Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eric Frank Russell's "Dreadful Sanctuary" (novel, thriller): Man must not go to space cultists vs hero who says we'll go

Cover of novel Dreadful Sanctuary by Eric Frank Russell. Shows a moon rocket exploding as it approaches moon.
This is one of those Fortean stories of Russell ("Sinister Barrier" is his best known of the type) - something above humanity is pulling our puppet strings.

Story summary.

Over a dozen human attempts to reach moon have all failed - rockets exploding when they're about a certain critical distance from moon. It's too much of a coincidence & there is no reason to suspect sabotage; rockets of several countries have met the same fate.

There is a man financially involved in the next rocket to go. And he's smelling conspiracy...


  1. Title refers to earth. There is an unreliable back story: Humanity independently evolved on 4 worlds - blacks on Mercury, browns on Venus, yellows on earth, & whites on Mars (skin color depends on their distance from sun). All civilizations except earth reach maturity a long long time ago, & banished war. But they still had crazies who were not cured of need to war. They were herded on 3 worlds, & transported to earth to rid the mother worlds of them - back when earthmen were really primitive. So earth is a prison planet & all except those of yellow skin are descended from the crazies dumped here!

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, June/July/August 1948.
Rating: B. 
Among the stories edited by John Campbell for Astounding/Analog. 
Related: Stories of Eric Frank Russell (annotated list).


अभिषेक मिश्र said...

It is a nice blog on Science...

Tinkoo said...

Thank you, Abhishek.