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John Collier is always a delight -- funny, sarcastic, bonechilling. While this is one of his rarer books, it was worth the search and the price.


No Traveller Returns

John Collier

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Wilkinson is a professor of mathematics who feels that the abstract beauty of science must be founded on objective truth. In fact, he could imagine no ecstasy so exalted as the contemplation of a perfect balance only to be achieved after presiding inscrutably over a multitude of numbers and making lofty calculations. A dry old stick, to be sure.

Therefore, when Professor Wilkinson is flummoxed by the results of a perfect experiment, he decides to test his theory himself and, quivering with esthetic rapture (his discovery after all might be the salvation of a race), leaves hypothesizing behind to become a participant. His plans go awry, however, when he slips on a mathematical banana skin and is never seen again -- not in his world anyway.

The planet on which he finds himself is in a parallel dimension ruled by a group of scientists who have eliminated culture and destroyed all animals. The population lives on synthetic food which is supplemented by a little fresh butcher's meat trapped from other dimensions. In fact, immediately after his arrival the professor is placed in a moss-lined pen to be fatten up.

A fantasy seasoned with a strong element of science fiction, No Traveller Returns, is a grand and bone-chilling example of Collier's inimitable wit, irony, and imagination.

No Traveller Returns - cover

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