The Wailing Asteroid

The Wailing Asteroid THE PUBLIC ABRUPTLY ceased to be interested in news of the signals Rather it suddenly wanted to stop thinking about them The public was scared Throughout all human history the most horrifying of all

  • Title: The Wailing Asteroid
  • Author: Murray Leinster
  • ISBN: 9781419187049
  • Page: 386
  • Format: Paperback
  • THE PUBLIC ABRUPTLY ceased to be interested in news of the signals Rather, it suddenly wanted to stop thinking about them The public was scared Throughout all human history, the most horrifying of all ideas has been the idea of something which was as intelligent as a man, but wasn t human.The first sounds came at midnight, a plaintive keening from an unknown voice in thTHE PUBLIC ABRUPTLY ceased to be interested in news of the signals Rather, it suddenly wanted to stop thinking about them The public was scared Throughout all human history, the most horrifying of all ideas has been the idea of something which was as intelligent as a man, but wasn t human.The first sounds came at midnight, a plaintive keening from an unknown voice in the vastness of uncharted space Within hours the whole world had heard the strange, unearthly music and the panic had begun.Were the sounds a plea for help From whom From where Or were they a command too terrible to think about No one knew And in billions of earth bound minds the horror grewFor how could man, who had not yet claimed the moon, defy a challenge from the stars And hours later, to the ears of a helpless world, the second message came.And Earth s days were numbered.

    One thought on “The Wailing Asteroid”

    1. Mark Nelson's latest narration at Librivox is this Murray Leinster, which I haven't read. Love both Nelson and Leinster, so this will be a treat.Not one of Leinster's best but entertaining enough. When an asteroid enters our solar system, emitting odd warbling "wails", scientists soon figure out that Earth is being hailed by another civilization. Are they friendly or enemies? What is the warble saying? Can the Cold War stop long enough to work together? As is so often the case in Leinster's stor [...]

    2. ‘As the earth party wandered through the rock-hewn corridors, they had no doubt about the purpose of the asteroid.It was a mighty fortress, stocked with weapons of destruction beyond man’s understanding. It seemed as if it was deserted by some ancient race and yet in a room high in the asteroid a powerful transmitter beamed its chilling sounds toward earth. Near it, on a huge star-map of the universe, ten tiny red sparks were moving inexorably toward the center – moving at many times the s [...]

    3. read but very very partially it's very dated but this was not a problem and I love to read of imaginary futures that never happened. But there was a huge problem just a few pages into it, I don't know if it was because of the translation or not, anyway, I read the following sentence: "a few miles east from the equator" and I really couldn't go further.

    4. Good story, well read with some lovely and extremely dubious scientific explanations together with a appropriately paranoid and dated attitude to first contact. The treatment of women was particularly amusing as the author was understandably a product of his era, trying to give his female characters equality but unconsciously confining them to their stereotypical roles. That said, I enjoyed his speculations on how humanity was going to overcome unknown aliens with superior technology by individu [...]

    5. I read this book in 1970, when I was 10; much later, in 1986, I read "Contact", by Carl Sagan, and I was very much impressed by the resemblance "Contact" had with the book by Murray Leinster. Maybe I am being too suspicious, but many of the details in both books are so close, that it becomes very difficult not to think that Sagan's book was inspired, in some way, on Leinster's book. For example, in both books, the main character is obssesed with some shocking event in their childhood (the recurr [...]

    6. I really enjoyed this book--it was fun and suspenseful, it had interesting technological developments that seemed optimistic, but plausible, and told frighteningly realistic predictions of psychological responses to world-shaking events. This could make an excellent movie (probably with a title change) [I just looked this up, and apparently, a 1967 movie, "The Terrornauts" was loosely based on this book]! Briefly: a self-employed inventor has had a otherworldly recurring dream since encountering [...]

    7. One of the best of Murray Leinster's output, this short novel is one of his most interesting tales. For me, everything he wrote ultimately gets measured by the yardstick of his Med Service stories. This one surpasses them. Faced with an alien menace as presaged by a cryptic signal from a rocky body in the asteroid belt. Once the main characters investigate the enigmatic asteroid, the details of the story are told against the background of duplicitous and poorly conceived actions and words from t [...]

    8. A fun example of 1950s/early 60s science fiction. A "first contact" story, it has elements reminiscent of Verne (the heroes build their own spacecraft to fly off to adventure). Character development is minimal; the real star is the asteroid itself and the mystery of why it is suddenly signalling Earth. The answer is clever, calling to mind some of Piper's work from the time. There is also some cynical, wry commentary on society's reaction to the news and our heroes that had me chuckling. However [...]

    9. A signal from space is received, a signal that's meaningless to everyone on Earth - everyone except the man who's been dreaming of it since childhood! He starts to build a spaceship to go and investigate, while the girl who'd be his girlfriend does her best to catch his eye.Most of this book is a science fiction screwball comedy along the lines of Monkey Business, which was a good thing. More sf novels should star Cary Grant! It was very entertaining.Things get more serious as it goes on, as the [...]

    10. This is one of Leinster's delightful puzzle-stories, similar to a Heinlein story but without the preaching. It was one of my favorites when I was young, though the lack of any characterization and some of the social attitudes made me wince a time or two upon re-reading it now. It was nicely filmed as The Terrornauts fifty years ago, with a screenplay by John Brunner (!) and a budget which must have been in the dozens of dollars. Leinster was one of the fine old masters of the early days of the g [...]

    11. A decent bit of classic SF. Yeah, its dated terribly and the relationships presented are borderline caveman but that was the state of things when this was written. Leinster is an old-time great and this book is a decent one by him. I have others that I favor more but this is worth a read. You can find this at Gutenberg and other places for free but be warned there are some typos or OCR issues.

    12. Libro pieno di validissimi spunti (alcuni davvero affascinanti) analizzati, però, con eccessiva semplicità e velocità. L'impianto narrativo è molto piacevole, ma si perde qua e là su passaggi al limite della sospensione dell'incredulità. Una lettura piacevole per alcuni elementi di sicuro interesse, ma che spesso fa sorridere alcune soluzioni discutibili

    13. Pretty decent storyIt was a pretty decent story but I wish the author had not made the main characters dumber than a box of rocks.

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