For a scenic browse, and an answer-page for Guess The World...
...The sunward polar city stood tall and proud in its glittering wineglass stem; stately airships and swarming skimmers clouded its aerial hangars and docks; from the midst of the upper reaches rose the Zairm...
The sight, though awesome, was as familiar as if he had lived in that palace as a child. Dreaming, he accepted this familiarity without question. Indeed there was no need to puzzle over it... He moved forward. He drifted through the palace walls. Like a thirsty ghost he sipped at that sense of belonging, he truly believed that he was really there... even if it were but a dream; for did not the act of thinking about a place mean that one's mind was there? Anyhow the place itself did really exist, and his soul belonged in it, here at the sunward pole... More real than real life, the dream's lemon-gold became the colour of knowing. This was the key awareness, awareness of the worth of what one saw...
The palace, he knew, was built of smollk, the foamed ore of Ammye; the pumicelike segments had accumulated age by age, till the Zairm was the size of a small mountain, rising from the upper platform of a still vaster city. Gengr viewed all of it simultaneously, being, in dream fashion, somehow both inside and outside the great structure. The crust of memory was thick. It reached across a geological age in the throne-room, Zdinth Hall...
Traditions - their weight and power - were what he was going to need after he had awoken...
...Bran, the city, proved to be a mass of drum-shaped buildings of dark metal, enclosed by a towering wall. This wall was faced or plated with the gray metal that was alone proof against the destroying-liquid, and on the rampart's broad top were mounted nozzle-projectors of great size. The wall was separated from the surrounding forests by only a few hundred feet of clear ground.
Some flying-disks were in the air over the city, departing or arriving like ourselves from over the limitless forest-wastes. Through them our own craft sped to come to rest on the immense flat roof of one of the city's taller central buildings. Our space-bell was placed upon the roof, and we were conducted down into the city.
and I found ourselves welcomed with the strongest interest by the
white-garbed Brans. They seemed a highly social people, and in fact we
learned that though this and their other cities held many tens of
thousands of them, they had no rulers and but the slightest skeleton of
government, dwelling together without need of more...
Edmond Hamilton, The Terror Planet (Weird Tales, May 1932)
"There!" she hissed. "There!"
He peered into the gray dimness. Nothing at all - or was there something? A shadow - but what here could cause a shadow, here in this sunless region of fog? A condensation of mist, that was all. But it moved; mist can't move without the thrust of wind, and here there was no wind.
strained his eyes in an effort to pierce the obscurity. He saw - or he
imagined it - a vast, looming figure, or a dozen figures. They were
all around; one passed silently overhead, and numberless others weaved
and swayed just beyond the range of vision. There were murmurings and
susurrations, sounds like breathing and whispering, patters and
rustles. The fog shapes were weirdly unstable, looming from little
patches of darkness into towering shadows, dissipating and forming like
figures of smoke...
>> Stanley G Weinbaum, The Planet of Doubt (Astounding Stories, October 1935)
immune to the ravages of time, the mighty Zinc Era network had left
Syoom criss-crossed with embankments on which the empty rails still
ran. Every few thousand miles, wayfarers were still bound to cross one
of these artificial ridges. On well-frequented routes this did not
matter at all; however, grim experience had taught that any stretch of
embankment which had not been visited for a thousand days or so must be
approached gingerly. Preferably, a dray-master, raft-pilot or Crawler
captain should send scouts ahead to peer cautiously over the rim, before
any attempt to get over with the main vehicle. And the more lasers on
one's side the better...
White lichens towered above them like a grotesque forest. On the rock ledges above them he saw enormous bat-like creatures, their scaly white wings folded about them in sleep.
Following the guidance of the radite-compass needle, Captain Future entered the first tunnel that diverged north-eastward. A larger underground stream ran through it, broiling downward. The two intrepid adventurers pressed on.
"How much farther do we have to go, chief?" Grag demanded.
"Plenty far," was Curt's unpromising answer. "The intensity gauge on the radite-compass shows the deposit is still a long way off. And moderate that bellowing voice of yours, will you?" he added warningly. "The People of Darkness range through all these caverns."
"The cave-people they warned us about?" Grag said. "Who's afraid of them? They might have scared other explorers, but not me."
The connecting caverns seemed endless as Curt and the robot penetrated ever deeper...
He and Grag were moving down a dim chasm beside the waters of a racing little river, when Curt glimpsed something rushing towards them.
"Cave-spider!" he yelled, and grabbed for his proton pistol.
"Holy sun-imps!" gasped Grag...
Edmond Hamilton, The Magician of Mars (1941, 1968)
Uranus was lit by a tiny sun that cast an ineffectual light across a flat vista of blue-black ice. Crests of white showed white-diamond glints – not really snow, but a rime-ice. Below – somewhere at the end of the radar beam – was Station One.
Station One, doing something unpredictable, no doubt.
They dropped down, following the radar beacon until they saw it.
It had to be seen to be believed.
Uranus is mostly ice. Normally its gravity was enough to keep the ice cold-flowed into a reasonably flat surface. It is too cold to snow, too cold to rain, too cold to hail or sleet or hurricane or much of anything. But it is not too cold to grind together, to thrust one planetary block against another, to cause upthrusting mountain-ranges of ice which in the normal course of events will cold-flow into the resemblance of flatness. These up-thrustings are rare –
Station One had met one of these.
Strain develops slowly; an ounce at a time it builds up over a long period until a tremendous pressure develops. The pressure overcomes everything. Then, with two monstrous forces thrusting against one another, the angle of thrust will begin to change. The vector of force will become more amiable to the forces involved and the whole vista then drives forth along the new direction of resulting motion. In the case of planetary thrust, this direction is upward, causing mountains.
Forty miles high the mountain of cold-flowed ice had risen. Up and up and up in a rising pillar, a rising pyramid until the top, bowed over by some trick of angular force until it leaned sidewise, broke from the mountain top and came tumbling down the side of the slope in a giant avalanche.
There was neither rock nor stone; only ice.
Station One was a huge structure of metal and concrete, driven by an atomic pile contained inside of it. It moved across the face of Uranus on tractor-treads that depressed acres with each planting of a monstrous foot. It left behind it a trail that might someday amaze some visitor from somewhere-else.
George O Smith, The Planet Mender (Thrilling Wonder Stories, April 1952)