There is a sixth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow. And it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the sunlight of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

Countdown for blastoff… X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one… Fire! From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you’ll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds.

That is the introduction to X Minus One, a radio show that NBC broadcast in the mid to late 1950s. X Minus One would take works of short science fiction and turn them into radio dramas. That period of time was the gold age for short scifi. Magazines and quarterlies were king, the pulp printers were raging, and the Internet wasn’t a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

This meant that X Minus One had some of the best writers in history to cherry pick stories from. Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and Robert A. Heinlein all had stories adapted by the show, along with dozens of other writers churned out over a hundred episodes for the show. X Minus One laid the ground work for shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.

Today’s Friday Frequency is going to be one of my favorite episodes of X Minus One. Robert A. Heinlein’s “Universe”.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Note: The piece is a half hour long, so it might not buffer properly. If that’s the case, you can just download the file here.)

Thanks to an irregular, but not to infrequent rebroadcasting of the series, every episode of X Minus One has been preserved, and all of them are available online. There are podcasts that air them, and archives where you can download MP3 recordings. This particular one came from

This has been your Friday Frequency.