The Loafers of Refuge

the-loafers-of-refugeThe Loafers of Refuge by Joseph L. Green
Ballantine Books, 1965
Price I paid: 90¢

Refuge

That was what the humans called the rich, attractive planet—a refuge from starving, over-populated Earth. And the Colonists could provide millions of tons of desperately needed produce for the hungry billions left on their home planet.

If only the native inhabitants of Refuge weren’t so natural-born lazy: harmless, it’s true, but actually nothing more than a bunch of loafers. If the loafers could be made to turn to, Refuge could really be the Earth’s breadbasket.

But the Loafers steadily refused to “turn to”—there was nothing the humans could do about it. And the years went by. And everything remained friendly and quiet. Until one day, a young human, born and raised on Refuge, decided he’d rather join the Loafers!

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Men Who Die Twice

Image courtesy of isfdb.org

Image courtesy isfdb.org

Men Who Die Twice by Peter Heath
Lancer Books, 1968
Price I paid: none

A thimbleful of mutated spores that could wipe out life on this planet…

A mysterious voice on the telephone…

The voice of a man who didn’t exist…

A submarine that vanished—with sixteen 20-megaton thermonuclear missiles…

The president of the United States in protective custody…

And the one man who could save the world being hunted by half of its police forces!

Once again, Peter Heath, author of The Mind Brothers and Assassins from Tomorrow, has produced a hair-raising, thrill-a-page blend of science fiction and suspense that will astonish you. This is a novel of futuristic weapons that may exist right now; of convincingly portrayed villains who could be plotting your destruction; of fantastic events that might be happening right around the corner. It will make you shudder—but you won’t be able to stop reading once you’ve begun!

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Shadow Singer

shadow-singerShadow Singer by Marcia J. Bennett
Del Rey, 1984
Price I paid: $1

Humans had long shared the planet Ver-draak with the Ni-lach people—until, in fear of the unusual Ni-lach powers, they turned on the natives. The Ni-lach who survived the massacres went into hiding.

Decades passed.

Pursued by bounty hunters, Dhalvad the Ni-lach and Poco the half-breed fled into the woods.

Though Poco didn’t know it, she had a special Ni-lach talent, similar to Dhal’s abilities to Heal and to transport himself through space and time. But somehow she had to learn to use her gift—for the fate of all the Ni-lach people hung in the balance.

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In His Image

In His ImageIn His Image by James BeauSeigneur
Warner Books, 2003
Price I paid: If you don’t have a library card, get one

Two decades ago, newspaper editor Decker Hawthorne joined skeptical professor Harry Goodman on the famed study to authenticate the Shroud of Turin. Years later, Goodman revealed to Decker an astonishing secret: Fragments of the Shroud contained human skin samples—complete DNA cells that were still alive, incorruptible, and invulnerable. Convinced he could manipulate the amazing genes as a cure-all for disease, Goodman began a secret program of experimentation.

Then catastrophes struck around the world, beginning with a mysterious plague that decimated the earth’s population. Terrorists destroyed the Wailing Wall, nuclear war erupted, and the United Nations became the dominant global power, even as the Israelis rebuilt the Temple of Solomon.

Now a grieving widower and U.N. speechwriter, Decker is raising the late Harry Goodman’s young nephew, Christopher. Only Decker knows the shocking truth about the boy—that he was cloned from the cells on the Shroud. Christopher has miraculous powers, prophetic visions, memories of life two thousand years ago…and wants to help guide the world to a better tomorrow. But who and what is Christopher? Would God permit the Messiah of the Second Coming to be created in a test tube? Could an impure being arise from the sacred living flesh of Jesus Christ? Or is the reality more incredible than anything revealed to prophets or science?

All that’s clear is that the world is staggering toward a final apocalyptic conflict—and humanity’s salvation or damnation may depend on the true nature of The Christ Clone…

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The Mind Traders

The Mind TradersThe Mind Traders by J. Hunter Holly
Manor Books, 1967
Price I paid: 90¢

A PLACE OF CRAWLING SPIDERS AND POISONOUS SNAKES—WHERE NIGHTMARES CAME TRUE

That was The Black, where men were punished for challenging minds more powerful than their own. The detective from Earth feared The Black more than any torture his own planet could conceive. But he had to uncover the sinister plot that threatened Earth and all its people.

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Pavane

PavanePavane by Keith Roberts
Ace Science Fiction, 1968
Price I paid: 90¢

In the year 1588, Queen Elizabeth of England was assassinated.

As a result, when the Spanish Armada attacked, England went down to defeat. The entire history of Europe and the New World was changed: now, in the Twentieth Century, the Church of Rome reigns supreme over an orderly world of pastoral beauty, but Man’s technology is still at the level of the steam locomotive, the typewriter and primitive radio.

Yet Science cannot be held back forever; its advocates become more daring and open with each year. A vast revolution is building….

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The Penetrator #35: Black Massacre

The Penetrator 35The Penetrator #35: Black Massacre by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1980
Price I paid: $1.50

Alarmed over the increasing number of mysterious deaths among the black population, the Penetrator rushes to Indianapolis, where he learns that a strange epidemic of sickle cell anemia is sweeping the country.

Then, hearing that a similar situation is occurring in Puerto Rico, Mark Hardin flies to San Juan…and finds out that a deranged toxicologist has developed a secret formula that triggers the fatal disease…an invisible death spray to infect those susceptible, killing them one by one…

It’s a race against the clock as the Penetrator searches for the insane scientist responsible for dealing sudden death to the blacks, and discovers the shocking reason for his deadly revenge…

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The Traveling Soul

The Traveling SoulThe Traveling Soul by Hugh C. Rae
Avon Books, 1978
Price I paid: $1

DEAD?
RIGHT: DEAD

EUGENE MORELLO,
LATE OF THE WESTERN WORLD

Then how can the late Poet Laureate’s words be coming through the Interlink? And what horror could have caused him to leave this safe, gentle world of his own free will?

THEY PUT THE BALL AGAINST MY EAR
AND LET ME HEAR THE SLUG.

Alexander Blunt, the complete conformist, the tame poet of the Freeman state. Can the benevolent Freeman be a murderer? So say the messages from the dead.

I AM ONE WITH THE DEER AND THE JAGUAR.

Blunt journeys to the mysterious Bellerophon, in the western mountains, where ancient rebels have come back to life, where an aged Mexican sorceress can control events…and where awesome powers gather strength for the coming struggle.

I WANT REVENGE, ALEXANDER…

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Frontier Earth

Frontier EarthFrontier Earth by Bruce Boxleitner
Ace Science Fiction, 1999
Price I paid: 25¢

Bruce Boxleitner, best known for his role as Captain Sheridan on the hit television series Babylon 5, delivers an exciting science fiction novel of Earth’s first contact with an alien species—in the year 1881.

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B.E.A.S.T.

BEASTB.E.A.S.T.  by Charles Eric Maine
Ballantine Books, 1966
Price I paid: none

Biological
Evolutionary
Animal
Simulation
Test

Dr. Charles Howard Gilley was a brilliant man. And he was in charge of a very remarkable, very expensive computer.

So expensive, and so remarkable, that the authorities were much concerned with his proper use of its time.

They of course couldn’t know that to Dr. Gilley the computer had ceased to be an “it.”

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