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The Ultimate Weapon

John Wood Campbell

Book Overview: 

The star Mira was unpredictably variable. Sometimes it was blazing, brilliant and hot. Other times it was oddly dim, cool, shedding little warmth on its many planets. Gresth Gkae, leader of the Mirans, was seeking a better star, one to which his "people" could migrate. That star had to be steady, reliable, with a good planetary system. And in his astronomical searching, he found Sol. With hundreds of ships, each larger than whole Terrestrial spaceports, and traveling faster than the speed of light, the Mirans set out to move in to Solar regions and take over. And on Earth there was nothing which would be capable of beating off this incredible armada—until Buck Kendall stumbled upon THE ULTIMATE WEAPON

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mira appeared. On his screens now, Mira appeared deep violet, for he was approaching at a speed greater than that of light, and even this projected light of Mira was badly distorted.[23]

"The distance is half a light-year now, sir," reported the navigation officer.

"Reduce the speed, then, to normal velocity for these ranges. What reserve of fuel have we?"

"Less than one thousand pounds. We will barely be able to stop. We were too free in the use of our weapons, I fear," replied the Chief Technician.

"Well, what would you? We needed those things in our reports. Besides, we could extract fuel from that ore we took on at Planet Nine of Phahlo. It is merely that I wish speed in the return."

"As we all do. How soon do you believe the Council will proceed against the new system?"

"It will be fully a year, I fear. They must gather the expeditions together, and re-equip the ships. It will be a long time before all will h. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I imagine this was a crackerjack tale back in the days of yore. Nowadays it feels incredibly dated and clunky.

The physics are fairly ludicrous, even by 1936 standards, but I will say that I enjoyed the aliens themselves and the explanation of their evolution. I found it interesting that they have tw

This was a highly amusing story because of all the bad science and implausible plot lines. While John Campbell is *the* Editor in Chief of Sci Fi, he kinda flopped on this story. He spent a lot of time discussing the "science" behind all the technology that was designed in the book. That would be fi

Oh, those plucky humans!

A good example of Golden Age scifi. With all that entails.

Dated SCFI concepts.

makes for a boring read for parts where they try to explain the science.

A fairly short science fiction story which aged badly. An alien race is searching for a better place to settle, and our own Solar system looks like perfect fit. There is a slight problem with native population - us humans, but it is nothing good weapons cannot solve: the humans do not have adequate

Those who enjoyed Campbell's Arcot-Morey series will probably enjoy this. It's a fun
space opera with marvelous planetary systems and threating alien conqerors and
large-scale spaceship battles. Like the Arcot series, it also, unfortunately, suffers
from technical descriptions which are both too leng

A fun read

I like Sci fi, and this book is well written. Written in the 1930s, the author was ahead of his time.

Definitely dated hard science-fiction. The millionaire scientist is the hero, of course, and humanity wins a war against an alien invader through their ability to overcome the science of the invader. The description of the alien species is unique and the ending (in the epilogue) is not exactly the t

Some interesting ideas, although I felt the characters were a little two dimensional and there was more focus on how the technology worked rather than the background and story.

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