The Weapons of Isher, Part Two
by Roberta Rambelli
Novel 1982


Innelda dies giving birth to Hedrock's child and the Isher government is falling. Hedrock wants to revive her but only the powers of the alien spiders can bring her back to life. As this promise is about to be made, the spiders have to pacify a war in a distant galaxy that is creating a wave of cosmic fire destined to reach the solar system and destroy Earth. The destiny of Innelda remains unresolved. McAllister, the journalist who, as a pendulum, was loaded up with energy and caused the Big Bang (at the end of The Weapon Shops of Isher), is not dead and he oscillates continually in an incorporeal condition. This condition, however, allows him to be revealed to the court of the empire of Isher, where only the prince and few others remain with the newborn Isher, whose mutant powers are kept in check through the use of a strong field. A mysterious man appears to Haly Curtin, sister of the regent prince. He is able to deceive her and infiltrates the court destabilizes the precarious political equilibrium between Isher and the Weapon Shops (which has divided in two factions). The man who appeared to Haly Curtin is a copy of Robert Hedrock that was created in The Weapon Makers (and then forgotten about): this copy is a fool and tries to kill the original Hedrock. Hedrock saves the political situation while McAllister transfers his pendulum energy to the mutant newborn Isher. The infant absorbs it and stops the wave of cosmic fire, transforming it into ice. The baby is a living catalyst who can modify the laws of probability in the entire universe.

  • This is an Italian omnibus volume entitled Le armi di Isher parte seconda [The Weapons of Isher, Part Two] containing two novels, L'impero di Isher [The Empire of Isher, not to be confused with the American omnibus using the same title] and Isher contro Isher [The Weapon Makers' War]. These are sequels to van Vogt's Weapon Shops novels. They are in fact a single novel split into two parts — it's written in this form to imitate the two-part structure of the original Isher novels.

  • Although A.E. van Vogt was given sole credit as author on the cover, this book was in fact written by Roberta Rambelli. Rambelli was an Italian editor, writer of social SF in the sixties, and translator (translating the work of such authors as Follett, Grisham, Vonnegut, Heinlein, Silverberg, Anne Rice and many others).

  • The novels were published in 1982 by Libra Editrice in Bologna, Italy, the publisher who released Il Villaggio Incantato earlier in the same year. It was volume 70 under their I Classici della Fantascienza imprint, and featured cover art by Allison, an Italian painter who did all of the covers for Libra. The omnibus contains two prefaces.

  • Rambelli's sequels have been out of print now for many many years; the publisher went bankrupt in 1984 and Rambelli died many years ago. She was born in 1928 and died in 1996.

  • From the first line of the first novel to the last line of the second is a series of exploits in the van Vogtian tradition. But the similarities don't end there. The novels are also a homage to the original stories, with the first novel opening with a newspaper article, like the very first Isher story.

Part of the
Isher Series
1 —     The Weapon Shops of Isher 1951
2 —     The Weapon Makers 1943
3 —     The Weapons of Isher, Part Two 1982

The Weapon Shops of Isher is a novel created from the three original Weapon Shop stories (see below for full list).

The Weapon Makers is a book-length sequel to the original stories.

Both books were later included in an omnibus volume.

Italian author and translator Roberta Rambelli wrote a lengthy sequel to the series in 1982, entitled Le armi di Isher, Parte seconda (The Weapons of Isher, Part Two).

Original Stories:
"The Seesaw" 1941
"The Weapon Shop" 1942
The Weapon Shops of Isher 1949
Foreign Editions
Language Title & Year Translator

Le armi di Isher, Parte seconda     (1982)

Introduction by Ugo Malaguti 1982
Introduction by A.E. van Vogt 1982
L'impero di Isher 1982

Part One: "The Empire of Isher"

Isher contro Isher 1982

Part Two: "The Weapon Makers' War"

Le armi di Isher, Parte seconda
1982 April Libra Editrice
format: ? 70 640 pages L. 20000

cover art by

First edition

The first novel is 327 pages, and the second is 282 pages.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Gramantieri