Accueil > A. E. van Vogt > THE 14 VAN VOGT NOVELS ON THIS SITE, in chronological order > "The Weapon Makers" (1943) - the original version of A. E. van Vogt’s first (…)

"The Weapon Makers" (1943) - the original version of A. E. van Vogt’s first "Weapon Shop" novel (never before republished)

dimanche 23 janvier 2022, par A. E. van Vogt

This novel was the third publication by van Vogt in as many years on the theme of an on-going conflict between a 4,000-year-old autocratic “Isher” regime, some 7,000 years in the future, and a powerful, scientifically-minded opposition organisation, The Weapon Shops [1], after the short story The Seesaw (1941) and the novelette The Weapon Shop (1942).

It was followed by the novella The Weapon Shops of Isher in 1949 and the novel of the same name in 1951.

Here the narrative not only recounts the conflict between the Weapon Shops mastermind Robert Hedrock and the ruthless Empress Innelda as well as his deadly confrontation with his own Weapon Shops organization, but also follows the efforts and quite spectacular adventures, both on Earth and in outer space, of an atomic engineer named Dan Neelan who has returned to earth on a search for his twin brother who had suddenly disappeared a year earlier after working with a group of brilliant scientists on a revolutionary new discovery.

This novel was originally published in the February, March and April 1943 issues of Astounding Science Fiction, the leading sci-fi magazine of the golden age, with the illustrations by Kramer that are shown here.

It was later issued in hardcover format in 1947, in a heavily rewritten and reorganised version in which the two leading protagonists were merged into the person of the super-hero Robert Hedrock, a rewrite that necessitated some far-out twists such as body transfers and mind-reading that make it a very different and, we feel, considerably less satisfactory tale indeed.
That later, revised version can be seen in an annex, below.

This original 1943 version of the novel has never before been republished anywhere !

e-books of both the original 1943 version (with the original illustrations) and the rewritten hardcover version of 1947 are both available for downloading below.

The version of 1947 can also be seen here.

(65,000 words)

The Weapon Makers – 1947 version

The Weapon Makers (1943) (e-book)

The Weapon Makers (1947 version) (e-book)

[1or, alternatively The Weapon Makers, as – often but not always – here.