“Giant Killer” by A. Bertram Chandler
from The Mammoth Book of Golden Age Science Fiction ed. Asimov, Waugh, Greenberg
Carroll & Graf, 1989
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, October 1945
Price I paid: $3
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During the 1940s, the great names emerged in an eruption of talent. They formed the mould for the next three decades of science fiction and their writing is as fresh today as it was then.
To Keep the Ship by A. Bertram Chandler
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: $1.25
Although this was a low point in the ever-changing space career of the legendary John Grimes, it was not without its surprising moments. Between jobs, between loyalties, Grimes was owner and pilot of a small auxiliary vessel whose principal oddity was that it was made of gold. But precious metal or not, Grimes was running errands with it.
Until he fell into the clutches of terrorists. Susie and her comrades had a Cause and it was going to take all his efforts to keep the one thing he had to have―his ship.
Especially since they left the ship infested with a constantly increasing horde of mini-Susies―vicious little homunculi that looked exactly like their sexy prototype except that they were hungry, sharp-toothed, and their only Cause was to eat Grimes alive!
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The Hamelin Plague by A. Bertram Chandler
Monarch Books, 1963
Price I paid: 75¢
It began with a few small items in the newspapers—dead dogs and cats, a mutilated child, a series of unexplained fires. Then, suddenly, it exploded into a full-sized catastrophe.
Huge mutants—half rat, half man—began to take over the world, stealing children for slaves and destroying whole cities and their populations.
Only a few people escaped, among them Tim Barrett, his wife, Jane, and a handful of survivors. Alone on the high seas in a small ship, they set off to find the island where Dr. Theodore Piper had been experimenting with a sonic death ray.
They knew Dr. Piper was their only hope for personal and world survival—if he was still alive…if the King Rats hadn’t forced him to serve their evil purpose…and if he could find a way to stop the spreading horror of invasion.
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