Destiny’s Orbit by David Grinnell Ace Books, 1961 Price I paid: $6.99 (although you could half that because it’s an Ace Double?)
Though Ajax Calkins was wealthy enough to buy anything on Earth his heart desired, the one thing he wanted most was strictly forbidden. That was a world of his own—a planet, however small, which would be his private kingdom in the sky. The Earth-Mars Space Administration stood in his path. They would tolerate no such Eighteenth Century derring-do in the commercial and workaday interplanetary channels of the Twenty-First Century. Empire-building was out.
But when an offer from a bearded stranger opened the way to just such an adventure, Ajax leapt at the chance. In his luxury spacecraft Destiny he shot out through the inner planets to the tiny world that waited a king—and, unwittingly to a monster outer-planet empire that waited a detonator for a cosmic war.
I Speak for Earth by Keith Woodcott Ace Books, 1961 Price I paid: none
“One citizen of your planet shall go to the capital of the Federation of Worlds. He shall live there for thirty days. If your representative can survive and demonstrate the ability to exist in a civilized society with creatures whose outward appearance and manner of thinking differ from his own, you shall pass the test. You will be permitted to send your starships to other planets of the galaxy.
If he fails the test, if prejudice, fear, intolerance, or stupidity trip him up, then your world will be sealed off from the stars forever!”
This was the ultimatum from space. The task before our world then was—who shall go? What man or woman could be found to take this frightening test for the whole of humanity and be certain not to fail?
It’s an edge-of-the-seat science-fiction thriller.
The Planet Strappers by Raymond Z. Gallun
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….
The Day They H-Bombed Los Angeles by Robert Moore Williams
Ace Books, 1961
Price I paid: none
A Hollywood star, a housewife, a nurse…A doctor, a G-man, an engineer…They were among the pitiful handful of survivors who faced starvation, disease, and something infinitely worse—the terror that roamed the ruins! The horde of monsters had once been men and women, but now wre transformed into something never before seen on Earth!