The Winged Man

by A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull
Reviewed date: 2007 Jun 1
Rating: 2
159 pages
cover art
cover art

The USS Sea Serpent, a nuclear-armed submarine, is forcibly brought through time to the year 24,999. Lt. William Kenlon and the rest of the crew find themselves pawns in a war between the world's two races. Earth is inhabited by two species of men: the winged men who live in a flying city, and the fishmen who live under the sea. All the continents and islands of Earth have turned into quicksand, and there is no dry land anywhere.

The winged men are responsible for abducting Sea Serpent and bringing her through time. They desire that Sea Serpent use nuclear missile to destroy the undersea fortress of the fishmen. At first, Kenlon and his crew refuse to get involved in the war. But it soon becomes clear that more is at stake than a dispute between Earthly nations.

A malevolent alien race is waiting for a chance to conquer and colonize Earth. Kenlon decides that he must eliminate the alien threat and make Earth safe for the winged men and the fishmen--who are bioengineered ancestors of humans. But if he allows winged men and fishmen to destroy themselves in a war, they will be unable to resist the alien invasion. Thus Kenlon is left with a choice: he must utterly destroy one race so that the other can flourish and resist the aliens.

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