Spacehounds of IPC

E. E. 'Doc' Smith
Spacehounds of IPC, by Edward
Elmer Smith

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Title: Spacehounds of IPC
Author: Edward Elmer Smith
Release Date: March 20, 2007 [EBook #20857]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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Beginning a thrilling New Serial of Interplanetary Life and Travel by
Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.
Author of "Skylark of Space" and "Skylark Three"

Spacehounds of IPC
A good many of us, who are now certain beyond a doubt that space
travel will forever remain in the realm of the impossible, probably
would, if a rocket that were shot to the moon, for instance, did arrive,
and perhaps return to give proof of its safe arrival on our satellite,
accept the phenomenon in a perfectly blasé, twentieth century manner.
Dr. Smith, that phenomenal writer of classic scientific fiction, seems to
have become so thoroughly convinced of the advent of interplanetary
travel that it is difficult for the reader to feel, after finishing
"Spacehounds of IPC," that travel in the great spaces is not already an
established fact. Dr. Smith, as a professional chemist, is kept fairly
busy. As a writer, he is satisfied with nothing less than perfection. For
that reason, a masterpiece from his pen has become almost an annual
event. We know you will like "Spacehounds" even better than the
"Skylark" series.
Illustrated by WESSO
The IPV Arcturus Sets Out for Mars
A narrow football of steel, the Interplanetary Vessel Arcturus stood
upright in her berth in the dock like an egg in its cup. A hundred feet
across and a hundred and seventy feet deep was that gigantic bowl, its
walls supported by the structural steel and concrete of the dock and
lined with hard-packed bumper-layers of hemp and fibre. High into the
air extended the upper half of the ship of space--a sullen gray expanse
of fifty-inch hardened steel armor, curving smoothly upward to a
needle prow. Countless hundred of fine vertical scratches marred every
inch of her surface, and here and there the stubborn metal was grooved
and scored to a depth of inches--each scratch and score the record of an
attempt of some wandering cosmic body to argue the right-of-way with
the stupendous mass of that man-made cruiser of the void.

A burly young man made his way through the throng about the
entrance, nodded unconcernedly to the gatekeeper, and joined the
stream of passengers flowing through the triple doors of the double
air-lock and down a corridor to the center of the vessel. However,
instead of entering one of the elevators which were whisking the
passengers up to their staterooms in the upper half of the enormous
football, he in some way caused an opening to appear in an apparently
blank steel wall and stepped through it into the control room.
"Hi, Breck!" the burly one called, as he strode up to the
instrument-desk of the chief pilot and tossed his bag carelessly into a
corner. "Behold your computer in the flesh! What's all this howl and
fuss about poor computation?"
"Hello, Steve!" The chief pilot smiled as he shook hands cordially.
"Glad to see you again--but don't try to kid the old man. I'm simple
enough to believe almost anything, but some things just aren't being
done. We have been yelling, and yelling hard, for trained computers
ever since they started riding us about every one centimeter change in
acceleration, but I know that you're no more an I-P computer than I am
a Digger Indian. They don't shoot sparrows with coast-defense guns!"
"Thanks for the compliment, Breck, but I'm your computer for this trip,
anyway. Newton, the good old egg, knows what you fellows are up
against and is going to do something about it, if he has to lick all the
rest of the directors to do it. He knew that I was loose for a couple of
weeks and asked me to come along this trip to see what I could see. I'm
to check the observatory data--they don't know I'm aboard--take the
peaks and valleys off your acceleration curve, if possible, and report to
Newton just what I find out and what I think should be done about it.
How early am I?" While the newcomer was talking, he had stripped the
covers from a precise scale model of the solar system and from
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