The House That Stood Still
Novel 1950 60,000 words
Alternate Titles

The Mating Cry     (1960)

The Undercover Aliens     (1976, etc.)

  • This was van Vogt's first direct-to-book novel. All his previous novels first appeared as magazine serials.

  • The novel was slightly revised in 1960 under the title The Mating Cry to include the addition of a few mild sex scenes, but they are fairly innocuous by today's jaded standards. Some sources claim that these scenes were not written by van Vogt but were ghost-written by someone else. However, judging by how insipid these scenes are, I find it easy to believe van Vogt himself wrote them. (Erotica was not his forte.) Starting in 1965 most editions printed under the title The House That Stood Still contain this revised text.

  • All Panther (UK) editions of this novel appear under the title The Undercover Aliens. As far as I know this contains the unrevised 1950 text of the novel, though I have not been able to confirm this. Further information in this regard would be most welcome.

  • An abridged version of this novel appeared in the Winter 1951 issue of Detective Book Magazine. This abridgement only appeared once.

Versions

1950

original version

1951

abridged

1960

minor revisions
English
1950 Greenberg
hardback 50-10531 210 pages $2.50

cover artist: unknown

First edition

Text version: 1950

Cover image: Axelsson Data: Master of Null-A
Detective Book Magazine magazine
1951 Winter Fiction House
pulp issue number: ? 96 pages $0.25

cover art by
Allen Anderson

Text version: 1951

Abridged text (only printed this once).

(no illustration images available)

illustrations: 1

artist: unknown

Cover image: Lledó Data: ISFDB
1952 June Harlequin
paperback 177 224 pages $0.35

cover artist: unknown

Month from Master of Null-A.

Text version: 1950

This and the Beacon edition are notable for featuring the sleaziest covers ever to appear on a van Vogt novel.

Cover image: Lledó Data: ISFDB
1953 January Weidenfeld & Nicolson
hardback B53-01305 210 pages 9/6

cover art by
Pagram

First British edition.

Artist credit from ISFDB.

Text version: 1950

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
1960 June Digit
paperback D361 160 pages 2/-

cover artist: unknown

Wallpaper

Text version: unknown

Cover & other images: ISFDB, Lledó Data: Master of Null-A
The Mating Cry (alternate title)
1960 September Beacon
paperback 298 160 pages $0.35

cover art by
Gerald McConnel

Back Cover & Spine

Month from Master of Null-A.

Text version: 1960

First edition of the revised text.

This and the Harlequin edition are notable for featuring the sleaziest covers ever to appear on a van Vogt novel.

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1962 Digit
paperback R623 160 pages 2/6

cover art by
Osborne

Text version: unknown

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
1965 November Paperback Library
paperback 52-873 159 pages $0.50

cover art by
Jack Gaughan

Text version: 1960

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1968 November Paperback Library
paperback 63-016 159 pages $0.60

cover artist: unknown

Back Cover

Spine

Text version: 1960

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1971 May Paperback Library
paperback 64-603 159 pages $0.75

cover art by
Richard Powers

Text version: 1960

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1971 May Paperback Library
paperback 64-603 159 pages C$0.75

cover art by
Richard Powers

Canadian printing.

Text version: 1960

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
The Undercover Aliens (alternate title)
1976 June Panther
paperback 0-586-04324-1 173 pages £0.50

cover art by
Peter Jones

First Panther printing.

Artist credit from Master of Null-A.

Text version: unknown

Cover image: Lledó Data: ISFDB
The Undercover Aliens (alternate title)
1980 Panther
paperback 0-586-04324-1 173 pages £0.95

cover art by
Peter Jones

Second Panther printing.

Artist credit from Master of Null-A.

Text version: unknown

  Data: ISFDB
1980 October Pocket
paperback 0-671-83158-5 192 pages $2.25

cover art by
Gerry Daly

Text version: 1960

My interview with Gerry Daly can be read here.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
1980 October Pocket
paperback 0-671-83158-5 192 pages C$2.50

cover art by
Gerry Daly

Canadian printing.

Text version: 1960

My interview with Gerry Daly can be read here.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1986 June Amereon
hardback 0-89190-453-0 159 pages $29.95

(no cover art)

Text version: 1960

According to ISFDB, limited to a mere 80 copies.

Facsimile reprint of the Paperback Library edition.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1993 January Carroll & Graf
paperback 0-88184-884-0 159 pages $3.95

cover art by
Tony Roberts

Month from Master of Null-A.

Text version: 1960

This art originally appeared on the cover of the 1987 Bantam UK edition of The River of Time by David Brin. (Thanks to Mark Applin for this information.)

(Image courtesy of ISFDB.)

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn