Unable to exceed the speed of light, he found ways around the law of nature, twisting space and time to his bidding. But the lure of FTL speeds could would not be forgotten . . . and the crew of the Flying Cloud—castsoffs from the great civilizations of the galaxy—found themselves breaking through the barriers of the past to discover new worlds—worlds from which they could never return!
Practical, hard-headed Grimes is not the sort to believe in ghosts. But he's willing to give psychics a chance when shapely Sonya Verrill, a commander in the Federation Survey Service, proposes a ghost-hunting expedition in the sector around Kinsolving's Planet. Out where the fabric of space wears thin, ships have encountered Rim Ghosts—apparitions of craft and crewmates from alternate universes. When Grimes organizes a séance to make contact, their ship is yanked Into the Alternate Universe, and their only hope of getting home again may lie in a lost relic—a sleeper ship from the first age of space exploration.
They drift out to the Rim Worlds—the misfits, the failures and the rebels. They make their tortuous ways out to the very edge of the Galaxy—the malcontents, the round pegs who, even here, are foredoomed to the discovery of an infinitude of square holes. And from all Space they come—the displaced persons.
From all Space—and (for the skin of the expanding Galaxy is stretched, in every dimension, to the utmost flimsiness)—from all Space-Time.
Grimes and Sonya embark on a wholly different adventure: marriage. But running their own little shipping company takes a back seat to danger when a distress call leads the pair to an alien ship from an alternate universe—a ship carrying Contraband from Otherspace— mutant rats who evolved to rule their universe...and threaten to breakthrough to ours.
The air was alive with the vicious buzzing of the stunguns. The smuggler was frozen in his squatting posture, paralyzed, unable to stir so much as a finger. But the robot moved. Its drive unit hammered shockingly and unrhythmically and it shot straight upwards. Beams from hastily switched on police searchlights swept the sky like the antennae of disturbed insects—then caught it, held it, a tiny bright star in a firmament that had never known any stars. At least four machine rifles were hammering, and an incandescent tracer arched upwards with deceptive slowness.
The lieutenant had drawn his laser pistol and the purple beam slashed across the darkness, power-wasting and desperate. Some hapless night-flying creature caught by the sword of lethal light exploded smokily.
It might have been the machine rifles that found their mark, it might have been the laser pistol. Nobody ever knew. But the broken beat of the inertial drive ceased abruptly and the robot was falling, faster and faster . . .
Dragons Fairies Frog Princes In a John Grimes Rim Adventure Strange things happen out where the stellar medium grows thin, out where it is difficult to say if you remain within the galaxy or you're falling through the intergalactic void. Anything can happen—anything at all.
"When Kinsolving's Planet crosses your path, beware!"
Commodore John Grimes would have done well to heed this warning. But the evil magic of Kinsolving draws him on, pulling him on a journey through the universes. Is Grimes a swiftly fading literary ghost, doomed to disappearance for the inadvertent theft of a meerschaum pipe Or, is he a flesh and blood Commodore, sailing the spaceways from world to world, enjoying dangerous voyages to momentary safe ports
It does not matter what role is the "true John Grimes" for none can protect him from the grasp of Kinsolving's Planet, an abandoned colony which reaches out for man, for the target, John Grimes, who is inexorably sucked toward his final destiny. . . .
Lost in space . . . lost in time. There can be no more terrifying situation for any spaceman to be in, and such was the problem when Commodore Grimes' Faraway Quest broke free from the mysterious Kinsolving's Planet.
Because the universe was vast and they had been out beyond the Galactic Lens. Because time is infinite and they had slipped beyond their own epoch. Because in whatever universe they were in they could raise no etheric word, no telepathic beacon, no other star vessel.
But for John Grimes, a veritable Commodore Hornblower of the future space seas, there had to be a way back. The first step was to locate Earth, the launching place for all humanity.
But Earth turned out to be legend and myth and faith—and Grimes' rebellious crew were to enact roles already fabled before they were all born.