The Black Destroyer

I did this sketch right after reading the first quarter of A.E. Van Vogt’s Voyage of the Space Beagle. The book is divided into four parts; each part featuring an encounter with a different, dangerous alien species. The creature here, the Coeurl, infiltrates the ship and kills a few members of the crew before the humans manage to trick it back off the ship. Voyage is one of the classics of the space exploration genre of science fiction and, unfortunately, like many old science fiction novels it’s a bit hard to read now. I’ve already encountered many of its more interesting ideas in more recent SF novels (or comics or movies or TV). Without the novelty of new aliens and weird concepts we’re left with flat characters and outmoded science. That can be fun to read as an exploration of 1950s nerd culture but it’s not so engrossing that I want to do it very often.