"Astounding Science Fiction", May 1945 (ed John W Campbell, Jr) (magazine, free): Annotated table of contents & review
Scans of this magazine in CBR format are online as part of a larger package.
"First Contact" is one of the best known stories of science fiction. Besides being a good read, it gives its name to the "first contact" subgenre. Note, however, that it's not the first story of this subgenre; see, e.g., Voltaire's "Micromegas" (download).
Table of contents (5 stories, best first, unread last).My rating is in brackets. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there. Link on author fetches more fiction by author.
- [novelette] Murray Leinster's "First Contact" (A); download MP3: When a human ship meets an alien one in a far off nebula, neither side has reason to trust the other with the location of its mother world. How to ensure both ships can safely leave for home without letting the other know its home world location, & yet be able to keep contact?
Among the most reprinted stories.
Collected in "SF Hall of Fame, Vol 1", "Best of Murray Leinster".
Another related story of Leinster - "The Aliens" - is much less well known, but also makes a very good read. Its text is online at Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, & Baen CD; as also is a two part podcast at Forgotten Classics.
- [ss] Frank Belknap Long's "The Trap" (B): "That life on other worlds might take strange forms is an old thought to science-fiction, in one sense. But that life might be a strange form -"
- [novelette] Wesley Long's "The Fixer": "Sandra Drake was a weak reed on which to rely - but she could bring help in their crisis. They knew the cure for their plague - the exact chemical. But they couldn't make it, because one of the essential intermediates couldn't exist. Calling Earth - for help - was a project!"
- [novelette] A E van Vogt's "The Purpose" (B): "A weak little man who sat behind a big glass store window reading magazines all day - & a woman, killed six ways at once, & her body vanished - had a place & a meaning in the strange Purpose that stemmed from a kindly man's discovery."
- Frank Belknap Long's "The Trap" (B): "That life on other worlds might take strange forms is an old thought to science-fiction, in one sense. But that life might be a strange form -"
- Philip St John's "The One-eyed Man": "A mechanical educator, a device capable of giving a twelve-year-old a complete adult education, might result in unexpected mental blindness - wherein even the one-eyed man had powers!"
- Fiction from Analog/Astounding (only issues edited by Harry Bates, John Campbell).
- Stories written by John Campbell.
- Fiction originally published in the year 1945; during 1940s.
- Old "pulp" magazines.