“The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown,” the grand master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft, once wrote. And the greatest unknown is the vast universe, shrouded in eternal cosmic night. What things might be on other planets—or in the dark gulfs between the stars?
Giving very unsettling answers to that question are such writers as Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Sheckley, James. H. Schmitz, Clark Ashton Smith, Neal Asher, Sarah A. Hoyt, Tony Daniel and more, all equally masters of science fiction and of terror.
One might hope that in the void beyond the earth will be found friendly aliens, benevolent and possibly wiser than humanity, but don’t be surprised if other worlds have unpleasant surprises in store for future visitors. And in vacuum, no one will be able to hear your screams—as if it would do any good if they could . . .
This book is not a novel but a collection of short stories edited by Hank Davis. It is a quite enjoyable book to read. The stories are rather varying, some of them are quite old, some are quite good and some are not so good. Some of them are good because they are good, others are good, or at least enjoyable to read, because of their age and the quaint way the future and space travel are described. One story describes faster than light travel as “standing still while the rotating universe travels around you” for instance.
As you might deduce from the title and the book blurb these are all horror stories. Some of them are perhaps not so much what we would call horror stories today but most of them are I would say. The foreword is almost a story in itself and quite nice reading. It is perhaps not the best book I have read but I found it quite enjoyable. It reminded me a bit about the old Hitchcock Presents or Twilight Zone episodes.