Over time-ruined Illar the searching planes swooped and circled. Northwest
Smith, peering up at them with a steel-pale stare from the shelter of
a half-collapsed temple, thought of vultures wheeling above carrion. All
day long now they had been raking these ruins for him. Presently, he
knew, thirst would begin to parch his throat and hunger to gnaw at him.
Stanton Arthur Coblentz (August 24, 1896 – September 6, 1982) was an
American author and poet. He received a Master's Degree in English literature
and then began publishing poetry in the early 1920s. His first
published science fiction was "The Sunken World," a satire about Atlantis,
in Amazing Stories Quarterly in July, 1928. The following year, he
published his first novel, The Wonder Stick. But poetry and history were
his greatest strengths. Coblentz tended to write satirically and his style
seems ever new....
Ten thousand persons in New York looked skyward at the first rumble
of sound. The flash caught them that way, seared them to cinder, liquefied
their eyeballs, brought their vitals boiling out of the fissures of their
bodies. They were the lucky ones. The rest died slowly, their monument
the rubble which had once been a city.
Of all that, Case Damon knew nothing. Rocketing up in the self-service
elevator to his new cloud-reaching apartment in San Francisco, his
thoughts were all on the girl who would be waiting for him.
"She loves me, she loves me not," he said to himself.