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Cover – Spacehounds of IPC by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith

Spacehounds of IPC by Edward E. Smith

When a space liner is crippled and hijacked by aliens, two survivors of the attack make their way to Ganymede where they set up a base to regain their freedom. This results in an interplanetary war.

Book Details

Book Details

Spacehounds of IPC (1931) – When a space liner is crippled and hijacked by aliens, two survivors of the attack make their way to Ganymede where they set up a base to regain their freedom. This results in an interplanetary war.

Spacehounds of IPC
Chapter I The IPV Arcturus Sets Out for Mars
Chapter II —But Does Not Arrive
Chapter III Castaways Upon Ganymede
Chapter IV Ganymedean Life

Part II
Chapter V Cantrell’s Comet
Chapter VI A Frigid Civilization
Chapter VII The Return to Ganymede
Chapter VIII Callisto to the Rescue

Part III
Chapter IX The Sirius Takes a Hand
Chapter X Among Friends at Last
Chapter XI The Vorkul-Hexan War
Chapter XII The Citadel in Space
Chapter XIII Spacehounds Triumphant

Edward Elmer Smith (1890-1965) was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin but moved to Spokane, Washington as a baby. He attended the University of Idaho and earned two degrees in Chemical Engineering. Afterwards he moved to Washington, D.C. where he became a Junior Chemist for the National Bureau of Standards, developing standards for butter and for oysters. Smith is known as “the father of space opera.”

Spacehounds of IPC was published in three parts in Amazing Stories in 1931. It was illustrated by WESSO. Spacehounds of IPC has 3 illustrations.

AS1931 08 Spacehounds of IPC by Edward E. Smith
Amazing Stories – August, 1931


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Excerpt: Spacehounds of IPC

Chapter I

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 a large and complicated calculating machine and had set to work without a wasted motion or instant—scaling off upon the model the positions of the various check-stations and setting up long and involved integrals and equations upon the calculator.

The older man studied the broad back of the younger, bent over his computations, and a tender, almost fatherly smile came over his careworn face as he replied:

“Early? You? Just like you always were—plus fifteen seconds on the deadline. The final dope is due right now.” He plugged the automatic recorder and speaker into a circuit marked “Observatory,” waited until a tiny light above the plug flashed green, and spoke.

“IPV Arcturus; Breckenridge, Chief Pilot; trip number forty-three twenty-nine. Ready for final supplementary route and flight data, Tellus to Mars.”

“Meteoric swarms still too numerous for safe travel along the scheduled route,” came promptly from the speaker. “You must stay further away from the plane of the ecliptic. The ether will be clear for you along route E2-P6-W41-K3-R19-S7-M14. You will hold a constant acceleration of 981.27 centimeters between initial and final check stations. Your take-off will be practically unobstructed, but you will have to use the utmost caution in landing upon Mars, because in order to avoid a weightless detour and a loss of thirty-one minutes, you must pass very close to both the Martian satellites. To do so safely you must pass the last meteorological station, M14, on schedule time plus or minus five seconds, at scheduled velocity plus or minus ten meters, with exactly the given negative acceleration of 981.27 centimeters, and exactly upon the pilot ray M14 will have set for you.”

“All x.” Breckenridge studied his triplex chronometer intently, then unplugged and glanced around the control room, in various parts of which half a dozen assistants were loafing at their stations.

“Control and power check-out—Hipe!” he barked. “Driving converters and projectors!”

The first assistant scanned his meters narrowly as he swung a multi-point switch in a flashing arc. “Converter efficiency 100, projector reactivity 100; on each of numbers one to forty-five inclusive. All x.”

“Dirigible projectors!”

TWO more gleaming switches leaped from point to point. “Converter efficiency 100, projector reactivity 100, dirigibility 100, on each of numbers one to thirty-two, inclusive, of upper band; and numbers one to thirty-two, inclusive, of lower band. All x.”


“35,000. Drivers in equilibrium at ten degrees plus. All x.”

“Upper lights and lookout plates!”

The second assistant was galvanized into activity, and upon a screen before him there appeared a view as though he were looking directly upward from the prow of the great vessel. The air above them was full of aircraft of all shapes and sizes, and occasionally the image of one of that flying horde flared into violet splendor upon the screen as it was caught in the mighty, roving-beam of one of the twelve ultra-light projectors under test.

“Upper lights and lookout plates—all x,” the second assistant reported, and other assistants came to attention as the check-out went on.

“Lower lights and lookout plates!”

“All x,” was the report, after each of the twelve ultra-lights of the stern had swung around in its supporting brackets, illuminating every recess of the dark depths of the bottom well of the berth and throwing the picture upon another screen in lurid violet relief.

“Lateral and vertical detectors!”

“Laterals XP2710—all x. Verticals AJ4290—all x.”


“15,270 kilofranks—all x.”


“700,000 kilofrank-hours—all x.”

Having thus checked and tested every function of his department, Breckenridge plugged into “Captain,” and when the green light went on:

“Chief pilot check-out—all x,” he reported briefly. “All x,” acknowledged the speaker, and the chief pilot unplugged. Fifteen minutes remained, during which time one department head after another would report to the captain of the liner that everything in his charge was ready for the stupendous flight.

Excerpt From: Edward E. Smith. “Spacehounds of IPC.”

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