By John Glasby and Rand Le Page
An SF Gateway eBook: bringing the classics to the future.
Over the long years, ships of the Interplanetary Confederation had scoured the empty wastes surrounding Sol, searching desperately for a sister planet; a companion for the isolated worlds of the Solar System. Of the ships that were sent out, many returned. But always the answer was the same.
There were no planets! The worlds of Sol were alone in the Great Dark that swirled across the boundless heavens.
It was not until Steve Rane and Nick Brodine, in the Exploratory Ship Vega, reached across the yawning gulf of light years to Sirius, that they found the strange planet that rotated in its complicated orbit around the twin sun. It was an event transcending all others.
A discovery that plunged the planets of Sol into the greatest race of all time. For whoever controlled the alien planet, controlled the Solar System. And away from the watchful eye of the IPC it would be possible to build the greatest space armada in history and attack the Interplanetary Confederation without warning.
To Steve Rane, the order came from Earth Central. Zero Point has been set for three months hence. The ship of Jupiter must not reach the new planet first.
John Glasby (1928-2011)
John Stephen Glasbywas born in 1928, and graduated from Nottingham University with an honours degree in Chemistry. He started his career as a research chemist for I.C.I. in 1952, and worked for them until his retirement. Over the next two decades, he began a parallel career as an extraordinarily prolific writer of science fiction novels and short stories, his first novels appearing in the summer of 1952 from Curtis Warren Ltd. under various house pseudonyms such as 'Rand Le Page' and 'Berl Cameron', as was the fashion of the day. Late in 1952, he began an astonishing association with the London publisher, John Spencer Ltd., which was to last more than twenty years.
Glasby wrote four novels for Spencer's first SF series under the house names 'Victor La Salle' and 'Karl Zeigfried' (1953), an in 1957, John Spencer's commissioned Glasby to write a new SF novel called This Second Earth, the success of which prompted them to recreate a line of new SF novels, along with a 'Supernatural' series, featuring alternatively novels and new short story collection of Supernatural Stories. The vast majority of both these long-running series were written by Lionel Fanthorpe and John Glasby under a plethora of pseudonyms. Glasby quickly became Spencer's main author, writing hundreds of stories and novels in a bewildering array of genres, including SF, supernatural, Foreign Legion sagas, Second World War novels, hospital romances, crime novels and westerns.
Interested in astronomy since childhood, Glasby had joined the variable star section of the British Astronomical Society in 1958, and was made Director in 1965. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1960, and he published numerous textbooks and encyclopaedias on astronomy and chemistry, the first being Variable Stars in 1968.
Following his retirement from I.C.I., Glasby returned to writing supernatural stories in the Lovecraftian vein, appearing in American small press magazines and Mythos anthologies. New science fiction and supernatural novels and collection followed. In recent years new stories appeared in original collections edited by leading horror anthologist Stephen Jones, and in Philip Harbottle's Fantasy Adventures collections.
John Glasby died on June 5, 2011, following a long and courageous battle with illness, during which time he continued to write with undimmed power.
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- Publication date:
31 Mar 2015
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