I have been trying to locate an anthology of young-adult sci fi short stories that I read in primary school in the late '90s (I do not know when the book itself was published). I can only remember a few elements:

  1. A story featuring an astronaut working on the Moon, who is caught in a blast and discovers a blinded and disoriented person who is recovering from it. He has a long chat with this person, who (unaware his savior is a human) openly states that he and his fellow aliens are planning an invasion of Earth.

  2. A story involving a spacecraft getting caught in an event horizon. The story ends with people in another ship watching as the first ship undergoes spaghettification.

  3. A story involving a group of commandos (the leader of which is distinct by wearing black, and his 2IC in brown), attacking some large ground craft (with tank-like tread) and eventually taking it over. They then drive it to the enemy base pretending that the enemy side had won the engagement. One thing they did was lay out the bodies of dead commandos (along with fake-dead ones) on the front of the vehicle as they approached the base, to 'show the trophies' of the 'enemies' they'd killed, and once inside they leap up and begin attacking (a sort of Trojan Horse arrangement). The plan sort of works and a fierce fight breaks out; all the team are killed except their deputy leader; each of them (leader and 2IC) have a very powerful bomb (there are only two available), and the lone survivor uses his to detonate the base in a suicide run.

  4. A story of two people who get on a spacecraft or rocket that sends them to a planet filled with nature with no other humanoids. For some reason, water causes their tunics and other clothes to melt away. Their craft cannot be used anymore so they are stranded on this planet. It is then revealed that they are Adam and Eve.

The cover art of the one I was reading featured a large greyish land vehicle like the one described in 3. I remember there also being a lot of yellow used on the cover.

  • 6
    #4 makes me want to hurl; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_God_story
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 20:04
  • Lol! Well it was for young people, who are pretty easy to impress! Maybe it was a cutting edge idea at the time (though I doubt it) Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 20:06
  • In #2 where is the second ship whose passengers are watching the first ship get spaghettified? They must be in pretty bad shape too if light rays from the first ship are reaching them?
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 21:45
  • #3 sounds like a Hammers Slammers short story. But it might be part of a Bolo anthology.
    – StarPilot
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


Based on the description of the stories I would say this is a collection called Galactic Adventures (also published as Purnell's Book of Adventures in Space in the UK). The only story that is not familiar to me is the first one. All of the others appeared in the volume I mention. In particular the story about the commandos and the tank like vehicle would be called The Null Gravity Beam. These are the publisher's details...

I would say it was aimed at readers younger than the YA set as it was illustrated.

Galactic Adventures
Book cover

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Rand McNally; First edition. edition (1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0528823744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0528823749

Contents (from here):

  • Down, Down, Down
  • Return from Centauri
  • Mutiny
  • Marooned
  • Elixir of Youth
  • The Monsters
  • Catching Cold
  • The Children
  • Return of the Warriors
  • U.F.O.
  • The Enemies
  • The Null-gravity Beam
  • Pied Piper
  • Kid Gladiator
  • Queen of the Skies
  • The Bad Pilot
  • The Space Pirates
  • Superstar
  • The Scarlet Slime
  • Day of the Dinosaurs
  • I picked up a copy of the book. "The Null-gravity Beam" does match. None of the other three do.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 16:07
  • That's interesting, and sorry to hear its not an exact match. Its possible that The Null Gravity Beam was compiled in two separate volumes I suppose. I think the last story you describe is actually a conflation of two or more from this volume. The ending sounds very similar to The Children.
    – skyjack
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 7:27
  • I notice that this volume of books has been asked about before and that it had a different title in the US to the US. I was not aware of this until just now. It was called Purnell's Book of Space Adventures in the UK. I can't find a contents list online sadly.
    – skyjack
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 7:34
  • I actually edited that link in for ISFDB. And I checked out a copy of the US version and I've verified identical contents between the two of them.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 9:58
  • Well, thats interesting to know. Sorry it turned out to be wild goose chase for you. If you do find the exact volume you are looking for I'd be interested to know what it is.
    – skyjack
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 22:01

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