The Gryb is a collection of six science fiction stories from the 1940s and early 1950’s culled from Van Vogt’s work in Astounding Science Fiction magazine, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and Planet Stories. All told, the quality of the works range from good to excellent.
“The Gryb” – Two men stranded on the surface of Europa struggle to survive on their way toward the nearest spaceport, only to find themselves hunted by the carnivorous and scale-armored beast known as the Gryb.
“Humans, Go Home” – Dav and Miliss, a human couple living on the planet Jana, have been assisting the primitive and violent population advance toward a more civilized society. However, they are eventually arrested by Prime Minister Jaer on the charge of cultural corruption. At the same time, the Janae king, Rocquel, returns from a year long absence and must convince the nobility that he is still capable of leading them toward the civilized age promoted by the humans, but can he save Dav and Miliss from execution… or is there a higher power at work?
“The Problem Professor” – Bob Merritt, member of the U.S. Spaceship Society, has been tasked with drumming up support for the cause of sending a man into space. His organization has the technology and personnel. What they require are letters of recommendation and funding from some of the country’s most prominent scientists and statesmen in order to convince the President to institute a space program. One such celebrity is Professor Hillier, eccentric and reclusive physicist. Another is a mildly interested Hollywood movie star. It doesn’t help that Bob’s wife views him as a failure for his inability to provide a luxurious living—which she might have had she remained with her first husband who made his fortune after they divorced.
“The Invisibility Gambit” – With intention to retire and raise a family, legendary space explorer and prospector Jim Rand take his final voyage on an Earthbound spaceship from the far end of the Milky Way. Soon after boarding, Rand encounters a familiar face and decides to take the man into his confidence, all the while being threatened by a group of thugs who have mistaken Rand for another famous adventurer, Artur Blord. However, prospects for increasing his fortune on the planet Zand might delay Rand’s retirement… but is he being unwittingly manipulated in that direction?
“Rebirth: Earth” – Aboard a WWII cargo plane, Squadron Leader Clair is shocked to find a stowaway on board, one who consistently escapes incarceration and speaks with knowledge of future events. The stowaway insists that Clair allow him to man one of the machine guns, else the cargo plane—and all hands—will be destroyed. To prove himself, the stranger surrenders a book published in what is now New York City, but will be renamed Nach Hitler unless Clair’s mission is successful in delivering its cargo, and the only way to assure that is to believe the impossible claims of this inscrutable stowaway…
“The Star Saint” – Aboard the Colonist 12 starship, engineer and leader-elect of the human colonists, Leonard Hanley is charged with investigating the inexplicable destruction of the human colony on a planet called Ariel. Assisting him in this matter is the enigmatic explorer known as Mark Rogan, an alien capable of traversing the galaxy without need of a vessel. Viewing Rogan as competition, Hanley insists on being the first to solve the mystery of the dead Ariel colony only to find himself in a near fatal battle of Man versus Nature.