Douglas Drew's The Carbon Eater (novelette, chemical warfare, free): Neutralizing a carbon-eating poison gas
I noticed at least 3 different things here:
- Arguments justifying colonialism. Didn't go down very well with me.
- A "carbon eating" gas that sounded somewhat like aliens' "iron mining" in one of the "doc" Smith's "Lensman"
novels. In this case, it's an extremely active gas & liquid.
Martians employ it as a weapon to rid themselves of carbon-based human
colonists. A lakeful of this material, with a little electrical
stimulation, is producing enough gas to kill all humans on the world.
Our chemist hero, of course, will save most humans, except for early
I liked this part though the details are hand-wavy.
- Hero against the bull-headed establishment, & winning in spite of them. Lot of action in later parts.
- Murray Leinster's "Tallien Three" (download in 4 parts, beginning here): Hero is forced similarly to burn a lot of infrastructure near end, to similarly save a cityful of lives.
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding, June 1940.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding (British Edition), June 1940.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.