Heinrich Copernick and Martin Guibedo came to the States as penniless refugees after World War II. By 1999 they had made huge fortunes in the field of medical instrumentation. But Heiny and his Uncle Martin weren’t just filthy rich, they were also the world’s best gene engineers. And their latest inventions could free Humanity from want and oppressive governments forever. At least, that was the plan.
Free homes with all the furnishings and utilities!
Free food! Even free babysitters!
Heiny and Uncle Martin even thought they should give their inventions away. Free.
That’s when their troubles began.
In the brave new world of angels and procurers, rent-a-death prostitutes will let you sexually abuse them, and even hack them to pieces, for a fee. In anticipation of your own death, be sure to keep up payments on your life-crystal. After you die, you can again enjoy life to the hilt in a very attractive new body with your memories intact. Young body, old memories. Violent death is the ultimate repeatable pleasure.
The Penetrator #21: The Supergun Mission by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1977
Price I paid: $1.50
It started with the smuggling of Mexican “wetbacks” for slave labor in the U.S. They were brought to an island in Lake Texoma, north of Dallas, to work on a top-secret operation directed by H.H. Christiansen…and were forbidden to leave. But it wasn’t until twenty-five Mexicans died in a mysterious tank truck fire that the Penetrator was called in. That’s when this simple smuggling assignment turned into a national security threat.
The project is the development of a sonic gun—the ultimate weapon—which causes the human body to explode from internal pressure, turning flesh and bone to jelly. The Cubans, the Albanians, and the Red Chinese are in on the buy. But the scientists working on the project are in need of a guinea pig—and Mark Hardin, the Penetrator, is just what the doctors ordered…
He has only one shot—to destroy the supergun before it annihilates him and all of the free world.
By the Time I Get to Nashville by Lionel Fenn
Ace Books, 1994
Price I paid: $2.25
The man they call Diego hitched a ride on a time machine—but the Old West didn’t prepare the gunslinger for the new Nashville of the 22nd century…
The good news is that the Old West is now a religion, and Diego’s being worshipped as the Grand Cowpoke. The bad news is that he’s about to be hanged…for impersonating the man they call Diego!
Those Gentle Voices: A Promethean Romance of the Spaceways by George Alec Effinger
Warner Books, 1976
Price I paid: 90¢
From Wolf 359 the signals came—proof that man wasn’t the only intelligent life form in the universe. And when Earth’s first interstellar expedition located the radio beacon, they also found a human race—so primitive they hadn’t even discovered the spear, or fire.
If Commander Leigh hadn’t had such fun becoming the Great God Leigh, he might have wondered more about the builders of the radio beacon. And things might have turned out very differently for Earth itself…