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The Lion Game

The Lion GameThe Lion Game by James H. Schmitz
DAW Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢

TELZEY AMBERDON…

was just a college girl―but she was one of the most valuable assets that the human-colonized worlds had. Because, besides her sharp mind and warm personality, she possessed a most unusual mutant accumulation of talents.

So when she found herself being hounded by a psi-powered killer, she was not too worried. But when that incident turned out to be merely the opening gambit in a game of mental chess with a planet of beast-masters who were challenging humanity for the grand-mastery of the universal board, Telzey was put to her full capacity.

Because she was never sure whether she was just someone else’s mind-pawn or really the queen on the human side of…

THE LION GAME

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Strata

StrataStrata by Terry Pratchett
Corgi Books, 1989 (Reprint)
Originally published by Colin Smythe Ltd., 1981
Price I paid: none

The excavation showed that the fossilized plesiosaur had been holding a placard which read, ‘End Nuclear Testing Now.’

That was nothing unusual.

But then came a discovery of something which did intrigue Kin Arad.

A flat earth was something new…

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Sacred Locomotive Flies

Sacred Locomotive FliesSacred Locomotive Flies by Richard Lupoff
Beagle Books, 1971
Price I paid: none

CAN FREDDIE FONG FINE SAVE THE WORLD? IF SO, SHOULD HE?

These are the questions that may or may not be the core of this extremely odd novel of the world of 1985. What the Israeli hyponuclear submarine Traif, Mavis Montreal the groupie, the giant cavern under the earth, Upchuck the Barbarian, and the Sacred Locomotive have to do with it all is hard to figure out. But entertaining―so who needs to figure?

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Primortals: Target Earth

target earth

Cover image from Amazon.com via isfdb.org

Primortals: Target Earth by Steve Perry
Aspect/Warner Books, 1997
Price I paid: none

Sixty-five million years ago, aliens rescued a handful of promising species from doomed Jurassic Earth. They let them survive on new worlds and evolve into beings and civilizations far older, far wiser―and sometimes far deadlier―than anything we can imagine. Today, one of Earth’s lost descendants is coming home…

Grad student Stewart Davies, working at a minor SETI listening post on Long Island, is the first to intercept the signal. It is not a hoax or an accidental burst of radiation. It reads: “I am Zeerus of Achernar Three…We have much to discuss.” Those words will transform the lives of Stewart Davies and his girlfriend, Jess Rossini; of Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Larry Hightower and White House Chief of Staff Laurie Sherman; of NSA specialist Maj. Steve Hayes; and of Jake Holcroft, an eleven-year-old genius on the run from his fanatic father’s underground militia.

For the signal hasn’t come across billions of light years. A starship, carrying one alien, has entered the solar system, approaching Earth. And every old movie and TV show has suddenly become terribly real.

Is Zeerus ambassador or invader? Explorer or fugitive? Can we even understand his motives? What questions should we ask? What answers can we believe? If we don’t want Zeerus on our world, how can we stop him from coming? And if we are wrong about this being’s purpose for visiting, what are the consequences for humankind?

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Bill, the Galactic Hero

Bill, the Galactic HeroBill, the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison
Avon Books, 1979
Originally published by Doubleday, 1965
Price I paid: 90¢

He was just plain Bill, enrolled in a correspondence course for a career as Technical Fertilizer Operator down on the farm, until a recruiting robot turned his head with visions of bright nebula lights, snappy red uniforms―and a cup of deep-space knockout drops…and Bill suddenly found himself aboard the Empire Space Ship Christine Keeler, fighting the Empire’s war against the lizard-like Chingers.

But an act of accidental heroism won him the Purple Dart (and an all-expenses-paid trip to fabulous Helior, the aluminum-plated Sin City of the Empire_―and that’s when Bill’s adventure’s really began…

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