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“First to Serve”

The Metal Smile“First to Serve” by Algis Budrys
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1954
Price I paid: none

“DO NOT FOLD, BEND, OR MUTILATE”

marked the beginning of our cybernetic society. How will it end?

The varied answers to that question have proved to be fertile ground for some of the greatest science fiction imaginations. But perhaps we shouldn’t look too closely into the future of cybernetics. It may be that the survival capacity of the thinking machine is greater than that of its maker…

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The Cyborg and the Sorcerers

1526225559029-2967d996-4715-44c5-97b0-a0ade39671c9.jpg

The Cyborg and the Sorcerers by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Del Rey, 1982
Price I paid:

Slant the Cyborg Warrior had been ordered to kill the enemies of Earth and return with their weapons technology. His robot spacecraft was to see that he did―and kill him if he didn’t.

Problem wasEarth had perished three hundred years before, and no one had told the ship.

Slant’s dilemma seemingly had no solution…then they landed on a strange world where the computer detected “gravitational anomalies.”

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Conquest of Earth

1525011785185-f767b9e1-15fd-4f9a-8428-69f4f9e9534a.jpgConquest of Earth by Manly Banister
Airmont Books, 1964
Originally published by Bouregy, 1957
Price I paid: 75¢

Earth’s elusive masters tolerated only one planet-wide organization—the Scarlet Order of Men. Only the most favored of the People could enter the Institute, as children, to undergo rigorous training. Those unfit for the Order became Blue Brethren, servants and guides of the People, aiding and instructing them as loyal members of society, under the rule of the benevolent Trisz.

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“Two-Handed Engine”

The Metal Smile

“Two-Handed Engine” by Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1955
Price I paid: none

“DO NOT FOLD, BEND, OR MUTILATE”

marked the beginning of our cybernetic society. How will it end?

The varied answers to that question have proved to be fertile ground for some of the greatest science fiction imaginations. But perhaps we shouldn’t look too closely into the future of cybernetics. It may be that the survival capacity of the thinking machine is greater than that of its maker…

(more…)

Killerbowl

KillerbowlKillerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
Self-published Kindle edition, 2017
Originally published by Doubleday, 1975
Price I paid: $2.99

Thirty years in the future, the ultraviolent sport of Professional Street Football, a phenomenally popular 24-four-hour-long athletic event, combines pro football with mixed martial arts and armed combat. On New Years day, quarterback T.K. Mann plays the most dangerous game of his life, the game known as Killerbowl!

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

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The Other World

1521411040405-b0b7f199-7515-4cc9-9119-861498380452_.jpgThe Other World by J. Harvey Bond
Priory Books, unknown year
Originally published by Avalon Books, 1963
Price I paid: 75¢

George Braderick, a civilian GS-5 Civil Service employee, was also a Sergeant Major in the National Guard. His principal duty was to guard the local armoury. It was as such that he became the target of the sinister Dr. Ludwig Taun—and the victim. Here is a story of a desperate struggle for power in a world out with the dimensions we know.

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The Revolving Boy

1520185962713-4cc96096-6bb8-436e-8ab0-ceecf9512e35_.jpgThe Revolving Boy by Gertrude Friedberg
Del Rey, 1980
Originally published by Doubleday, 1966
Price I paid: 90¢

From early childhood, Derv Nagy was marked out as being different. His uncanny sense of direction, his compulsion to turn and turn again until he felt somehow right, and the slight but definite slant at which he stood—all set him apart. Only his parents knew why Derv was unique among Earth’s billions—and they were determined that their son would never learn the truth.

Eventually Derv realized that his personal “compass” was oriented toward a world far distant from the one he had grown up on—but he did not know of the mysterious transmissions emanating from that invisible point in the sky…

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The Warrior of World’s End

1519066084799-88d90f03-1dbb-40d7-a0b1-2af981f75eb3_.jpgThe Warrior of World’s End by Lin Carter
DAW Books, 1974
Price I paid: 95¢

I see Gondwane as it shall be in the untold ages of dim futurity, near the time when the Earth shall be man’s habitation no more, and the great night shall enfold all, and naught but the cold stars shall reign. The first sign of the end ye shall see in the heavens, for Lo! the moon is falling, falling. And there shall come a man into the lands, a man not like other men, but sent from Galendil.

The name of the man is Ganelon Silvermane—and this is the first of a new marvel-adventure series by Lin Carter.

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“Quixote and the Windmill”

The Metal Smile“Quixote and the Windmill” by Poul Anderson
from The Metal Smile, ed. Damon Knight
Belmont Science Fiction, 1968
Originally published in Astounding Science Fiction, November 1950
Price I paid: none

“DO NOT FOLD, BEND, OR MUTILATE”

marked the beginning of our cybernetic society. How will it end?

The varied answers to that question have proved to be fertile ground for some of the greatest science fiction imaginations. But perhaps we shouldn’t look too closely into the future of cybernetics. It may be that the survival capacity of the thinking machine is greater than that of its maker…

(more…)

The Diabols

1517766851329-3054bd54-3884-4f4d-b176-6f2c336f1f51_.jpgThe Diabols by R.W. Mackelworth
Paperback Library, 1969
Originally published as Firemantle, Robert Hale, 1968
Price I paid: 75¢

Their bodies were colored lights; their voices were music. But whatever they touched was incinerated!

For a moment in time their destructive powers were limited to a small portion of Earth. Yet they were determined to burn the whole planet to a crisp.

Was there no hope for man’s survival?

As a last resort Boraston is projected into a future where the Diabols have almost won. Only a few humans remain, struggling to stay alive by holding the Diabols off with skirmishes and holding actions.

Can Boraston devise a method to destroy them?

If he succeeds, Earth can plan to save itself from the Diabols.

If he fails, Earth was doomed to become nothing more than a charred and blackened cinder in the galaxy!

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