My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If a mysterious alien shows up on Earth one day, don’t disrespect him and piss him off.
That’s the moral of this story, where an American firefighting ace pilot happens to be there when an alien ambassador(?) tries to introduce himself to the Soviets. The alien’s destructive fit of pique is not limited to Russia, as he angrily flings meteoric rays at Earth.
Our firefighter must team up with a nerdy genius in order to figure out the alien tech and quickly come up with a way to combat it. Bravery and ingenuity will save the day… at least that part of the ‘day’ that remains to be saved.
Originally published in 1932, in Astounding Stories, this short piece is very much of its time – but is still fairly entertaining.
Read on a recommendation from my Post-Apocalyptic book club, as it was cited as a (very slight) inspiration for Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Hammer of God.’