Seven stories from 1945,50,51,56,63,67. Favorites:
“The Masquerade On Dicantropus” (1961) – A husband and wife team of prospectors checking out asteroids come across a planet where the natives are friendly until the team wants to explore a pyramid.
“Where Hesperus Fails” (1956) – Henry Revere is obsessed with committing suicide. His servants watch over him to make sure it doesn’t happen. He’s bored. Maybe that’s because he’s over ninety-six thousand years old. Finally he comes up with a perfect plan.
“The World Thinker” (1945 novelette) – Isabel May is a twenty-one year old fugitive. She has a secret code she got from her late father that could upset the entire financial system of Earth. She’s on the run from an assault charge and escape from prison. Captain Lanarck can avoid a court martial for insubordination if he tracks her down. He finds her trail leading to a planet with the huge entity Laoome. He’s a god who is going insane. He’s known as the Word Thinker because he imagines planets. He sent Isobel to one of his creations. Lanarck has to go there to try and bring her back.
“Chateau d’If” (aka/New Bodies For Old) (1950 novella) – Five friends are bored with their lives. They see an ad for a place called Chateay d’If that promises adventure. Prices run from ten thousand to ten million. They pool their money together and come up with eight thousand and one of them answers the ad. He was supposed to report to them about his experience but doesn’t show up. He’s spotted at an exclusive hotel with an exclusive woman. He says he doesn’t know them but pulls out a huge wad of cash and pays them back. The four decide to send another one to the Chateau. After being given a treatment he wakes up as….