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Anything You Can Do ...

Randall Garrett

Book Overview: 

An alien crash lands on Earth, and for ten years terrorizes the planet, hiding, periodically killing and eating people and stealing materials for some unknown purpose. The only hope is Bart Stanton, a medically-engineered superman, designed for the sole purpose of confronting the “Nipe”.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .les—including sixty-cycle power frequencies—was considered a particularly cute item. So was the gadget that reduced the tensile strength of concrete to about that of a good grade of marshmallow.

After he had been operating for a few years, there was no installation on Earth that could be considered Nipe-proof for more than a few minutes. He struck when and where he wanted and took whatever he needed.

It was manifestly impossible to guard against the Nipe, since no one knew what sort of loot might strike his fancy next, and there was therefore no way of knowing where or how he would hit next.

Nor could he ever be found after one of his raids. They were plotted and followed through with diabolical accuracy and thoroughness. He struck, looted, and vanished. And he wasn't seen again until his next strike.

Colonel Mannheim, who had carefully puffed a cigar alight and smoked it thoughtfully during Stanton's recitation, dropped. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Every once in a while a science fiction story includes an alien that is not just a human in another skin. In Anything You Can Do ..., a Nipe, ugly as any alien in a 1950's B-movie, crashes on earth and begins to wreak carnage and death as it tries to survive and to find a way off the planet. No o...more

Different with an somewhat standard Alien monster which could have ben taken from a horror movie if you just look from the outside. But we get to see the Aliens point of view and the psychology behind his actions. And the humans in the story understands his psychology!

A story with remarkably rea...more

The time is the future: Not the immediate future or the far future, but somewhere in between. There has been a nuclear war (the "Holocaust"). From the ashes rose a new society with a world government run from the capital city built on Manhattan Island after Manhattan was obliterated by a "sun-bom...more


I liked the development of the Nipe character, but the ending was a bit too pseudo-scientific for my taste.

I liked the superior alien and the unique plans for its confrontation. Good storytelling, although a bit corny sometimes.

This was a well-paced science fiction story that is a curious look at how two sentient species can look at things as prevailing as death. The difference between these two species creates some major misunderstandings for an alien that has crash-landed on Earth in a post-holocaust future. Holocaust...more

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