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Shakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak
Price I paid: $1
After a thousand years in space, the earth vessel lands on a remote planet capable of supporting human life. Inside the explorer ship an almost inaudible hum fills the silence; computer lights blink softly, signaling the awakening of the cryogenically preserved crew.
But only one crew member awakens from his artificial sleep. A systems malfunction has killed the others. Carter Horton is alone.
Horton learns almost immediately that the planet is inhabited by a bizarre creature who calls himself Carnivore. And the creature addresses him in English, the language he had learned from an earlier traveler who called himself Shakespeare. Now, Shakespeare is dead, and Horton soon learns that he and Carnivore, too, face certain peril unless they can get away from this strange planet.
Leaving is no simple affair. Carnivore, and before him, Shakespeare, had come to this planet via an inner-space tunnel, one of many such tunnels that exist throughout the galaxy. But this tunnel has broken down and works only one way―the wrong way―and there is no exit. And Horton’s explorer ship is a thousand years obsolete―incapable of returning them to civilization.
The creature called Carnivore and the earthman, Horton, are marooned on a planet of mysterious ruins bespeaking a catastrophic end to a once-grand civilization. The portentous signs they begin to encounter intimate some dire, ominous happening will soon befall them―unless they can repair the inner-space tunnel and leave Shakespeare’s Planet.
Mythmaster by Leo P. Kelley
Price I paid: 90¢
Stealing lives and peddling them from one end of the galaxy to another for unspeakable uses, the Mythmaster thought he was a free man. The Patrol that had cashiered him couldn’t catch him now. He was making his own life, alone.
Then a supposedly dead man decided he wanted a piece of the action―and the Mythmaster’s body―and the chase was on. Between the Patrol and the sinister Oxon Kaedler he knew his freedom was a mirage. Now he was fighting for his very life!
The Lion Game by James H. Schmitz
DAW Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢
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
The Penetrator. He’d learned how in Vietnam. Infiltrate the enemy’s position, determine the plan of action and then strike swiftly, taking out as many key men as possible, wreaking destruction, leaving chaos in your wake.
Now he was in Los Angeles, engaged in a new, far more sinister war. But he was fully prepared and totally committed, and bound by no rules but his own.
He is tall and slim, reflecting his unique Indian-Welsh background. His driver’s licence indicates his age is twenty-eight. If he seems a bit grim, it is for good reason.
He was orphaned at four, when his parents and three brothers and sisters were killed in an automobile crash. Since then he’s been mistreated, brutalized by life, injured in games (football), and wounded in combat. But he’s survived. Mark Hardin is tough, a survivor. And an expert. Marksmanship, karate, aikido, and even the crossbow, are part of his arsenal.
He is a new breed of warrior—without uniform, without rank—dedicated to the American way of life, and pledged to fight anyone who seeks to destroy it. On either side of the law. That’s why he’s in Los Angeles. Just the beginning of a long and lonely series of brushfire wars.
Syzygy by Michael G. Coney
Ballantine Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢
The Planet Arcadia has six moons, describing erratic orbits. But once every fifty-two years, the Moons of Arcadia come together in a constellation that creates havoc on the surface—raging tides, storms…and worse.
For the inhabitants of Arcadia are themselves affected in some strange way by the unusual gravitic pulls. Or so it would seem. For few on this new, recently colonized world can remember exactly what happened fifty-two years before; those old enough to remember are curiously reticent.
And meanwhile the Moons grow closer…
TEN-FOUR AND KILL!
Alex Jason! You’ve just been elected to infiltrate the Patrol. They’re a vigilante group, and they claim to be on the side of law and order…
But it’s their kind of law and their kind of order that triggers the action. And innocent, concerned men are being tricked into signing their lives away to the Patrol. It’s a vigilante group—sure. Vigilantes who’d kill a cop as quick as kill a mugger. And they’ll kill you, Jason, if they find out who you are. Cell by cell they’ll destroy you just like they’re destroying the fabric of this country.
So get them first. Infiltrate and attack—a job for the Enforcer!
Captain Setni, of all the officers of space, was the most immune to hypnotic suggestion and psychological delusions. Hence, when reports reached the Great Brains of a strange new planet in the Hydra group, Setni was the logical astronaut to check it out.
Because by all accounts the planet seemed a double of Old Earth—but of Earth as it had been in the far past—and legendary beings were alive and well there.
Setni was specially trained for the task, but even the best training in disbelief was not sufficient. For on that pseudo-Earth, not only was Charlemagne in power and knighthood in flower, but the pagan gods were visible, physically real, and devilishly active.
Setni knew it was no illusion—
but then what was the reality?
KILL AND DIE
That was the battle tactic of the Tinkers, rough, vicious interplanetary invaders who would rather die than be captured alive. Controlling them in some way were The Six—an occult group that had learned how to duplicate human beings and use them as pawns in a grandiose plan to control interstellar space.
Defending civilization against this onslaught were Rey Cottrell, a war consultant without even a fortress from which to fight his battle, and captain Brixby, a lone idealist faced with mutiny when he tried to take his ship into the combat zone. Their chances seemed hopeless—especially since Cottrell suspected that there were supernatural forces involved that could take over the whole galaxy!
J.T. McIntosh, famous for many years for his action-packed science fiction adventures, has excelled himself with this new blend of drama and totally original, mind-expanding ideas.
Meet Matthew Dilke
so small that he must fight for his life against centipedes and killer ants…so tough that he is sent as a secret agent on a suicide mission behind the Iron Curtain!
Berkley’s International Science Fiction program is proud to introduce France’s premier young s-f master with an adventure in Earth’s future. After the catastrophic death of civilization, human colonists of Mars return to “the mother planet” to discover a primitive society operating in bloody conflict with nature. The planetwide adventures of this group of colonists—grown soft and decadent in the artificial, low-gravity colonies on Mars—is one of the most exciting adventures of today’s international world of science fiction.