The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress By Robert A. Heinlein

” The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress ” is a science fiction novel originally published in the 1960’s , written by the legendary author Robert A. Heinlein .

In the future , the Luna is a penal colony built underneath the moon , being ran by the united government of Earth . The story is told from the point of view of a computer technician called Mannie . A small group of the colonist join together to start a rebellion against the Warden after one of their meetings get violently interrupted by the prison guards . With help from a self aware computer named HOLMES IV , the small group grows and plans the overthrow of the penal government but certain events force them to act before their ideal time . They have success but now have to deal establishing a stable government on the moon while having to prepare for potential war with Earth . Will this new society survive or will they fall underneath the pressure from the Earth’s power ?

First off , this novel is great old school science fiction . It keeps a good pace throughout once you get used to the style of speech . This novel is heavily political and normally I’d say that takes points off but this novel does it in a smart way . By telling the story from the point of a view from a character that doesn’t care much about politics and having a clear focus on his friendship with the computer ( whom treats the situation like a game ) , it keeps the story from becoming a political essay .

Favorite quote : ” Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve . Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory . “

The Strange Island of Dr. Nork by Robert Bloch

” The Strange Island of Dr. Nork ” is a science fiction short story by Robert Bloch , originally published by ” Weird Tales ” magazine .

This story starts off with our narrator , a reporter , gets sent to an island and to learn about the mysterious Dr. Nork and what experiments he is performing there . The first thing he finds on the island is a bottle with a note in it stating ” To whom it may concern : Dr. Nork is a mean , nasty old thing , so there ! ” and the second thing he encounters is a talking ape ! Enjoy this tale of a mad scientist , zombies , and … comic books ?

This story is actually a parody of a story by H.G. Wells called ” The Island of Doctor Moreau ” and it is honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read . It knows how to play with expectations and subvert stock characters . The humor in the tale surprised me because the only other Robert Bloch story I’ve read to this point is ” Psycho ” which is a totally different type of story . It’s fun and creative , if you can find it then read it .

Who Goes There ? by John W. Campbell , Jr.

” Who Goes There ? ” is a science fiction horror story written by John W. Campbell , Jr ( as Don A Stuart ) , originally published in the 1930’s .

A crew of scientist are on an outpost in Antarctica . They find an alien creature and it’s ship frozen in ice . Naturally curious , they strive to thaw out both . The ship is destroyed by accident but the creature survives and starts attacking the outpost dogs . The creature is electrocuted to death but the scientist discover something that instantly frightens them . The creature was turning into one of the dogs and one of the scientist admits to dreaming about the creature . In the dreams , the creature can not only change itself into any creature it ingests but it can also read minds and project it’s thoughts into others . Come read a tale of paranoia , murder , and survival .

This is a short story but it has a huge punch inside . It is one of the best uses of paranoia in a story that I’ve ever read . If the story sounds close to the John Carpenter movie ” The Thing ” , that’s because the movie is based on this story . I would recommend this story especially to people who enjoyed that movie as well as fans of old school science fiction in general .

The Spider: Reign of the Snake Men by Emile C. Tepperman

The Spider : Reign of the Snake men is a pulp vigilante story written by Emile C. Tepperman ( as Grant Stockbridge ) and published in the 1930’s .

New York is in a bad way . The former police chief is locked up , store owners are being bullied by a group of people wearing the symbol of a cobra into buying protection , and the overall morale of everyone is down. The Spider is on the case ! Turns out this group of men might be connected to The Living Pharaoh and his sister , two of The Spider’s most fearsome foes . On top of that , the hood wearing cobra branded thugs are lepers . They terrorize a store that refused to yield and it leads to an epic shoot out .

This is the first ” The Spider ” pulp story I’ve ever read and I have to say that I’m definitely going to buy some more . It is pure pulp excitement and mayhem from start to finish . The story has a combo of great fight scenes , mystery , and a cool looking protagonist . What more could you want ?

The Black Master by Walter B. Gibson

The Black Master is a crime fighting pulp story featuring the old school radio and pulp hero known as the Shadow ,written by Walter B. Gibson ( as Maxwell Grant ) in the 1930’s .

This story starts off with a bang … as in terrorists have set off bombs in New York under the control of the mysterious Black Master . New York calls in a world famous criminologist to help but our own dark hero ( The Shadow ) is already on the case . The Shadow sends out his agents to keep watch over and protect a troubled wealthy man whom he believes to have a connection with the Black Master but it’s not as easy it seems . The Black Master seems to be able to go blow for blow with The Shadow when it comes to mental prowess and The Shadow ends up being captured at one point .

Will The Shadow be able to escape this trap ? Will we ever learn the identity of this Black Master ? What is The Master’s end goal ? Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men ? The Shadow knows !

This story is pure pulp gold here . Mystery , destruction , a deadly vigilante , and a clever criminal with violence all around . Some of the twists are predictable but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun ride . I got my copy for about five bucks and for that price it’s practically a steal . Check it out if you can .