My god, it's full of Stars
January 13, 2008 6:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a series of hardback science fiction anthologies I dimly remember from childhood (sometime in the mid 80s). I think it had a one word title with a number, and the series went up to at least number five. I remember two stories in particular...

In one a childs home starmaking experiment goes wrong when he puts too much matter into his simulated universe, creating a spinning cylindrical black hole which escapes and destroys the earth.

In another two creatures, essentially sentient stars, play a game in which they throw their cores at each other. The cores are of different colors, and the color difference is analogous to a gender difference. In the end the "male" star impregnates the "female" star but loses it's core. As a dying act it creates life on an earth like planet and then flings the planet out into space.

Any ideas?
posted by Artw to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Though I got them from a school library in the mid 80s there is of course a fair chance they were older. I remember them as having thick bord covers and fairly simple two colour design on the covers. This would have been in the UK, though for some reason I;ve got an idea the books were American, or predominantly American authors.
posted by Artw at 6:34 PM on January 13, 2008

Was it one of these? Orbit, Universe, Shadows, Continuum, or Nova - the books were titled Orbit 1, Orbit 2, Universe 1, Universe 2 and so on.
posted by iconomy at 8:16 PM on January 13, 2008

The first story you described is "Bobo's Star" by Glenn Chandler. I originally read it in a collection called (rather aptly) "Science Fiction Stories". I think this is it. My cover is much different, but it lists some of the same authors in the description. I'm sure it was probably included in a number of other collections. I hope the story title and author helps to track your series down. Good luck!
posted by XcentricOrbit at 8:28 PM on January 13, 2008

Best answer: And had I looked just a little further...

The series you're in search of seems to be Space. "Bobo's Star" was in Space 5. No luck on Amazon with an ISBN search, unfortunately.
posted by XcentricOrbit at 8:37 PM on January 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I need to slow down tonight! No luck on Amazon's main site... but there was an Amazon UK link at the top of that Diverse Books page. Obviously OOP, but used copies were available relatively cheap.
posted by XcentricOrbit at 8:41 PM on January 13, 2008

Response by poster: Nice work! That's definately it. It looks like Science Fiction Stories is in google books as well.

I'm not able to identify the second story in the other anthologies though - either it's hiding under a generic title or it was actually in another similar anthology. Any ideas?
posted by Artw at 8:50 PM on January 13, 2008

I definitely remember the second story, one of the first pieces of science fiction I ever read. I had it in a two-in-one book, where you flipped the book over and read in the other direction for the other story. The other story was about a modern man who stumbles into Valhalla, I think because his plane runs into a big storm somewhere above the Arctic Circle.

I'm going to add some more details about the second story Artw asks about, in case I can jog anyone else's memories or enhance some Google-Fu:

- The young star-creatures also play games where they create larger and larger solar systems, flinging planets into orbits without causing the whole thing to collapse... like a very large scale game of Jenga.

- There is a star-creature named Oldster, who learned the secret of mating (that it is deadly for the males) and is therefore effectively immortal, and very bored and depressed, having neither the will to live nor the courage to mate and die.

- They can pop in and out of various dimensions, or "bands" I think they are called, like a 2-dimensional place, a completely dark place, and a special band for the mating ritual.

- One of the star creatures absorbs an unprecendented amount of energy by eating a whole lot of stars, and then sets out to cross "the darkness", which I guess is intergalactic space. I can't remember if he makes it...

I would LOVE to read it again, as obviously it left quite an impression on me as a little kid. Anyone know the name, or where I might track down a copy?
posted by allen8219 at 1:35 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Aha! With those extra details I managed to google it...

"Into the Darkness" by Ross Rocklynne

I don't see it in any anthologies that I recognise though.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on January 14, 2008

Yes! That's definitely it Artw! Wow, I would not have guessed it was written so long ago, that's very cool.

I think it's in this anthology available used on Amazon: link
They say that they can send a cover scan of the issue upon request, so you may be able to figure out if it's the one you want.

I am going to be nice to my bank account and not buy it, but please enjoy :)
posted by allen8219 at 2:52 PM on January 14, 2008

Response by poster: I would have guessed 70s as well.

There appear to be a series of stories set in the same universe grouped together as The Sun Destroyers, which is out of print but at least it could be bought via amazon or ebay at a reasonable price.

That's not where I read it though - I've a definate memory of it being in something chunky and of the same format as the Space books.
posted by Artw at 2:56 PM on January 14, 2008

Oh, ok... I read it in the form you linked to on Amazon. I had kind of forgotten that it was several different stories together. I loved how they made the book so that you flipped it over and upside down to read the other novel, that should happen more these days!
Hmm, $7.20 at Amazon, pretty tempting piece of nostalgia for me there...
posted by allen8219 at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2008

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