Book I read in the early 1970s about a group of scientists who invent or discover a material that allows dead people to be brought back to life, but is toxic to living beings. They use it to bring back famous dead scientists, including Madame Curie (I think). The restored scientists have to stay in an area made up of the poisonous substance. They have to contain the area of the substance by spraying the perimeter with acid to keep it from expanding.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you remember what the cover of the book looked like? Where did you read it? (U.K., U.S., etc.)
    – DavidW
    May 16 at 2:21
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    That sounds tantalizingly familiar... I just can't quite place it. As DavidW notes, you can edit more details in. You can find more prompts here
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 16 at 2:44
  • Just for disambiguation - someone else who stumbles on this may instead by looking for Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space May 17 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Giants From Eternity (1959) by Manly Wade Wellman...?

From a review:

The story begins when a meteor touches down at sunset on the Shanklin family farm in western Kansas. The event hardly registers with people, but this meteor has brought with it a passenger– a deadly and world-threatening form of extraterrestrial life known as the blight


Nothing seems capable of stopping the spread of the deadly extraterrestrial entity: not fire, nor chemicals, nor barriers; the blight consumes all. Its growth threatens to destroy not only the state of Kansas, but all life on Earth. Humanity sees its own end within a short number of years, creeping at a rate of inches an hour.

The blight draws the attention of a brilliant young researcher named Oliver Norfleet, who travels to the infected zone with his colleague Spencer DuPogue to investigate firsthand. Norfleet is a natural genius, and runs his own research lab with modest funds from his father’s legacy. At this research lab he studies, among other things, the nature and origin of life itself.

Norfleet in turn catches the attention of Caris Bridge, who represents a rather interesting organization


With the support of Caris and the “Board of Science”, Norfleet designs a pair of boots which are resistant to the blight and allow him to travel into its very heart to investigate. He narrowly escapes with his life, as the blight is much more alive, even aware, at its heart. He manages to bring back with him a piece of that heart, however, and days later they make a remarkable discovery: the concentrated life force the heart contains can be used to resurrect the dead, even the long dead, in full health with their memories intact up to the point of their original dissolution!

From this, Norfleet hatches a rather desperate plan: to bring back to life the greatest scientific minds in history to help find a cure for the problem of the blight! Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton (recommended by Darwin), Thomas Edison, and Marie Curie are enlisted to lead the fight against this alien invader.


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