“Spawn of the Comet” is a 1931 science fiction short story by Harold Thompson Rich. It is about a comet that seeds the Earth with the eggs of a fiery insect-like species.
Every year during the Perseids meteor shower I try to catch a glimpse of at least some shooting stars. The last few years I have had bad luck with cloud cover though. Once or twice, while straining to see a meteor, I even wondered to myself if it was possible that the comet left behind more than just space debris and dust. I thought that maybe we would find some exotic element or something, but I never imagined that the meteors would be something like giant salmon eggs! Here’s a story that does imagine that very thing… and it is kind of creepy!
In 1947 a comet passes over the Earth and drops millions of baseball sized, orange spheres on the planet. Jim Carter – who is not the President, but rather a reporter for The New York Press – tries to obtain one for his demanding boss. When that fails, and the spheres start hatching termite-like aliens of fire, he then tries to get a picture of them. That doesn’t go so well either. Finally, as the aliens begin to burn and conquer the Earth, Jim works with his sweetheart’s father, Professor Wentworth, to try and figure out a way to stop the beasties. As the end nears, the two men think they have it figured out – but will the cost be too high? Tune in to this depression-era thriller for the exciting answer to this and other questions!
My Two Cents
- Story: – The idea of aliens slowly conquering Earth is not super unique, but I did like how the comet was responsible for spreading the seeds!
- Writing: – The author’s writing is standard for the time. Not too bad, considering that this story is nearly 90 years old! There are some out-dated sayings and ideas – which are all part of the charm!
- Fun Factor: – This was a good read and a good story. There were a lot of funny things in the story that gave me a laugh: “Jimmy Carter”, trying to split the atom and telegraphs to name just a few!
Where To Find Spawn of the Comet
- This short story first appeared in the November 1931 edition of Astounding Stories.
- You can read “Spawn of the Comet” online for free at ManyBooks.net.
- It is also included in Anthology of Sci-Fi V19, the Pulp Writers.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Spawn of the Comet” then give “Alien Offer” a try! It’s about an alien fleet who offers to evacuate the world’s children after learning of Earth’s impending doom.