There is no shortage of wondrous Utopian future worlds in science-fiction novels, but it is often the more dangerous worlds that make for the most action packed stories. This is why there is no shortage of novels that are set in post apocalyptic worlds. However, some authors are particularly imaginative when it comes to creating dangerous worlds for their protagonists to brave. You don’t have to look very far to find some good examples either, as there are plenty of free sci-fi ebooks that feature some very dangerous settings. Here are just a few of the most dangerous worlds that authors have come up with over the years.
by Murray Leinster
The title of this 1920 novel by Murray Leinster is a pretty dead giveaway that things are probably not going to be a picnic for the heroes. In this case, the dangerous world is actually Earth, but at some point in the far future. Instead of the flora and fauna of the planet being wiped out by mankind, it is humans who find themselves on the endangered species list after increased carbon dioxide levels begin to change the ecology. This means that while mankind has regressed back to almost prehistoric levels, everything else on the planet is thriving, including the insects, spiders and other dangers that have grown to enormous sizes.
by Harry Harrison
Once again, the title of this 1960 novel by Harry Harrison leaves no doubt about what type of world its heroes have to deal with. Humanity has settled in some of the harshest environments of our planet, but nothing on Earth could ever come close to Pyrrus, the deadliest world ever colonized by humans. Pyrrus is an extreme hostile planet with severe weather, massive tides, high levels of radiation, frequent earthquakes and also volcanic eruptions. In addition, the planet is occupied by animals that are large enough to destroy vehicles or small enough to attack with neurotic venom. Even the microorganisms on Pyrrus are as deadly as acid when they come into contact with tissue that isn’t protected enough.
by Jack Douglas
Dead World by Jack Douglas might not feature a very long story, but it is certainly set on a very inhospitable world. Nova-Maurania wasn’t always a cold and lifeless planet and the few survivors on the planet have come up with a daring plan to restore it once again. Unfortunately, this plan involves using thousands of ionic power reactors to hurl the planet into space to escape it’s dead system and find a new star that will return live to the planet. The question is, will Commander Red Stone and his men be able to survive the planet and the exceedingly low odds of the plan actually succeeding?
by H. Beam Piper
Four-Day Planet is set on Fenris, which has such a slow rotation rate that the days and nights last about 1000 hours each. Unfortunately, the planet is also scorching hot during the day and freezing cold at night, making it a very inhospitable place. It’s not the kind of place that anyone would want to risk their lives willingly if it wasn’t for some type of reward, which in the case of Fenris is sea monsters. These sea monsters are the source of tallow wax, a very profitable substance, but between the elements, monsters, corrupt government and lawless population, getting your hands on it isn’t very easy.
by Gerald Vance
y by Gerald Vance is another short story that can be read in one sitting, but that feature enough intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat. Unlike the other planets on this list, the world of Fomalhaut V initially appears to be very quiet and peaceful. It’s a little hot and rocky, but the atmosphere is breathable to humans. What makes it very appealing, though, is the fact that it has double-nucleus beryllium deposits, which is exceptionally valuable to humanity. Unfortunately, most of the team that was sent to scout the planet died and nobody can seem to determine what killed them. Now, another team of sixty is sent to make preparations for getting the D-N beryllium out of the crust of Fomalhaut V, figure out what killed the previous group and make it home alive.