Giants from Eternity by Manly Wade Wellman

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Imagine the world facing a menace unlike any we have ever known or dreamed of before — a blight from outer space against which all our scientific skill seems useless. Imagine, also, that a means has been found to bring back to life the greatest scientists who ever lived — giants from eternity! But there are limits to this boon: only five of the great minds of the past can be restored to us.
Which five would you choose?
It all started when a meteor landed in Kansas and people awoke to find a small area covered with a horrid, pulsing red substance which engulfed and devoured everything in its path and spread outward in all directions. They dug ditches and the blight merely flowed into the ditches, slowly feeding off the soil as it moved. They set fires around it, and the blight moved in and lapped up the fuel under the fires putting them out. Some substances resisted longer than others; it fed upon anything alive with terrible rapidity, but took longer to absorb metal or glass — but absorb these things...

About Manly Wade Wellman

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Manly Wade Wellman (May 21, 1903 - April 5, 1986) was an American writer.While his science fiction and fantasy stories appeared in such pulps as Astounding Stories , Startling Stories , Unknown and Strange Stories , Wellman is best remembered as one of the most popular contributors to the legendary Weird Tales , and for his fantasy and horror stories set in the Appalachian Mountains, which draw on the native folklore of that region. Karl Edward Wagner referred to him as "the dean of fantasy writers." Wellman also wrote in a wide variety of other genres, including historical fiction, detective fiction, western fiction, juvenile fiction, and non-fiction.Wellman was a long-time resident of North Carolina. He received many awards, including the World Fantasy Award and Edgar Allan Poe Award.
Published November 11, 1959 by Electronic & Database Publishing, Inc.. 159 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels, History. Fiction

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