Grim terror lurked in the void many light years from Earth. But Pinkham and his men were unaware of it—until suddenly they discovered—The Giants From Outer Space
--a tiny box which could be set to change any of nine thousand spoken languages into any one of the others--"and at that time my people had lost the secrets of space travel for approximately four thousand years, this means that I have been reclining on a planetoid here for at least 4,100 years. The probability is that it has been much longer. Unfortunately my time recorder has long since become inoperative."
He extended one of his four rib appendages and picked up a piece of carrot. "Naturally I was in a cataleptic state," he went on. "As you may know, in my race that means that all body processes are suspended in toto. There is no growth and no decay. Moth and rust do not corrupt, you might put it."
Pink frowned momentarily. There was a false note somewhere, but he couldn't put his finger on it. He tried to remember all he could about the dying race of Martians. What Ynohp was saying was correct, as nearly as he could recall, but ... he shrugged. My God! he thought, this critter's over
Well, the giants are in outer space and don't really go very far. Light years from Earth an exploratory ship detects life on an asteroid. Investigating, they find a human space-babe in suspended animation. Then a Martian in suspended animation. When they bring them on board, every machine stops working, the Martian disappears, and they find themselves fighting a creature that doesn't breathe, doesn't eat, and can be any shape or a vapor.
Everyone but the shipwrecked woman is male. Nice plotting, but some of the characters were a bit thin. A much better story than the title would suggest.
Quite an entertaining story. Well written, and a unique idea. I'd give it 4 stars if it weren't for some isolated instances of extremely objectionable language.
(1954) Sci-fi (Space Travel) / Adventure / Ancient Myths
From 'Imagination' May 1954.