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To Keep the Ship

To Keep the ShipTo Keep the Ship by A. Bertram Chandler
DAW Books, 1978
Price I paid: $1.25

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!

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Clone

Clone by Richard Cowper
Pocket Books, 1979
Price I paid: 90¢

Spawned in a dangerous 21st-century experiment, they were brought into a world where educated apes did manual labor and the government encouraged suicide as a method of population control.

Their existence as clones was unknown to anyone―even to each other―known only to their creator.

But then came the strange, haunting visions, the peculiar psychic sensations that drew them closer and closer together―revealing once and for all the mysterious secret they shared that would change the world!

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Runts of 61 Cygni C

Cover image snagged from isfdb.org

Runts of 61 Cygni C by James Grazier
Belmont, 1970
Price I paid: none

Capt. Alex and his team had been computer-selected to explore the sun-twin planet Cygni C. They found there a race of men who wiled away their lives playing childish games, making love, and vegetating in the deep, luxuriant jungles. Alex’s friends quickly succumbed to the planet’s many delights. Only he felt duty-bound to return to earth.

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Shakespeare’s Planet

Shakespeare's PlanetShakespeare’s Planet by Clifford D. Simak
Berkley/Putnam, 1976
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.

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Mythmaster

MythmasterMythmaster by Leo P. Kelley
Dell, 1973
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!

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Chrome

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Cover art from the 1979 Jove Books paperback edition from isfdb.org

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.

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Sorcerer’s World

Sorcerer's WorldSorcerer’s World by Damien Broderick
Signet Science Fiction, 1970
Price I paid: $1.25

Klim Xaraf, son of a nomadic chief, awoke from his monumental fall to find himself the prisoner of time―trapped a thousand million years in the future.

Around him was a dying world, its incredible power sucked by necromancers through a hole to the past…it’s cities preserved in stasis, awaiting his liberation, or their final doom.

Yet Klim could neither meet his world’s challenge, nor conquer the wizards of his own, until The Powers primed him for the battle. For with their knowledge, they would erase his memory and plunge him into a nightmare training ground…where all the wonders of tomorrow were the forgotten souvenirs of an ancient yesterday.

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The Lion Game

The Lion GameThe Lion Game by James H. Schmitz
DAW Books, 1973
Price I paid: 90¢

TELZEY AMBERDON…

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

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Sacred Locomotive Flies

Sacred Locomotive FliesSacred Locomotive Flies by Richard Lupoff
Beagle Books, 1971
Price I paid: none

CAN FREDDIE FONG FINE SAVE THE WORLD? IF SO, SHOULD HE?

These are the questions that may or may not be the core of this extremely odd novel of the world of 1985. What the Israeli hyponuclear submarine Traif, Mavis Montreal the groupie, the giant cavern under the earth, Upchuck the Barbarian, and the Sacred Locomotive have to do with it all is hard to figure out. But entertaining―so who needs to figure?

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The Floating Zombie

The Floating ZombieThe Floating Zombie by D.F. Jones
Berkley Medallion, 1975
Price I paid: $1.25

Before AT1 had ground down the slipway unchristened―rightly, said seamen, for it would be a ship with no soul―it had been dubbed “Zombie.” That sinister name would stick, and prove its accuracy. AT1 was a robot-ship, a ship with no crew, only a tiny security force of 3 men and a woman. “Invulnerable,” said its inventors, and “foolproof.”

But it was neither―not if one of the 4 security guards was an insane, ruthless killer. And if the greatest and most powerful self-contained nuclear reactor in the world fell into the hands of such a person, the whole world was in peril!

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