“Black Destroyer,” A. E. van Vogt, 1939 – Explorers land on a planet which has an ancient inhabitant. Not knowing that the cat-like being is able to control EM waves, they dismiss the alien as a harmless primitive. The hyper-intelligent cat-being contemptuously stalks them, picking them off one by one. Once they realize it is a threat, their knowledge of the cycles of “history” saves the day.
Comments: This story is credited with bringing a new sense of adventure, suspense, and menace to the sf story. Read in Great Science Fiction Stories of 1939 and the reprint of the seminal Astounding 1939 issue that marked Campbell’s editorial debut.
Author: Wikipedia: “Alfred Elton van Vogt (April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century: the ‘Golden Age‘ of the genre.”