by Jack Williamson
first published in the pages of Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1940
short story

A brilliant inventor helps a space pirate wage war on the inventor’s college buddies as the last stop before conquering Earth. But overclocking one’s prediction-oriented battle computer may have unforeseen repercussions.

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by Eric Frank Russell
first published in the pages of Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1955
short story

A surprise inspection cuts short shore leave for the tired crew of an interstellar warship. The hull must be painted, the decks scrubbed, and literally every item on board inventoried.

But a mystery item appears on the checklist and no one aboard can identify it, much less put their hands on it.

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by Isaac Asimov
first published in the pages of Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1951

In the midst of an interstellar war with an alien race, a merchant ship is boarded. It’s up to six civilian passengers to retake the vessel before it can be returned to the alien home world.

Unfortunately, personalities come into play and threaten to ruin what little hope they have left.

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The Only Thing We Learn

by C.M. Kornbluth
first published in the pages of Startling Stories, July 1949
short story

A military academy’s professor of “archaeo-literature” sets his students straight on the truth of their Empire’s history while meanwhile in the past that history plays out.

It’s a blend of listening to a lecture and watching dots move across a radar screen that isn’t boring like I just made it sound.

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