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The Ultimate Weapon

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  121 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 123 pages
Published June 1st 1977 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1936)
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Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
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 defense/offense systems.

So, a survivor of one of attacks who also happens to be a millionaire scientist (when was the last time we had some of these in real life; Iron Man does not count) takes on hi
Jesse Huggins
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read

I like Sci fi, and this book is well written. Written in the 1930s, the author was ahead of his time.
Sean O'Hara
Mar 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Space patrol responds to a distress call on Pluto and finds a scout ship from an unknown alien race attacking the colony there. The patrol ship is destroyed but two of the crew survive -- who, thankfully, are sooper scientists who can deduce how the alien weapons work based on minimal evidence. They return to Earth and begin developing countermeasures for when the aliens return in force.

And inevitably, the aliens do return. After a little fine-tuning, the countermeasures do work, but the aliens
Feb 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library2013
This is a story from the outer edge of the golden age of science fiction written by, arguably, the father of the golden age.

This is a reason to read it, but sadly for me about the only reason. There is no characterization to mention, the author loses himself in wordy explanations.of how neutron weaponry works while deep space communication is by morse code.

Paraffin blocks turn out to be a good way of stopping neutron rays.

So here we are with a story set centuries into the future reliant on stuff
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 two eyes, one atop the other. The upper eye is larger and provides telescopic vision, while the lower, smaller eye provides microscopic vision. Coming from a world with extremes of weather and solar rad
Andrew Kennedy
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 fine, but the science didn't agree with any science in the real world, even science known in 1966 when it was published. It sounded like he threw sciency words together to make it sound smart. There was ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Stevens
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 lengthy and yet sometimes lacking in essential
I actually read the Project Gutenberg US version of this work.

Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it
A good example of Golden Age scifi. With all that entails.
Oh, those plucky humans!
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John Wood Campbell, Jr. was an influential figure in American science fiction. As editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact), from late 1937 until his death, he is generally credited with shaping the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction.
Isaac Asimov called Campbell "the most powerful force in science fiction ever, and for the first ten years of his edito
More about John W. Campbell Jr....