Star Ka’at World

Star Ka’at World by Andre Norton and Dorothy MadleeStar Ka'at World
Pocket Books, 1979
Price I paid: 35¢

Jim and Elly Mae travel to a distant planet as guests of Tiro and Mer—members of a super-intelligent race of Ka’ats. On this strange world, work is done by machines, which are controlled by thoughts from Ka’ats. But Jim and Elly cannot learn this power and become dependent on their hosts for everything—even meals! Determined to find their own food, Jim and Elly explore a nearby city where human-like beings once lived. But fierce robots now march down the streets. Tiro and Mer rush in to protect their human friends and are kidnapped by the robots. Jim and Elly must use all their courage to find a way to rescue the Ka’ats!

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The Rakehells of Heaven

The Rakehells of Heaven by John BoydThe Rakehells of Heaven
Penguin Books, 1969
Price I paid: 90¢

John Adams and Kevin O’Hara are graduates of North Dakota’s great Mandan Space Academy. Both trained to be conquistadors of space, explorers in an age of interstellar imperialism, Adams and O’Hara are as different as any two space scouts could possibly be. Now, together, they are sent to explore a distant world called Harlech. The Harlechians are unclassified aliens; relations with their women are strictly forbidden by the Interplanetary Colonial Authority. Adams is willing to play by the rules—but whoever made those rules hadn’t counted on the lusty Red O’Hara, rakehell of heaven…From the Adams-O’Hara probe, only John Adams returns.

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The Bird of Time

The Bird of Time by Wallace WestThe Bird of Time
Ace Books, 1959
Price I paid: none

When the first expedition from Earth arrived on Mars they were not greeted with open arms. Not only had the Martians long ago learned all they wanted about Earth—they wanted nothing to do with us. to quote their welcoming committee:

“You Earth people don’t know your own history. You have always been incorrigible. When Mars was younger, we drove you back to your own planet, whereupon you tumbled into savagery for a gratifyingly long time. The really intelligent Martians then emigrated to the ends of the universe to avoid a second encounter.

“In fact we are not interested in playing cowboys and Indians with your people.”

But Earthmen areincorrigible, and Martians are obstinate, and the result is an adventure-packed novel that spans two planets and several stars and is great science-fiction all the way.

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The Day of the Burning

The Day of the Burning by Barry MalzbergThe Day of the Burning
Ace Books, 1974
Price I paid: none

It was a sultry summer day in 1981, and the 3 billion or so inhabitants of the world went about their daily routine unaware that, possibly, the fate of the human race lay in the shaking hands of one George Mercer, an insignificant and slightly neurotic employee of the New York City Department of Welfare.

For George had been informed, by an accredited emissary of the Galactic Overlords, that he had 12 hours in which to prove the people of Earth worthy of admission into the Galactic Federation. George, and George alone, would represent all of mankind. If he failed the entire planet would be destroyed.

Was all this a nightmare of delusion dredged up by his tortured subconscious? Or a very real nightmare that would end in the Day of the Burning….

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The Steel of Raithskar

The Steel of Raithskar by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann HeydronThe Steel of Raithskar
Bantam Books, 1981
Price I paid: 75¢

When the fireball hit the cruise ship, Ricardo Carillo was already on his way out—a terminally ill language professor. He regained consciousness as a well man in the desert…only it wasn’t a desert on Earth, and he was man only because he was still male. More surprises awaited him in the exotic city of Raithskar—he was called Markasett, a master swordsman, son of a powerful leader, and a man on the run, accused of murder and the theft of a precious, sacred jewel. With the aid of Keeshah, a great war-cat with which he shared a telepathic link, he set out to clear his newfound name…

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The Million Cities

The Million Cities by J.T. McIntoshThe Million Cities
Pyramid Books, 1963
Price I paid: none

THE MILLION CITIES

covered every inch of Earth’s surface with a gleaming metal skin—and penetrated almost to the planet’s core. Billions of people crowded them, using up the last depleted resources of an aging world. There was no hope for mankind but exploring and colonizing new frontiers beyond the sky.

The Chartists were the only people with the ability to build a spaceship—were within reach of success…

And then the government outlawed space travel—and began a vicious reign of terror against the Chartists!

The literally shattering climax of this fast-paced story by the author of One in Three Hundred offers a double surprise—for the Chartists are not what they seem….

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Century of the Manikin

Century of the Manikin by E.C. TubbCentury of the Manikin
DAW Books, 1972
Price I paid: 90¢

Dale Tulliver was his name and he was a product of the 21st century, the era of non-violence, permanent peace, and the drugs that controlled warlike emotions. He was a police agent of the Peace Committee that controlled the world.

Naomi Constance Fisher was her name, and she had been a crusading writer of the 20th century. She had been a vigorous advocate of world peace, woman’s liberation, and social progress. She had been frozen in near-death all these decades—and then they brought her back to life to enjoy the fruits of her thinking. 

But instead of augmenting the forces of peace it turned out that what Dale’s world meant by peace and what Naomi meant by peace were two different–and violently conflicting things.

The mixture could shatter civilization.

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The Planet Strappers

The Planet Strappers by Raymond Z. GallunThe Planet Strappers
Pyramid Books, 1961
Price I paid: none

THE PLANET STRAPPERS

started out as The Bunch, a group of student-astronauts in the back room of a store in Jarviston, Minnesota. They wanted off Earth, and they begged, borrowed, and built what they needed to make it.

THE PLANET STRAPPERS got what they wanted—a start on the road to the stars—but no one brought up on Earth could have imagined what was waiting for them Out There!

In THE PLANET STRAPPERS, Ray Gallun has written a story of the Day After Tomorrow—a story of what it will be like for the men who cross the space frontier—a story that some of us will be living some day….

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The Second War of the Worlds

The Second War of the Worlds by George H. SmithThe Second War of the Worlds
DAW Books, 1976
Price I paid: 90¢

As everyone knows, there are parallel Earths. So when the Martians failed in their effort to conquer the Victorian world as told in H.G. Wells’  [sic] famous eye-witness account, they took one short step X-wise and, having immunized themselves against Terrestrial bacteria, tried again.

Earth’s parallel world is called Annwn, and it was just slightly behind Victorian England in technology. So when they detected the explosions on the fourth planet, it looked as if this time the Martians would succeed.

But the Martians had failed to take into account one peculiarity of Annwn. Almost everything was the same as Earth, but there were certain curious scientific differences.

Find out yourself in this delightful, action-packed new novel of the Second Invasion from the Red Planet.

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Star Winds

Star Winds by Barrington J. BayleyStar Winds
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: none

The sails were the product of the Old Technology, lost long ago in the depleted Earth, and they were priceless. For with those fantastic sheets of etheric material, ships could sail the sky and even brave the radiant tides between worlds and stars.

The alchemists who had replaced the scientists still sought the ancient secrets…and Rachad, apprentice to such a would-be wizard, learned that the key to his quest lay in a book abandoned in a Martian colonial ruin long, long ago.

But how to get to Mars? There was one way left—take a sea vessel, caulk it airtight, steal new sails, and fly the star winds in the way of the ancient windjammers.

Here is an intriguing, unusual and colorful novel of ships that sail the stars riding before the solar breeze that blows between the worlds.

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