The Human Zero : The Science Fiction Stories of Erle Stanley Gardner edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh
New York : William Morrow and Company, 1981. First Edition. Stated with full numbers line. Hardcover. 444 pages ; 22 cm. $12.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Binding is tight, pages are clean and unmarked.
THE HUMAN ZERO
The Science Fiction Stories of ERLE STANLEY GARDNER
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh
A space capsule reels into space (in the 1920s!), complete with rocket and weightless passengers. Intelligent ants guard a ledge of solid gold in darkest Africa. A scientific miracle makes people invisible. Fans of Erie Stanley Gardner will be surprised and delighted to discover in these long-unavailable stories that he was one of our earliest science fiction writers—and science fiction readers will regret that he did not write many more.
Published in Argosy magazine in the 1920s and 1930s, these suspenseful tales display Gardner's grasp of a vast range of unlikely subject matter and the masterful gift for plot and action that made him the best-selling author of all time. Some of the stories are peopled with his classic cops and killers, tough reporters and sleuths of detective fiction, along with the mad professors and strange geniuses of fantastic science. The nature of molecules is the key to a locked-room murder in The Human Zero title story, and A Year in a Day is another crime story. But there is also natural disaster when a shift in the earth's poles causes a worldwide flood (with a gripping description of the inundation of New York City), and still more eerie events are tied to hypnotism, reincarnation, and exotic ceremonies in a lost temple in India. The author s imagination and ingenuity seem limitless; the action and entertainment he could pack into a 10,000-word story are remarkable. The Human Zero: The Science Fiction Stories of Erie Stanley Gardner is a find for all his fans and collectors of his work.
ERLE STANLEY GARDNER, author, lawyer, humanitarian, adventurer, was born in 1889. He was not only the world's best-selling author, he was also almost unbelievably prolific. Early in his career, he produced a great variety of short stories and novelettes—almost 600 of them— and beginning with his first full-length detective novel (also the first Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Velvet Claws, Morrow, 1933), he averaged approximately one book every four months until his death in 1970.
His life was a remarkable one, and so were his methods of writing. He remained with the same publisher to the end. The history of this association, remarkable in itself, is recorded in the biography Erie Stanley Gardner: The Case of the Real Perry Mason by Dorothy B. Hughes (Morrow, 1978). His career as a highly disciplined, self-taught writer is documented in the hook Secrets of the World's Best-Selling Writer: The Storytelling Techniques of Erie Stanley Gardner by Francis L. and Roberta B. Fugate (Morrow, 1980).
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