The Wanderer inspires feelings of pure terror in the hearts of the five billion human being inhabiting planet earth. The presence of the alien planet causes increasingly severe tragedies and chaos. However, one man stands apart from the mass of frightened humanity. For him, the legendary Wanderer is a mere tale of bizarre alien domination and human submission. His conception of the Wanderer bleeds into unrequited love for the mysterious 'she' who owns him. Join sci-fi master Fritz Leiber, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, as he concocts a powerful allegorical novel that pierces to the heart of the human condition.
"For anyone who loves great literature, Fritz Leiber walked on water."
- ' Harlan Ellison
"...one of the best, richest, and most inventive of disaster novels...conclusively influential..."
- ' Tales of the Unanticipated
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October 01, 2000
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Excerpt from The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber
Some stories of terror and the supernormal start with a moonlit face at a diamond-paned window, or an old document in spidery handwriting, or the baying of a hound across lonely moors. But this one began with an eclipse of the moon and with four glisteningly new astronomical photographs, each showing starfields and a planetary object. Only... something had happened to the stars.
The oldest of the photographs was only seven days out of the developer at the time of the eclipse. They came from three widely separated observatories and one came from a telescope on a satellite. They were the star-graven runes of purest science, at the opposite extreme from matters of superstition, yet each photograph struck a twinge of uneasiness in the young scientist first to see it.
As he looked at the black dots that should have been there... and at the faint black curlicues that shouldn't... he felt the barest touch of a strangeness that for a moment made him kin to the caveman and the devil-worshipper and the witch-haunted Middle Ages.
Passing along priority channels, the four photographs came together at the Los Angeles Area Headquarters of the Moon Project of the U.S. Space Force -- the American Moon Project that was barely abreast of the Russian one, and far behind the Soviet Mars Project. And so at Moon Project U.S. the sense of strangeness and unease was sharpest, though expressed in sardonic laughter and a bouncy imaginativeness, as is the way with scientists faced with the weird.
In the end the four photographs -- or rather, what they heralded -- starkly affected every human being on Earth, every atom of our planet. They opened deep fissures in the human soul.