During the late 1970's and early 1980's Scholastic would publish and sell books at elementary schools and I picked one up which had 8-10 stories inside which were all fantasy or sci-fi in nature. The cover was black and white with lot of yellow on it. The first story I remember is this:

A space ship, illustrated as a saucer, had landed and the crew went to explore the landscape. The vegetation was crystal by nature and there were creatures that resided in the crystal landscape that attacked the crew. The creatures may have been spider like in look. The crew I believe used laser pistols to destroy the creatures as they retreated back to their ship. How it ended, I do not remember. But the battle was vivid and there were several illustrations to go along with the story.

A second story which may have been in the same book is this:

A man goes into a an all you can eat buffet and orders. He spends his time eating through breakfast, then moves into lunch. The owner of the restaurant soon starts to wonder and questions the man about his appetite. The man fills his plates high with food and when dinner comes around, the man is still eating. The owner is upset and complains that even though it said "all you can eat", it does not mean, "all you can" and the man must stop. I believe the man then explains that he is not from here, and that the food he eats is actually being transported across a vast distance to his home world where there is no more food and this food he is eating is saving that world. The story ends which the man leaving the restaurant in search of another all you can eat buffet. This story was illustrated in black and white and I believe showed a downward view of the restaurant with a large "all you can eat" sign. Another illustration was either of him with a huge pile of food on a plate or with him going to the buffet with a waitress gawking at him.

That's all I have folks, it was a elementary / young adult style book. Lots of illustrations in black and white. Published in the late '70's or early '80's. Does anyone have a clue what this book was called, it's been bugging me for years.

  • 3
    Scholastic was selling books at schools at least as far back as the 60s. Loved those book sales. Apr 6, 2021 at 2:54
  • 1
    While not the answer you are looking for, other folks might be looking here for Alan Dean Foster's 1985 novel Sentenced to Prism Apr 6, 2021 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


The first story you mentioned might be The Music of Minox by Howard Goldsmith. It was published within the More Science Fiction Tales: Crystal Creatures, Bird-Things & Other Weirdies anthology in 1974.

The cover has a black background, with a fair bit of yellow in the middle and lower half, and the title written in white letters near the top. The stories are also accompanied by black & white artwork.

Here's a very brief summary of the particular story in question:

The Music of Minox (Howard Goldsmith) finds an interplanetary mining camp attacked by aliens monsters resembling crystalline porcupines that emit harp-like sounds.

One of the black & white drawings depicts the human miners carrying firearms and retreating onto a spacecraft, with the crystal creatures (which do vaguely resemble spiders) in pursuit.

A comicbook adaptation of this story appeared in Starstream: Adventures in Science Fiction #1 in 1976, with the plot closely matching your description. You can view some pages from the comicbook version here.

The second story you mentioned sounds like All You Can Eat by Audrey L. Bilker and Harvey L. Bilker. It was first published within the Children of Infinity anthology in 1973.

Here's an excerpt from a review:

In the story the unnamed protagonist selects a rather nice New York restaurant that offers an "all you can eat" special and then proceeds to eat everything on the menu and then some. As an aside, it is an indicator of the age of the story that the "all you can eat" option only costs $4.95 for a menu that is said to include (among other things) lobster, shrimp, escargot, frog's legs, escargot, and orange duck. As the story progresses the alien continues to eat prodigious amounts of food, to the dismay of the establishment's other customers and eventually the restaurant owner himself. Eventually the alien reveals that he hails from a distant planet that has been wrecked by pollution, and now its inhabitants have to send agents across the galaxy to consume and "kinergize" food back to their starving population.

  • 2
    I wish I could up vote and accept the answer twice. Not only did you find the one story but you found both and they were in two different books. Outstanding and thank you! The illustrations you found for the crystal creatures are exactly what I remember from way back in the day. Thank you!
    – Chris
    Apr 6, 2021 at 3:54
  • Escargot, frog's legs, and escargot? Now that's fancy. (I realize that's a direct quote from the review and not your error, was it also a quote from the story itself?) Apr 6, 2021 at 20:47
  • @Darrel Hoffman - Couldn't tell you. I don't own the book the story was published in, and wasn't able to find a preview of it. Apr 7, 2021 at 0:39

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