Well, after 34 years, I guess it’s okay to recycle a decent tag line, even for a film as popular as Alien. Especially when the end product is as intriguing as this Halloween-themed science fiction anthology. The moment I saw it I thought, “I wonder if it has the really great horror SF, like Arthur C. Clarke’s “A Walk in the Dark,” and George R.R. Martin’s “Sandkings?” It has both, in fact, alongside 11 short stories and novelettes from Theodore Sturgeon, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, and others — plus a long novella from James H. Schmitz.
THE UNIVERSE MAY NOT BE A NICE NEIGHBORHOOD…
“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…
Here’s the complete table of contents.
Introduction: It’s Dark Between the Stars, by Hank Davis
“A Walk in the Dark,” Arthur C. Clarke (Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1950)
“Frog Water,” Tony Daniel (2013)
“Lost Memory,” Peter Phillips (Galaxy, May 1952)
“Dragons,” Sarah A. Hoyt (2013)
“The Last Weapon,” Robert Sheckley (Star Science Fiction Stories, 1953)
“Mongoose,” Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette (Lovecraft Unbound, 2009)
“Medusa,” Theodore Sturgeon (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1942)
“The Searcher,” James H. Schmitz (Analog, February 1966)
“The Rhine’s World Incident,” Neal Asher (Subterfuge, 2008)
“Nothing Happens on the Moon,” Paul Ernst (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1939)
“Visiting Shadow,” Hank Davis (2013)
“The God of the Asteroid,” Clark Ashton Smith (Wonder Stories, October 1932, as “Master of the Asteroid”)
“Sandkings,” George R. R. Martin (Omni, August 1979)
Ten of the stories are reprints, and three — by Tony Daniel, Sarah A. Hoyt, and editor Hank Davis — appear here for the first time. I’m familiar with less than half of the reprints, but based on how much I admire the ones I do recognize, this looks like a terrific collection.
Cthulhu: The Mythos and Kindred Horrors by Robert E. Howard (1987)
Unknown, edited by Stanley Schmidt (1988)
The Incompleat Nifft by Michael Shea (2000)
Agent of Vega by James H. Schmitz (2001)
Eternal Frontier by James H. Schmitz (2002)
Planets of Adventure by Murray Leinster (2003)
The Creatures of Man by Howard L. Myers(2003)
A Cosmic Christmas, edited by Hank Davis (2012)
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream, edited by Hank Davis (2013)
The Baen Big Book of Monsters, edited by Hank Davis (2014)
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream was edited by Hank Davis, Senior Editor at Baen Books. It was published October 1 by Baen (more info here). It is 325 pages, priced at $15 in trade paperback, and $8.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Bob Eggleton.