The Crucible of Power

by Jack Williamson
Release date: 2006
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, short stories

Foreword by Frank M. Robinson. Cover art by Hubert Rogers.

The fifth volume of a project to collect, in order of original publication, the short fiction of Science Fiction Grand Master Jack Williamson. Volume Five includes twelve stories from 1938 to 1940, and a foreword by author and popular culture expert Frank M. Robinson. Included are two true rarities: two stories that originally appeared under the pen-name Nils O. Sonderlund. These stories, originally appearing in MARVEL TALES, were considered "too sexy" to appear under Williamson's own name! An appendix reprints rare commentaries on this volume's contents as they originally appeared in the pulp magazines . The author provides an afterword commenting on the genesis of these stories, and reflecting on the economic and cultural mood of the nation during the early years of American Science Fiction. Contents include: "The Chivaree" (from the Portales Daily News) "The Dead Spot" (from Marvel Science Stories) "Nonstop to Mars" (from Argosy Weekly) "The Crucible of Power" (from Astounding Stories) "After World’s End" (from Marvel Science Stories) "Passage to Saturn" (from Thrilling Wonder Stories) "The Fortress of Utopia" (from Startling Stories) "Star Bright" (from Argosy Weekly) "As in the Beginning" (from Future Fiction) "Hindsight" (from Astounding Stories) "Mistress of Machine-Age Madness" (from Marvel Tales) As with the previous volumes in THE COLLECTED STORIES OF JACK WILLIAMSON, THE CRUCIBLE OF POWER is a smythe-sewn 6" x 9" hardcover bound in a custom-dyed cloth, and typeset in a format designed in honor of the Fantasy Press editions of Williamson's first books from the 1940s & 50s. Full-color endpapers reproduce the pulp magazine cover art for each story's first appearance.

Contents:

  • "Foreword" by Frank M. Robinson
  • "The Chivaree" (Portales Daily News, Sep 13, ’38)
  • "The Dead Spot" (Marvel Science Stories, Nov ’38)
  • "Nonstop to Mars" (Argosy Weekly, Feb 25 ’39)
  • "After World’s End" (Marvel Science Stories, Feb ’39)
  • "The Crucible of Power" (Astounding Science-Fiction, Feb ’39)
  • "Passage to Saturn" (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jun ’39)
  • "Star Bright" (Argosy Weekly, Nov 25 ’39)
  • "The Fortress of Utopia" (Startling Stories, Nov ’39)
  • "The Angel from Hell" (Marvel Tales, Dec ’39)
  • "As In the Beginning" (Future, Mar ’40)
  • "Hindsight" (Astounding Science-Fiction, May ’40)
  • "Mistress of Machine-Age Madness" (Marvel Tales, May ’40)
  • "Afterword" by Jack Williamson
(updated 2010-11-27)

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