The Penetrator #17: Demented Empire

The Penetrator #17: Demented Empire by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1976
Price I paid: 50¢

A crime and swindle operation syndicate has set up a weapons warehouse in Florida.

Five senior citizens are dead. They were conned out of their life’s savings on phony land deals and made the mistake of complaining. This mob is also distributing wholesale weaponry, ammunition, and drugs to any thief or psycho with money. Tony Rossi of La Cosa Nostra asks his old friend, Mark Hardin, to smash the Florida operation. And Mark is forced to help the Mafia against their non-Sicilian opponents because of their threat to innocent people!

Join the Penetrator as he wreaks havoc on organized crime: fighting from Florida to Guatemala to bust up the most insidious drug, gun, and swindle operation ever to threaten our national security!

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Grease

Grease by Ron de Christoforo
Pocket Books, 1978
Price I paid: It’s complicated, but less than a buck

GREASE IS FOR LOVERS

It’s the story of Sandy and Zuko, dance contests, graduation, drive-ins, and wishing the summer would never end; of fighting and thinking they mean it when all they really care about is making up.

GREASE IS FOR SWINGERS!

It’s the story of The Thunderbirds and The Pink Ladies, Greased Lightnin’, gang rumbles, Thunder Road, Rydell High, and the Class of ’59.

GREASE IS FOREVER!

Most of all, it’s the story of how great it can be to go with someone who’s crazy about you. Even if it’s a while before everyone knows it…even before you’re sure about it yourself.

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Gene Roddenberry
Simon and Schuster, 1979
Price I paid: $2

Space—the final frontier…

But for James T. Kirk, late of the starship Enterprise, it looks as though the days of exploration are over. After the completion of his five-year mission, he has been promoted to Admiral—and assigned to a permanent ground job. The Enterprise has been completely refitted, and placed under new command.

But when a destructive alien force threatens Earth itself, only Kirk possesses the courage, the ingenuity, and the loyalty of the finest crew in Starfleet to venture into deep space to meet the challenge.

One by one they return: Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Chapel, and at last, Mr. Spock, his mind called back from Vulcan mysteries to join his old companions. Added to the old crew are the Deltan navigator, Ilia, an alien woman as compelling as she is beautiful; and the young captain, Willard Decker, whose life is mysteriously entwined with hers. As the Enterprise embarks for deepest space, the crew have very little time to discover the nature of their unknown adversary, for a huge, luminescent, and deadly cloud is coming nearer and nearer to Earth…

Written with the insight and authenticity that could come only from Star Trek‘s creator, here is the inner story of the Enterprise’s most dangerous and spectacular mission.

from the inside front flap
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The Time-Swept City

Image from isfdb.org

The Time-Swept City by Thomas F. Monteleone
Popular Library, 1977
Price I paid: $1

ETERNAL CHICAGO

built to serve man and now seeking mastery of man

ETERNAL CHICAGO

evolving like a live organism over the milleniums toward the zenith of monstrous perfection

ETERNAL CHICAGO

flourishing behind its force fields as disaster ravishes the globe—and voyagers from space vanish among the stars

ETERNAL CHICAGO

the ultimate battleground between human and extrahuman power—where the future of earth and the universe will be decided

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The Day the Gods Died

The Day the Gods Died by Walter Ernsting
Bantam Books, 1976
Originally published as Der Tag, An Dem Die Goetter Starben
Translated by Wendayne Ackerman
Price I paid: 75¢

ERICH VON DÄNIKEN CONTACTED WALTER ERNSTING BY TELEPATHIC TELEGRAPH…Then entrusted him with the most important object on Earth—a small stone sphinx. The tiny statue was the secret key to the Gods from outer space. It unlocked a hidden stronghold in Peru, revealing their ultrahuman civilization. Walter Ernsting entered a sense-shattering world unbounded by time or space—where he saw the fantastic technology that enabled the Gods to bridge 20,000 years in an instant. Where he discovered the true purpose of the Gods’ interplanetary mission. And where he learned the awesome prophecy that foretells the fate of humanity. THE DAY THE GODS DIED.

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Speaking of Dinosaurs

The cover image is a large picture of an iguana with the title and author text in red and yellow, respectively, at the top. In the bottom right is the logo for Hale SF.
Cover of the 1974 Robert Hale edition/isfdb.org

Speaking of Dinosaurs by Philip E. High
eBook by Gateway/Orion, 2011
Originally published by Robert Hale, 1974
Price I paid: $3.99

Most people accept Darwin’s theory of evolution. Well, David Standing did…until one day he wandered by chance into a museum and saw the dinosaur.

As a gifted engineer his enquiring mind made him question how such a massive skeleton had been able to balance and move; his experiments proved it was impossible. Then attempts were made on his life… And, in a horrifying time shift, back to the distant past, he visits Primeval Earth – where, naked and unarmed, he comes face to face with the truth about the evolution of man…

from Goodreads
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The Overman Culture

The Overman Culture by Edmund Cooper
Berkley Medallion, 1972
Price I paid: 25¢

A REAL SPINNER!…Michael is a ‘fragile’ boy—one of a seemingly small number of children who grow tired when they run, who bleed when they are hurt, who can’t take off their heads….As the fragile children discover each other, probe in the moldering ruins of London, and try to interpret what they find, they come to the conclusion that they have been created by some super-scientist, as guinea pigs for an experiment.

“And what happens if the guinea pigs turn on their creator—on the Overman of the legend they all know? They may be destroyed. They may be set free. They may escape. And who or what are the others, the ‘drybones’ who do not bleed, who can take off their heads? Edmund Cooper has secrets he can hide as well from you as from the fragiles…”

—P. Schuyler Miller, Analog

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Singularity Station

Singularity Station by Brian N. Ball
DAW Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢ Paperback

Robotic minds made interstellar travel possible, but human minds still controlled the destination and purpose of such flight. Conflict develops only when a programmed brain cannot evaluate beyond what is visible and substantial, whereas the human mind is capable of infinite imagination—including that which is unreal.

Such was the problem at the singularity in space in which the ALTAIR STAR and a hundred other vessels had come to grief. At that spot, natural laws seem subverted—and some other universe’s rules impinged.

For Buchanan, the station meant a chance to observe and maybe rescue his lost vessel. For the robotic navigators of oncoming spaceships, the meaning was different. And at Singularity Station the only inevitable was conflict.

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Casca #1: The Eternal Mercenary

Image courtesy isfdb.org

Casca #1: The Eternal Mercenary by Barry Sadler
Casca eBooks, 2014
Originally published by Ace Charter, 1979
Price I paid: $9.98

When they flew Casey into the hospital at Nha Trang, the medics were sure he’d die. That he didn’t was only the first surprise.

The second, bigger one, was that Casey had been fighting for two thousand years, ever since that day on Golgotha when he put his lance into the side of the Man on the Cross.

“Soldier, you are content with what you are. Then that you shall remain until we meet again.”

So does Casca’s journey begin, a man who cannot die, does not age, and knows no skill but those of battle. He becomes The Eternal Mercenary.

copied from Goodreads
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The Time Masters

THTMMSTRSR1971
Image courtesy of isfdb.org

The Time Masters by Wilson Tucker
Doubleday, 1971
Price I paid: none

In Knoxville, Tennessee, the men involved in the top-secret Ridgerunner project are about to complete work on the first rocket designed to probe beyond the solar system, and Secret Service agents in that city are becoming frantic over the presence of one Gilbert Nash, a man without a past.

The investigation of Nash began when it was discovered that he subscribed to every journal of science currently published in the free world—archeology [sic], geology, astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, medicine and, most disturbing of all, nuclear physics. Was he merely showing a healthy interest in science, or perhaps something more sinister? Determined to find out, the government agents are soon plunged into the most baffling and frustrating case of any of their careers.

Every fact they uncover only adds to the mystery surrounding Nash’s identity. He seems to have come into existence out of nowhere on March 8th, 1940, the date the United States decided in earnest to build an atomic bomb, and then migrated to Knoxville just in advance of the establishment of the Ridgerunner project. On the door to his office appear only his name and the word “Investigations.” And, although Nash gave his age as 31 in 1940, he appears not to have aged a day since that time.

When a key member of the Ridgerunner project goes to Nash’s office and then commits suicide a few days later, the search for Nash’s true identity and purpose becomes desperately urgent. But only Shirley Hoffman, secretary to one of the agents, is able to get close enough to Nash to actually converse with him. What he says adds a new and frightening dimension to the ever deepening mystery.

While dining, he begins to tell her the story of Gilgamesh, hero of an epic written thousands of years ago in ancient Assyria. Supposedly immortal, Gilgamesh was a man whose origins were either unknown or unrecorded, and who stalked through the land accomplishing mighty deeds.

As the story of Gilgamesh unfolds, Shirley Hoffman begins to wonder just what Nash’s interest in this ancient tale is—and by the time he reaches the end of the epic, she learns the incredible and terrifying answer.

THE TIME MASTERS is a compelling novel of science fiction that will hold readers i the grip of suspense until the very end. As the identity of Gilbert Nash is revealed—and the countdown begins that will blast the first rocket outside of the solar system—the book builds to an unforgettable and shattering climax.

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