Islands of Space is a science fiction novel by John W Campbell Jr., first published in 1930.
The second book - and first full-length novel - featuring Arcot, Wade & Morey, the Three Gadgeteers of space science. Following the repulsion of the invading Black Star, the threesome put together a faster-than-light spaceship, and find: The fugitive planets of the Black Star; A frozen cemetery-world of a lost race; And a knock-down, drag-out interplanetary war in another galaxy.
The sequel to Campbell’s ‘The Black Star Passes’ sees our four strapping heroes; Wade – the muscle-bound chef; Arcot - ‘the world’s greatest living physicist’; Morey – ‘his brilliant mathematical assistant’ and Fuller, the design engineer (not, as P Schuyler Miller seems to believe, the computer) building – on a whim – an intergalactic ship and setting off on a joyride across the Universe.
This is the middle book of a trilogy with the same characters. It picks up from the end of The Black Star Passes and is followed by Invaders From The Infinite.
Original back-cover text:
In the early part of the Twenty-second Century the Ancient Mariner, the first practical interstellar ship, starts on a trip to infinity. The Solar System has long since been explored, and flights to the other planets are no longer a novelty. But the vast distance between the stars has made travel beyond Pluto impossible – until Dr. Richard Arcot discovers the means of faster-than-light travel.
Four men, reputedly the most brilliant scientists on Earth, under the leadership of Dr. Arcot, make up the crew of the Ancient Mariner. And these four embark on one of the most fascinating cruises ever described in fiction – a tour of the incredible vastness of intergalatic space. They travel from island universe to island universe, visiting some of the strangest worlds ever imagined. They have worked out a most ingenious and logical means of charting a course among the islands of space – and of finding their way home – but inevitably they overlook one factor, and they become lost in appalling emptiness, so far from home that our universe has shrunk to a mere point o flight, lost among myriads of similar ”stars”.
In their efforts to get help bthey land on several planets, seeking a race sufficiently advanced to have chartered the heavens – and thier real adventure begins.
John W. Campbell Jr., author of such famous science fiction as ”The Moon Is Hell” and ”Who Goes There?”, has written a tale with the sweep and gusto, the sense of wonder absent in much science fiction. It will be enjoyed by most readers of speculative tales, both young and old and the multitude who are neither.
John W Campbell Jr., (1910-1971) was an American science fiction writer and editor. As editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) from late 1937 until his death, he is generally credited with shaping the so-called Golden Age of Science Fiction.