I’ve always had a soft spot for CLIFFORD SIMAK, and not just because he is one of the greats of the Golden Era of Science Fiction, and because he was the third person to achieve “Grand Master” status from the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America).
He’s special to me because he spent much of his life working as a hard-core, nose-to-the-grindstone newspaper reporter in Minnesota – and I also spent several years doing the same.
I also went to college at Winona State University, which is just across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin and fairly near Simak’s birthplace of Millville, Wisconsin. Many of his works are set in this rural, pastoral Wisconsin environment, which is a land of graceful bluffs, rolling hills, deciduous greenery and granite outcroppings.
What’s astounding about this free ebook selection, HELLHOUNDS OF THE COSMOS, is that it was published in 1932. Once you read it you’ll see why I select the word astounding. It’s the story of an inter-dimensional invasion by an alien species – but the “hellhounds” turn out not to be extraterrestrials – but rather, earth creatures from an unimaginably distant past -- and another plain of existence!
I mean, how many other writers from small towns in Wisconsin were envisioning scenarios like that, much less finding the talent and moxie to pull off a story that was accessible to a mass audience? At the time Simak published this piece, he was working at at the Brainerd Dispatch, a newspaper in central Minnesota lakes country.
Reading this story gives one that fun feeling of watching an old black-and-white science fiction movie of the 1950s, except it’s more intelligent and demands that the reader expand his or her mind to grasp the concept —and the entertainment – of the plot and premise.
One of the things I really like about this piece is the vividly accurate picture Simak creates of a hustling-bustling olf-fashioned newsroom environment with editors and reporters working in a state sleep-deprived frenzy to deliver that big stop-the-presses! story to their readers.
Hellhounds of the Cosmos is a free ebook download from a variety of location, such as Amazon.com and here: HELLHOUNDS
For More Inter-Dimensional Adventures Of The Real-Life And True Kind, Go To: THE STRANGE UNIVERSE OF DR. 58