Hertzsprung-Russell rating: A0.1

Available in: The Apes Of Wrath

An ape who apes human thought and behavior waxes homo sapient about his decision to renounce jungle living and dwell amongst men as a famous concert performer. His concert rider? All bananas – absolutely no plantains! Humans and primates actually aren’t that different. Monkeys hurl their feces at each other, while humans voluntarily organize themselves into tightly knit social structures that require close interaction and interdependence to succeed. Either way you’re always dealing with someone else’s shit.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: B102.5

Available in: Before The Golden Age Book 3

Two eagle-eyed astronomers discover a massive planetoid is about to hit Earth (our Earth! Where we live!!) so they attach rockets to the moon and use it to blow said planetoid out of the sky. Course, now we’re moonless, which means no more tides, but fuck the Bay of Fundy, right? You know a story’s bad when the central scientific premise sounds like a rap lyric: “Strap a rocket to the moon and use it as a weapon/and, like the moon, the total Gs are lessened when they steppin’.”

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: B0.5

Available in: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Volume XXX, No. 3

A  mapcap tale in which highly-intelligent donkeys enslave humans. They’re all, like, ‘Fuck this – you guys pull the carts and carry Juan Valdez’ coffee and bring Jesus into Jerusalem and be the briefly amusing but now thoroughly grating comic sidekick in Shrek.’ Basically, it’s Planet Of The Apes, but with donkeys (and somewhere, someone has spoken the previous sentence to the head of a movie studio, who is currently writing them a cheque for a hundred million dollars.)

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: F104

Available in: The Worlds Of Robert F. Young

An interplanetary mountaineer becomes sexually obsessed with a woman-shaped mountain and decides to ‘tap’ that. Mostly with a mountain-climbing hammer. But he gets his pitons in a knot when he reaches the top and realizes he’s not the first one to plant his flag in her moist, quivering peak. That ignominious, igneous bitch! That’s why, geologically speaking, I’m an isthmus man.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: F104.5

Available in: Mercenaries Of Tomorrow

A kid growing up in a futuristic utopia wearies of being coddled and ventures into the untamed countryside to join a bloodthirsty barbarian horde. A lot of young people join bloodthirsty barbarian hordes just for the parties; they think bloodthirsty barbarian hordes drink a lot. But they don’t. That’s why they’re bloodthirsty. They may have a small glass of blood with dinner. Or maybe a blood shandy on a hot day. But for the most part, they’re pretty dry. They love rape, though.

Hertzsprung-Russell rating: O/B5

Available in: 2076: The American Tricentennial

A bad story about badass post-apocalyptic bikers hunting each other down in the badlands of America. Do I feel slurping on my scrotum? Cuz this story sucked the bag. It’s written in that ‘weird-for-the-sake-of-weird’ style that was passed off as creative innovation in the 1970’s, but is really just shallow, non-linear storytelling that leaves the reader dazed and confused with none of the benefit of a murky violin bow guitar solo. It’s just bag-suckin’ bad, is what it is.

Hertzsprung – Russell rating: A10

Available in: Friends Of The Horseclans

In a post-apocalyptic America (NOTE: It was something the Democrats did) a young boy befriends a telepathic warhorse. Kinda like ‘Old Yeller’ with a mind-reading horse instead of a pyrokinetic dog. The two of them grow to love each other, and the boy eventually rises up against his village’s oppressive neo-feudal overlord by asking his equine BFF to trample said warlord to death. Proof that having a horseshoe up your ass isn’t always good luck.