Away and Beyond – A E Van Vogt

Yes, there are anachronisms in these stories, like paper records, the need to get to a phone when spaceships are zipping round the solar system, instrument panels with old radio dials on them and a machine that cuts holes through hyperspace, yet runs on thermionic valves. But oddly I didn’t find these too jarring. The last machine mentioned was developed in WWII so yeah, it would have been valves and radio dials. Others like The Great Engine, were of their time (set in the late 40s) though as ever with old SF like this, it moved on to an earth-like Venus – the other option being one covered in hot jungle. Some stories ended abruptly and anticlimactically. But then I get to the last story, Asylum, where Van Vogt gets into the stuff I really like from him: superminds, Dreel space vampires and the Galactics. A worthy read – I enjoyed it!

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