An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future.
The remains of an exploded radio-active planet reach the outer solar system in the course of their plunge across interstellar space. A massive fragment crashes into Pluto. Earth's scientists determine that it is set to mutate into pure energy which will explode Pluto and threaten the equilibrium of the solar system. A mission is quickly mounted for a spaceship to reach Pluto and neutralise the meteorite before it can trigger a chain reaction. The problem is that the crew will have only 110 hours to reach Pluto, which means a constant acceleration and intense, prolonged physical suffering for the crew, The authoritarian Captain Rapier has his hands full to save the mission when mutiny breaks out...
John Russell Fearn (1908-1960)John Francis Russell Fearn was born in Worsley, near Manchester, on 5th June, 1908. As a child he devoured imaginative fiction, beginning to write SF at the age of ten - in imitation of Wells and Verne - on a typewriter he was given for his birthday. Extremely prolific, Fearn used many pseudonyms. During the 1930s he wrote for magazines, including the US Pulp magazines, but during the Second World War he switched to books, becoming a central figure in the post-war paperback boom. He wrote numerous westerns, crime stories and romances as well as SF, most of which appeared under the names Vargo Statten and Volsted Gridban (the latter pseudonym being taken over from E. C. Tubb).
Altogether Fearn published 18 stories in the pre-war Astounding, and went on to write more than 100 other stories in all the leading American pulp magazines through to 1948. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction notes that 'his best work is vigorous and occasionally vivid' and the influential British SF agent and editor, John Carnell, paid this tribute: 'Fearn was one of the Greats of the earlier ages, and his name should be there with Hugo Gernsback, John W. Campbell, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Murray Leinster, and all the others whose thoughts and works form ulated today's modern science fiction.'