Currently this archive contains 19 of 19 plotlines and 19 reviews
Ron Thompson's nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes universe. The Royal British Museum freighter, Nile Delta, returning to Earth with the travelling King Tut exhibit, is waylaid by thieves who steal a beaded floral necklace... and a tissue sample from Tutankhamen. Queen Victoria III personally requests the assistance of England's most famous detective, Mr. Froome.
Thou art standing before Ra who cometh from the East. His duration of life is infinite. His limit of life is ever-lastingness. Become One with Ra and be received into the land of eternal triumph. --- a verse from The Book of the Dead, The Papyrus of Ani.
Another nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes universe. Professor Madeline Stoner arrives on Starlab looking 20 years younger than she should... a result of her recent experiments with a secret age-reversal serum she has developed. By morning, she is a withered shell of her former self, aged beyond belief and barely alive. Foul play is suspected and England's most famous consulting detective, Sonar T. Foome, is called in to investigate.
Two aliens aboard a damaged spaceship, being pursued by a hostile renegade, seek sanctuary at Starlab. Wythy and Zeyna are Octovan physicians—physicians who heal through the use of harmony and song. Their pursuer, Hielon, is a renegade who seeks to destroy them with his custom-made Death Song Synthesizer—polyphonic drone generators, ultrasonic inverters, thick spiralling amplifier coils, and blood-red keyboards.
The spaceship Galileo requires assistance docking. It seems the captain is dead and the entire crew, except for Lieutenant Becker, is deep asleep... all dreaming the exact same dream. Then a distress call is received and it's off to Ursa Minor to track down the elusive and little-known planet, Tamerlane.
[A tribute to Edgar Allan Poe.]
"What happened to Dr Eagen?"
"He died in the maelstrom, Dr Cassidy... a whirlpool in the universe. Captain Eagen fell into it, and... drowned in the stars."
"Lieutenant Becker, what's the condition of your crew?"
"Sleeping. They fell asleep on Tamerlane. They're still dreaming..."
----- To One in Paradise -----
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
----- A Dream within a Dream -----
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep—while I weep!
----- The Bells -----
Hear the tolling of the bells—
What a world of solemn thought their melody compels!...
Hear the loud alarum bells—
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
----- The Cask of Amontillado -----
"In there, Fortunado. The Cask of Amontillado is in there." [Maniacal laughter] "For the love of God." "I forced the last stone into position and plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For half-a-century no mortal has disturbed them." "Rest in peace, Fortunado. Requiescat in pace!"
----- The Tell-Tale Heart -----
"Louder. Louder. LOUDER... I admit the deed!—tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!
----- The Pit and the Pendulum -----
The vibration of the pendulum was at right angles to my length... It slowly descended, hissing... back and forth. Repeating its arc again and again.
----- The Fall of the House of Usher -----
As the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
----- The Raven -----
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming
----- A Paean -----
How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead,
That ever died so young?
----- A Dream within a Dream -----
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
----- Silence. — A Fable. -----
And mine eyes fell upon the countenance of the man, and his countenance was wan with terror. And, hurriedly, he raised his head from his hand, and stood forth upon the rock and listened. But there was no voice throughout the vast illimitable desert, and the characters upon the rock were SILENCE. And the man shuddered, and turned his face away, and fled afar off, in haste, so that I beheld him no more.
----- External Reading Links -----
To One in Paradise
A Dream within a Dream
A Descent into the Maelström
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Black Cat
The Cask of Amontillado
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Pit and the Pendulum
Silence. — A Fable.
A departure from from the standard Alien Worlds fare. This episode features neither Starlab nor the Starlab crew. Instead, it is "a mystical journey through a science fiction/fantasy adventure that explores the inter-galactic origins of spiritual evil, and how the inhabitants of the ancient planet of Alithia set out to neutralize that evil over 2,000 years ago." --- from the intro
With Lurene Tuttle.
— A prophesy from an ancient voice-book, as told to Deos (Alithia's most highly evolved divine scientist) —
A beautiful woman is blinded by visions of immortality and falls to sleep in a flower field.
A star machine floats down into the scented voids of Summer.
A child is born.
A healer of spirits walks across the deep currents of a faraway sea.
The suffering are comforted.
The dying are healed.
The dead are reborn.
The healer of spirits ascends to the stars.
Terralou sinks below the fiery horizon of an alien sun.
Faces look up.
The sky stands still.
An alien spacecraft crashes in the Himalayan Parallel one hundred kilometres south of Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Buddy, Jon and Maura are to ordered to cancel their vacation and investigate. They locate the spacecraft in an area of the Himalayas that for over six centuries has been haunted by things not of this dimension... invisible things that hide in the ice and light and wind.
The final step in a series of supra-light-speed experiments thrusts astrophysicist Thom Liu Ping, along with SET Captains Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff, into a civil war amongst the inhabitants of Sakusha—a planet in a parallel universe which is badly out of ion-balance. A return to their home universe is impossible as long as the war rages... so naturally, they lend a hand against the forces of evil.
A routine lunar mining operation uncovers the corroded hull of a one-thousand-year-old spaceship and the mummified remains of fifty humanoid aliens. The aliens were found scattered in grotesque positions around a four-foot tall gargoyle statue, their eyes and nervous systems turned into black crystal... the same black crystal from which the statue was made!
July 19, 2026. An explosion during a dangerous hydrogen-plasma experiment results in the destruction of the twin laboratory pods, Osiris and Anubis, the death of Dr Paul Kramer and the disappearance of Dr Maura Cassidy. SET Captains Graydon and Griff investigate... and discover an alien plot to destroy humanity and mine the vast hydrogen fields of Terra.
—The Keeper of Eight—
I live inside eternal mist,
Where children dream, and lips are kissed.
And wander ancient, starlit shores
That lead through misty, midnight doors.
I tinker with Time, I toy with Space,
I change the shape of Fortune's face.
Now you know why the Keeper of Eight
Has a name that rhymes with Fate.
The peace-loving, anti-military government of Terellia, with special permission from ISA, is conducting experimental-weapons research on Mars. Meanwhile, Major Ben Corbin and his squadron of Mirage-class Interceptors patrolling beyond the orbit of Jupiter, receive a powerful distress call claiming Earth has been attacked from Mars! Urgent calls to Earth and Starlab for confirmation receive no reply.
With Casey Kasem (Major Ben Corbin)
Professor Arthur Royce and astronomer-technicians Karen Stone and Karl Philips of Skylab's radio-telescope monitoring laboratory detect a stellar anomaly moving through the constellation Cygnus. SET captains Buddy Griff and Jon Graydon are sent to investigate and encounter an unknown alien life-form.
The circus comes to town! Librarian Ingrid Tassel and SET Captain Buddy Griff take a trip to the circus planet, Barnum 5, and explore Otto Starshine's Interplanetary Carnival of Thrilling Wonders. The return trip involves an unexpected stop-off on the lost world of Zanzibar Alpha...
Definitions from the Circus and Carny Lingo website:
Annie Oakley—a complimentary ticket or free pass.
Ballyhoo—a spotlight cue meaning to sweep the light across the spectators in a figure-8 pattern.
gaffer—a circus manager.
Jonah's luck—unusually bad weather or mud.
kinker—any circus performer (originally specific to acrobats).
Midway—in its broadest sense, the area where all the concessions, rides and shows are located in a circus.
Mitt Camp—a fortune telling booth.
razorback—the men who load and unload railroad cars.
roustabout—a circus workman, laborer.
There's a heavy clem coming down behind the mitt [?], involving a razorback, a joey, and a [spindlemanner], the clem is happening because they all have eyes for the same [sally]-kinker.
The discovery of an extremely rare mineral, glowstone, triggers a prospector-rush to the remote planet Kalimar. Until the ISA security fleet can set up a permanent base to combat the resulting lawlessness, a Space Exploration Team (SET) comprising Dr Maura Cassidy and Captains Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff, is sent to keep the planet under constant, 24-hour, surveillance. Meanwhile... the prospectors have discovered more than they bargained for...
With Peter Leeds (Travis Silverthorne).
The last survivors from both sides of an inter-planetary war arrive at Starlab—one seeking sanctuary from destruction by the other. But their stories are diametrically opposite and the available evidence is balanced. Who is telling the truth and who is lying?
April 28, 2026. The body of alien spore mutation specialist, Dr Richard Nicholson, is transported to Lethe, an artificial burial satellite for Earth's honoured dead. The caretaker, ex-con Simon Toddmaster, and his assistants Burke and Rachett eagerly await the arrival of Anne Nicholson, hoping she might be... persuaded... to reveal the location of her husband's hidden biological warfare tapes...
With Hans Conried (Simon Toddmaster), Joseph Secarri (Rachett) and George DiChenzo (Burke).
Returning from a routine patrol, SET Captains Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff discover a small UFO roughly nine cubic meters in size in the shape decahedron. It seems to be filled with a ionized gelatin which metamorphoses into a nitrogen plasma and back in 12-second intervals. Meanwhile, professor David Ballen, an old flame of Maura Cassidy, arrives on Starlab for a 3-month tour of duty.
A freighter shuttling classified scientific hardware to Timeon III for the development of a revolutionary new hyper-drive unit is hijacked by aliens from a distant galaxy. A security breech is suspected... Starlab is contacted... and Captains Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff investigate.
The Spectral Analysis Officer aboard the Arthur C. Clarke Astronomical Observatory (aka: Starlab), notices unusual sunspot activity on Sol. Radio-telescope interferometry indicates the problem is getting worse and is causing earthquakes, tidal waves and rapidly dropping temperatures on Earth. Unless something is done about it, a singularity resulting in the gravitational collapse of the sun is expected within 60 hours! Meanwhile, the mass proximity indicator suggests an invisible planet-sized mass within the orbit of Venus...
Maura Cassidy and Captains Graydon and Griff warp through to the planet Valaria to observe time machine demonstration, but a primary decoder malfunction in the Starsmith Parsec Accelerator leads to a short trip backwards through time.