Jr., discovered and promoted great new writers such as Isaac Asimov in New York, Robert A. Heinlein in California, and A.E. van Vogt in Canada, whose novel Slan was one of the basic works of the era. Throughout the forties and into the fifties Slan was considered the single most important SF novel, the one great book that everyone had to read. Many SF fans rallied to the cry, "Fans are slans."

Today it remains a monument to pulp SF adventure, filled with constant action and a cornucopia of ideas. And maybe fans really are slans. Read it and see for yourself.
Amazon.com Review
Slan is legendary science fiction author A. E. Van Vogt's first and best-knownnovel, back in print from Tor Books's Orb imprint.The story is classicgolden age science fiction: Jommy Cross is a slan, a genetically bredsuperhuman whose race was created to aid humanity but is now despised by"normal" humans. Slans are usually shot on sight, but that doesn't stopJommy's mother from bringing him to see the world capital of Centropolis,the seat of power for Earth's dictator, Kier Gray.But on their latesttrip to Centropolis, the two slans are discovered, and Jommy's mother iskilled.Jommy, only 9 years old, unwittingly becomes caught up in aplot to undermine Gray, who may be more sympathetic to slans than thepublic suspects. The nonstop action and root-for-the-underdog plot hasmade Slan a science fiction favorite. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars The First Science Fiction Novel I Read

SLAN was the first science fiction novel I ever read. I was six at the time, and I'm 67 now, but I still remember the impact it had on me--this poor child, orphaned, taken in by a thief and forced to beg and steal, his talents, the girl he met. Since then I've read all of the Null-A books, and all the Weapon Maker books. Some of them are far better than SLAN, but I will always remember SLAN as part of the joy of discovering a new way of looking at the world. It's a joy to own it again, this time in ebook format so that my old, ill eyes can still read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Was van Vogt a Slan?
When one peruses the Sci-fi/Fantasy section of his local bookstore, the shelves are crammed with the names of Heinlein, Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, but often missing is the name of A.E. van Vogt. But van Vogt was at least a peer of those greats back in the golden age of science fiction, and his first novel Slan is generally credited with having ushered in that fantastic era.Slan was my first van Vogt read, but will certainly not be my last!!

Slan is the story of a race of telepathic super-humans, artificially created by mankind, only to be hated and exterminated by their jealous brethren after a stormy history.The main character Jommy Cross is a Slan orphan who must fight the mean streets of earth, striving to connect with others of his kind, ultimately to fulfill a suprising destiny. The narrative charges forward at thrilling pace, brimming with invention and concepts fresh and often startling for what I expected to be a rather dated genre book.Slan clearly was inspirational in the genesis of X-men, as you will have to read the book to understand, lest spoilers be given.You might say Professor Xavier is a Slan!

The writing in Slan is rather pulpish in some places, since the novel was originally serialized in the pulps, but nevertheless, van Vogt demonstrates rare literary powers in defiance of the medium.At least one sentence per paragraph blazes like a meteorite!Some others have expressed disappointment at the suprise ending, but I rather liked it.

As a final note, as some reviewers have stated blatantly, the perceptive reader will notice some real world allegories forming in Slan, some obvious, and others not so.There is a general device in Sci-fi/fantasy, that if one suspects he sees an allegory forming, he should go back and check the name.If he is correct, he may find some correspondence between the letters--either the letter count will be the same, phonetics will match, or there may be an anagram lurking.In this case, you may need to reverse the order of the letters!

This is, as another reviewer suggested, like watching an old film serial: very melodramatic, overwritten and, like all Van Vogt, not about characters. Characters are always subservient to ideas in Van Vogt. He builds a character for half the book only to dispose of them. Why? Because they're not what the book is about. Van Vogt has bigger fish to fry, larger themes to explore: world domination, war, man's inhumanity, atomic power and space travel all rank above his characters and their fate. For those who are more interested in characters than ideas this can be disappointing. Know that going in and you'll enjoy a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time!
I just finished reading this book, and couldn't believe that it was written in 1940. I came across the book by accident, and I was intrigued enough by the idea of a ?robot ?cyborg (some sort of a living being) whose struggle with identity formed the thrust of the novel. Slan's storyline and background mimic some of the most popular comics, movies and books of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.It reminds me of Blade Runner, I Robot, the X-Men.The novel reminds me of Superman in his youth (coming of age and understanding who he is).In some ways, Slan reminds me of The Vampire Chronicles.van Vogt'novel is a true blend of "science" and "fiction" that should be more popular and no longer forgotten.It's a definite "must-read" in my book!

2-0 out of 5 stars Note that this is an "Audio Movie"
This item is not an audio book in the usual sense. It's a dramatization, in the manner of an old radio play, with multiple voice actors, sound effects, and background music. Also, the text has been edited and considerably shortened from the novel.

This may be a good thing. Slan as a novel has not aged well. It's rather simple-minded and childish in many ways: bizarre and never-explained plot shifts, a profoundly naive attitude toward science, and a deep ignorance of the science of evolution in particular. So a rather dumbed-down, not too lengthy presentation as an "audio movie" may be the best treatment the story can get. Might be good car entertainment for older children. ... Read more

14. Destination Universe
by A. E. Van Vogt
Paperback: Pages (1975-01-01)
list price: US$0.95
Isbn: 0425028143
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15. The Money Personality
by A. E. Van Vogt
Loose Leaf: 201 Pages (1972)
-- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0136006760
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16. The Worlds of A. E. of Van Vogt
by A. E. van Vogt
Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1974)

Asin: B000RT7ZNY
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17. Wizard of Linn
by A. E. Van Vogt
Hardcover: Pages (1976-06)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0884119769
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mutant Prodigy Fights Alien Invaders
This book is a sequel to The Empire of the Atom. It is the continuing story of Clane, a mutant who had been born into the ruling family of Earth, in post apocalyptic times. In this book, an alien race invades Earth and it's colonies on Mars and Venus and it's up to the cerebral Clane to save the ungrateful human race from becoming slaves of the Riss - the alien invaders - at best or extinction at worst.

This book, published in 1962 was written by science fiction pioneer A.E. Van Vogt. Like many of the writers of the time, he writes of a society of low-tech weapons (swords and Bows and arrows) and high tech travel. (Space travel). The rational for this, in this case, is apparently the downgrading and elimination of high tech weaponry after an unremembered nuclear holocaust had sundered earth.

Over the years, Van Vogt has written many science fiction novels including one called `The Voyage of the Space Beagle' which some credit as the inspiration for the sci-fi horror film `Alien.'

5-0 out of 5 stars stunning sequel to an excellent novel.
First a remark : I believe that the plot of "Empire of the atom" was the inspiration to the BBC's famous "I , Claoudius".

"Wizard of lin" continues the story of lordClane , this wonderfull mutant with a twisted body and an ingenius mind.Lord Clane must , this time , deal with both a fearsome military leaderfrom the saturn moons , and the second Riss invasion - the same Riss thatdestroyed man's civilization 8000-12000 years ago.

In this book there ismaybe a bit less plot-twists than in the usual Van-Vogt BUT don't think Imean that the book is below the Vogtian average - on the contrary - it isamong the best.

Political schems on personal-power-strugles on personalconflicts and so on. On top of all that , as in "Empire of theatom" , you get a glimpse into a world where advenced technolegy suchas spaceships is used to move armies into battles of face-to-face combatswith swords and axes in hand.

A uniqe future , the writing of a master ,and a truly vivid hero , makes "Wizard of lin" and ofcourse"Empire of the atom" , books that I REALLY didn't want to finishreading.

My grade : EXCELLENT.

3-0 out of 5 stars Imaginative story of interstellar war
In this sequel to "Empire of the Atom," Van Vogt continues thestory of Lord Clane, a mutant of noble birth with a body badly warped byradiation, and his efforts to unify and uplift human civilization.Thesetting is several thousand years in the future, after a catastrophic warwith the alien Riss, who are again threatening to invade the solar system. Fascinating ideas and political discussion--reminiscent of Asimov's"Foundation and Empire" series. ... Read more

18. Destination universe
by A. E. (Alfred Elton) Van Vogt
Paperback: 305 Pages (1999-01-04)

Isbn: 2277114960
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Van Vogt
I think one might take another look at these van Vogt short stories.I took the advice of an internet site on van Vogt and found these stories to be a fine vintage.They have the strange, hallucinatory power of his best work.
Destination Universe (1952)
Another strong collection from his best years. Notably:
"Far Centaurus" (1944) A vivid, almost hallucinatory tale of suspended animation on a starship
"The Monster" (1948) A fine tale of a far future Earth invaded by alien
monsters who evoke specters from the long departed human race.
"Dormant" (1948) The U.S. Navy unwittingly wakes up an alien monster.
"The Enchanted Village" (1950) An ironic Martian adventure of the first man on Mars.
"The Search" (1943) A mystery solved by effortless dream-logic. There is
a hallucinatory quality to this tale which defies description.
It also contains the stories:A Can of Paint, Defense, The Rulers, "Dear Pen Pal" and The Sound.

... Read more

19. The Violent Man
by A. E. Van Vogt
Paperback: Pages (1978-03-01)
list price: US$1.95 -- used & new: US$77.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671820044
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars From Back Cover
Ruxton turned torture and brain washing inside out.He used their own subtle techniques against his cruel Oriental captors.THE VIOLENT MAN is one of the most startling novels of our time.It is part of that electrifying tradition that produced THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and THE GREEN BERETS.It is the remarkable story of a man who pitted himself against the brains of a nation, the might of an army, and the demands of two erotic, insatiable women.

3-0 out of 5 stars A weird and dated Cold War political thriller: 2.6 stars
This is a very strange book. In form, it's a standard Cold War Red Menace/Yellow Peril political thriller. But this is a van Vogt book, so the plot advances in small, dreamlike steps. And the characters are *aliens*, albeit human-shaped aliens, born of.... well, born of van Vogt's very peculiar imagination.

The maguffin is Operation "Future Victory", an alt-hist Red Chinese experiment in brainwashing, for the future conquest of the whites by the yellow Reds (his language -- it's a book of its time). The scene is a remote Chinese political prison, sometime in an alternate 1950's. The Reds have sentenced a group of about twenty Europeans, and two Americans, to death --unless they can convince their captors they've become good Communists. The prison Commandant has set up notional three-month checkpoints -- no progress towards becoming a good Red (or piss off the Commandant) and it's the firing squad for you, boyo. The Commandant has total despotic power over the prisoners, and is a veteran of thousands of executions in the great purges following the Chi-com takeover. Shooting the odd European, pour encourager les autres, doesn't faze him a bit.

Our Hero is an American, Ruxton, the titular Violent Man and a standard-issue van Vogt 'human' (=alien) superman. He's irresistible to alien-human women -- shortly after his arrival in the prison-camp, he accepts the plea of a beautiful Japanese girl, the Commandant's wife's maid, to be her lover. Soon after that, he's servicing the wife, too. Van Vogt's women are even more alien than his men, which is even more striking in this nominally non-fantastic novel, than in his SF.

Van Vogt did a lot of research for this novel -- he appends a three-page bibliography. But his vision of Red China has only occasional congruences to that country in our timeline. I'm certainly no expert on Chinese prison-camps. But the whole atmosphere of the camp is fantastic -- the prisoners have private rooms, in an old hotel. They can wander about freely, even socialize with the locals in a nearby village. They're fed three hot meals a day -- Porterhouse steak, on special occasions.... You be the judge, but I've never heard of such a prison. Mind you, things get nasty (and weird) at the prison, later on.

Unfortunately, the book runs off the rails in the last third, particularly with the ending, which stretched even my very flexible WSOD way past the breaking point. Van Vogt spends way too much time on his "right (violent) man" theory, which is too incoherent and loopy to sum up in a sentence, and not worth my time to sort out [1]. The weird dialogue and weird behavior of these alleged humans finally got to me, too. These fantastic elements (sfaict) are unintended.

Should you read it? Probably not, unless you're a van Vogt completist. It's just too odd, and too dated. It did get good reviews when it was published -- judging from the excerpt-blurbs on the cover.

Happy reading--
Peter D. Tillman
[1] phinnweb.blogspot.com/2004_10_01_phinnweb_archive.html
"[Colin] Wilson discusses the interesting psychological concept of the "Right Man", which might in other uses also be called the "Dominant Male" or the "Alpha Male"..." Wilson makes a lot more sense than van Vogt -- this does appear to be a valid"theory of monsters." Too bad van Vogt wasn't able to make this work as a fiction device.

2-0 out of 5 stars So-called "right" man not quite right
In this book, a group of foreign(non-Chinese) prisoners in communist China are sent to a prison camp where they are to be converted to communists.In many respects this book is well-written and fascinating.I was very interested in the descriptions of the methods by the communists to gain control of China and turn the people into communists as well as descriptions of some of the brainwashing techniques used.

However, I was ultimately dissatisfied with the book.The way the women threw themselves at the main character was unbelievable.Also, the analysis of the personality of what is called the "right" man or terrorist type seems flawed, particularly the assumption that any terrorist type will succumb to serious illness or death if he is left by his wife. ... Read more

20. The Far-Out Worlds of A. E. Van Vogt
by A. E. van Vogt
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1970)

Asin: B00193NG62
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars 12 short stories
Van Vogt's short stories are usually superior to his novels.The dozen here are:
1.The Replicators
2.The First Martian
3.The Purpose
4.The Earth Killers
5.The Cataaaaa
9.Not the First
11.Ship of Darkness
12.The Ultra Man
I have rarely been disappointed by a short story by Van Vogt.This is a nice collection worth reading. ... Read more

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