Review: Science Fiction Story: "The Challenge from Beyond" C. L. Moore et. al

@msiduri (5841)
United States
February 17, 2017 7:56am CST
George Campbell wakes up in his tent in the Canadian woods, still groggy. Something roused him, but he’s tired from the physical exertion of the day before. Nevertheless, he’s looking forward to the three months of freedom ahead of him—freedom from cities, from the University and from trying to cram the rudiments of geology into the brains of indifferent students. As he drifts back toward sleep, the racket of some critter crashed through his tin cans of supplies jerks him awake. He reaches a hand outside his tent, groping for a rock. His fingers land on something of a rounded cube. It is so odd—obviously not shaped by nature—he brought it inside the tent and turned his flashlight on it. It is a clear quartz crystal with disc of a pale substance embedded in it that appears to have some sort of writing on it. Weirder still, it seems to react to the light. After he switches off the flashlight, it glows for a while. It warms. He can’t look away. Campbell knows this is an ancient piece, formed millions of years ago, long before humans existed. Where did this writing come from? Outer space. Where else? The five authors wrote the tale in round robin fashion, that is, each taking a section and running with it. This sort of writing always struck me more of an exercise or a party game than any way to put together a coherent story. But maybe I’m picky. The story is a bit far-fetched, having to do with mind swapping across vast distances. Campbell wakes up to find not only has the world changed, so has he. This section of the tale is written by Robert E. Howard, the author of Conan the Barbarian tales. Thus, Campbell’s career choice in his new home isn’t a surprise. As for the alien who swap bodies with him—well, suffice to say he isn’t happy camper. The story can be found on Project Gutenberg Australia: _____ Title: “The Challenge from Beyond” Author: C.L. Moore (1911-1987), Abraham Merritt (1884-1943), H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), Robert E. Howard (1906-1936), Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994) First published: Fantasy Magazine September 1935 as a round-robin story Source: ISFDB
Project Gutenberg Australia a treasure-trove of literature treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership   Title: The Challenge from Beyond Author: Robert E. Howard (co-author) * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 1304101h.html Langu
2 people like this
3 responses
@teamfreak16 (33629)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
17 Feb
I liked it, but we did this in a community college creative writing class, and none of us were going to make it to the caliber of these guys. Still thought it was pretty good, though.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
17 Feb
Yeah, they had a bit more practice, though. Glad you like it.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (36259)
• Los Angeles, California
17 Feb
Lovecraft is in there. Such stories are more gimmick than substance.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
17 Feb
Yes, that always been my feeling. They're kind of fun to write in a class or at a party (provider there are... libations), but they're more of a writer's story than a reader's story.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
17 Feb
I think that was cool but hopefully you added something more so I would know a bit more of the story. I hate sad endings Hehehehe. God bless.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5841)
• United States
17 Feb
I make a point not to give away the endings. But I include a link where people can read the story at no charge.