On May 14, 2014, my adventure into a renewed interest in science fiction began. A Distributed Proofreaders volunteer had started a forum thread that requested information about the title of a science fiction book about dog-like invaders of earth. He could not remember the title of the book. Now, I forget titles too, especially to old songs and books of ancient (well, 30 to 50 years ago) fame. I guess this happens to other people too, because there were several posts from people who tried to help. Finally another volunteer answered with a post saying to try Invaders from the Infinite, by John Campbell. The first volunteer answered that it wasn’t the right book, but that he was adding it to his reading list. That settled it: if the book was good enough for them, it was certainly good enough for me.
The adventure began. I downloaded the book in Kindle form and put it on my Kindle on May 25, 2014. By May 27, I had read it; and in it I traveled from earth to the far end of the galaxy, and then beyond the present universe as we know it to a distant, far distant place of huge suns and planets.
The story begins innocently enough. An earth-guard space ship is approached by an alien ship whose occupants are telepathic creatures who have evolved from a canine race. They gather information from the pilot about earth and streak on to New York City. There they meet the trio of Arcot, Morey, and Wade, who happen to have a research ship that can also be made into a first-class fighting vessel. It turns out that the world of the telepathic people is being attacked by aliens who also have the location of earth and another world in its war plans. Can earth help? And instead of waiting for the politicians to OK an expedition, the Triumvirate decides to go themselves.
The planet of the telepathic people is preparing for war with the only weapon they have. Arcot and his companions help to improve the weapon and duplicate it, so that they can leave the world to help other planets and search for more weapons with which to fight an almost invincible enemy who seems intent on eliminating all intelligent life other than their own. Their adventure takes them to the far corners of the galaxy and immerses them in a dirty war, which forces them to develop their own weapons to a point where they can build a new and more powerful ship that can harness the energy of the universe.
Invaders from the Infinite was released to Project Gutenberg on December 20, 2006, as e-book #20154. I would recommend the book to anyone with an interest in physics, cosmology, or just science fiction.
This post was contributed by Quentin Johnson, a DP volunteer.