I am looking for a not particularly outstanding old horror science fiction story about a monster or monsters attacking the first expedition to Venus. My main memory is one particular detail.

I bought & read a few old science fiction magazines from the 1950s and 60s that were not genre leaders like Analog, Galaxy, Fantasy and Science Fiction, etc. but were more second level with lesser quality stories.

One of those was the June 1959 issue of Super-Science Stories, since I remember 2 stories from that issue, "Beasts of Nightmare Horror" and "The Day the Monsters Got loose", both by Robert Silverberg.


Another was the November 1958 issue of Infinity which I remember because of the stories "Spacerogue", "Ozymandius", and "There Was an Old Woman", by Robert Silverberg.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?187645 2

And there were several other issues in that batch and I don't remember which issues or which of the many science fiction magazines of that era they were.

Anyway, it was a horror story about the first manned expedition to Venus. Since Venus was habitable it should have been published before the results of the Mariner probe in 1962 but if the writer and editor were careless it could have been published later.

I think I remember a scene where a crewman was being transformed into a monster and begging to be killed.

But the one scene that I remember clearly from the story is that the first victim was patrolling around the grounded spaceship at night when attacked - no watching security camera footage from inside the ship on that expedition. And he was described as an experienced soldier, a veteran of World War Four.

World War Four!

I couldn't help thinking that despite the terrible things that happened to the victims in the story, the most horrifying aspect was that casual mention of World War Four. I couldn't help wondering how many millions, or possibly billions, were killed in World War Three and World War Four.

And I couldn't help thinking that despite the weird biology of the monster and Venus being habitable, the most implausible aspect of the story was civilization recovering from World War Four fast enough for the first expedition to Venus to include a veteran of World War Four.

So can anyone identify that story?

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