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Spaceling by Doris Piserchia
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: $1
The ability to see the other-dimensional rings that float in Earth’s atmosphere was a late mutation of a few space-age humans. Daryl was under the care of the institution for muters, and she had discovered that if you jumped through the right ring at the right time it would land you in another dimensional world and another shape.
SPACELING is the story of Daryl’s desperate efforts to unravel the mystery of why she was being held captive and of what was really going on in a certain alien dimension. Because she was sure it was all bad and that someday everyone would thank her for the revelation.
But instead everyone was engaged in a wild effort to hold her down, to keep her on this Earth, and to keep the world simply intact!
It’s a fast and furious escapade of a future Huck Finn, female gender, by the author of EARTHCHILD.
The Destroyer #32: Killer Chromosomes by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy
Pinnacle Books, 1978
Price I paid: I forgot
What happens when a lady scientist discovers a “key” to the manipulation of genetic patterns that keep different species from intermingling?
The lady becomes a tiger—of the man-eating variety. She is wild, beautiful, and deadly. And she soon decides that she must share her sinister secret with other women. The lovely killer genes multiply geometrically…and so does the fatality rate. The country becomes littered with chewed-up bodies. All men.
Enter Remo and Chiun—The Destroyer—the only weapon against this carnivorous cutie. Handsome Remo, fast on the chase becomes her prisoner—and love slave. Conspiracy and criminality fall into Remo’s usual area of operation. Genetic warfare and animalistic passions are something else again. Especially when the enemy looks like a Playboycenterfold!
So, as Remo is about to choose between going down in flames or up in smoke, Chiun sees a way to preserve the integrity of man’s chromosomes, and stay alive…something to do with the ancient Korean proverb about knowing which tale of the tiger to take!
If the universe is infinite, it follows that there may be somewhere real physical worlds that duplicate those of the imagination. And when Tom Carson caught sight of the third planet of 82 Eridani he recognized at once its resemblance to that imaginary Mars called “Barsoom” of the ancient novelist Burroughs.
Of course there were differences, but even so this planet was ruddy, criss-crossed with canals, and its inhabitants were redskinned, fought with swords, and had many things superficially in common with the fantasy Mars of the John Carter adventures.
But there were indeed vital variations that would eventually trip up the self-deceived science-fiction-reading travellers from 24th Century Earth. Therein hangs a tale that will delight and surprise everyone who enjoys the thrill of exploring a new world, especially one that seems peculiarly familiar.
Although this was a low point in the ever-changing space career of the legendary John Grimes, it was not without its surprising moments. Between jobs, between loyalties, Grimes was owner and pilot of a small auxiliary vessel whose principal oddity was that it was made of gold. But precious metal or not, Grimes was running errands with it.
Until he fell into the clutches of terrorists. Susie and her comrades had a Cause and it was going to take all his efforts to keep the one thing he had to have―his ship.
Especially since they left the ship infested with a constantly increasing horde of mini-Susies―vicious little homunculi that looked exactly like their sexy prototype except that they were hungry, sharp-toothed, and their only Cause was to eat Grimes alive!
Chrome by George Nader
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978
Price I paid: none
In the future, there will be only one taboo: to love a robot. But in the desert hideaway where Chrome and the warrior King Vortex meet, a bond between man and machine is unknowingly taking shape. . . a bond that will ignite intergalactic violence and bring Earth once more to the brink of total destruction.
Preacher Mann is too much for the FBI and the CIA. He has dual citizenship and friends in diplomatic circles and he’s too powerful for the regular legal channels. He’s come a long way: from a pimp in Harlem he’s worked his way to the top―of the rackets. He’s into international dope, espionage―and now, in his orgy palace off the Florida coast he’s onto a new wrinkle!
The most beautiful women in the country are systematically vanishing. And Preacher Mann is holding them on ice―literally. He’s freezing them until needed―to be shipped to the highest bidder.
Only one man can defrost the situation―the Penetrator. He must succeed where others have failed. One man on a mission that’s too cool to handle!
His name was Archer and he thought he was an ordinary man. The collectors of panorama eggs knew better. For Archer was such a collector, and there was a very special find awaiting him: the panorama egg that contained a world.
He was guided in the use of that incredible masterwork by the enigmatic grey woman, Mera Melaklos. That was her name in this everyday world. But her real name could have been something else beyond this space-time continuum.
For indeed Archer and the grey woman crossed into a world that was not Earth, found they had special roles to play in a land where alternate science reigned and a mission of heroism was the price of existence.
THE PANORAMA EGG is a novel of strange enchantment and mystery, and of a man who wanted and found an end to a humdrum 20th century existence.
To Escape the Stars by Robert Hoskins
Del Rey, 1978
Price I paid: 75¢
…when freesailer, plunderer Jamas Oregas and his beautiful business partner set out to bilk the unsuspecting denizens of the backwater planet Llango.
IT GOT COMPLICATED…
…when Jamas, who knew the ins and outs of stargates, was doublecrossed and had to disappear―and fast.
IT MOVED INTO HIGH GEAR…
…when Jamas landed on Prime―a repository planet of galactic history―and learned of a mysterious lost race that held the master key to all the stargates for all the worlds.
AND IT FINALLY EXPLODED…
…when Jamas himself decided to scour the galaxy, looking for that long-lost race, following a trail that would lead him to power beyond his wildest dreams―if he somehow managed to stay alive!
LATE OF THE WESTERN WORLD
Then how can the late Poet Laureate’s words be coming through the Interlink? And what horror could have caused him to leave this safe, gentle world of his own free will?
THEY PUT THE BALL AGAINST MY EAR
AND LET ME HEAR THE SLUG.
Alexander Blunt, the complete conformist, the tame poet of the Freeman state. Can the benevolent Freeman be a murderer? So say the messages from the dead.
I AM ONE WITH THE DEER AND THE JAGUAR.
Blunt journeys to the mysterious Bellerophon, in the western mountains, where ancient rebels have come back to life, where an aged Mexican sorceress can control events…and where awesome powers gather strength for the coming struggle.
I WANT REVENGE, ALEXANDER…
The landing was unlike any they had ever made. But then they had never before seen a planet so strange as this one—with its wild seas, scarred plains, and rubbled cities. It looked as if it had been totally devastated by some type of nuclear destruction.
And they were most curious—these aliens with their green-scaled faces and stubby tails—to explore this peculiar place where man had once existed…until their ship exploded and they were stranded with no means of survival and no hope of rescue.
Unless their high priest—Ama of the Keelong—prayed to the higher power they had rebelled against. For this was a spiritual mission…and the Alcoran had lost their way…