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Monthly Archives: March 2015

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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