Zelde M’Tana by F.M. Busby
Dell Books, 1980
Price I paid: 90¢
Young, untried, but a lethally trained fighter, Zelde M’Tana found herself legally shanghaied by the oppressive UET―imprisoned on a starship bound for the brothels of a mining planet. There was no way Zelde was going to stand for that―and when the ship’s first officer, Parnell, led an anti-UET revolt, Zelde joined the mutineers and single-handedly turned defeat into victory.
First as Parnell’s lover, then as his assistant, Zelde was mistrusted by the crew―but when the UET struck once again and Parnell died, there was only one choice for Captain: Zelde M’Tana.
Pungent and vivid as its heroine, ZELDE M’TANA is a gripping epic of spacefaring, battle, and human conflict.
NYPD 2025 by Hal Stryker
Pinnacle Books, 1985
Price I paid: 90¢
IN A WORLD OF THE NEAR FUTURE, WHERE DECENT PEOPLE LIVE IN FEAR, WHERE JUSTICE IS DYING AND THE LAW PROTECTS THE GUILTY― THE COMBAT OPERATIONS POLICE COME ROARING IN!
The bleeding heart lawmakers have taken lethal weapons out of the hands of the law enforcers―and in the world’s largest city criminals are on a perpetual holiday. Rape, murder, robbery, and sabotage are the order of the day. The answer:
COMBAT OPERATIONS POLICE
A special enforcement unit made up of the toughest, bravest, and most cunning street-smart fighting men, using the best in weaponry―including Andy Jumbles, an android, indestructable against bullet, dynamite, or laser. They are heading right into the deadly shadows of Manhattan to stomp the human trash that rules the dark―and give the city back to its people!
The Pirates of Rosinante by Alexis A. Gilliland
Del Rey Books, 1982
Price I paid: 75¢
2042—Not a good year for Mundito Rosinante. As the space colony’s orbit drew it farther from Earth, the tiny world’s troubles just seemed to grow. It was caught up in the power struggle between the Japanese and the successors to the U.S. Citizens revolted. Robots got uppity. Someone even threw a grenade at Governor Cantrell!
If Rosinante was to survive, Cantrell would have to act fast and think faster. Well, at least the robots thought he had God on his side.
RenSime by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Price I paid: none
Laneff Farris is an anomaly—an ordinary RenSime in a family of highly skilled channel Simes and Companion Gens dedicated to uniting the two branches of mutated humanity. Unexpectedly changing over into a Sime, she kills the two who try, unprepared, to help her.
When she finally disjuncts, frees herself of the desire to get energy-of-life from Gens, she vows no other child will have to kill to survive changeover as she has.
Now, through her biochemical research, Laneff believes she has the key, though no one can duplicate her synthesis. The head of the powerful House of Zeor supports her, but she has fallen in love with his mysterious ex-gypsy companion, Shanlun.
If her research succeeds, humanity will be reunited at last. But is the world ready? Many fearful extremists say “No!” And to prove it, they entice Laneff to kill again—publicly.
Rescued by an underground leader, given a lab and a few months to live, Laneff struggles to complete her research as she becomes deeply attracted to her benefactor. Then Shanlun reappears, claiming she can survive a second disjunction and marry him. But when he discovers she’s pregnant, he tells her his method will abort her child.
Can Laneff survive to bear her child, finally come to terms with herself as a RenSime, and still help the cause of Unity?
The Haunted Mesa by Louis L’Amour
Bantam Books, 1987
Price I paid: Most public library cards are free! Get one!
The Navajo called them the Anasazi: an enigmatic race of southwestern cliff dwellers. For centuries, the sudden disappearance of this proud and noble people has baffled historians. Summoned to a dark desert plateau by a desperate letter from an old friend, renowned investigator Mike Raglan is drawn into a world of mystery, violence, and explosive revelation. Crossing the border beyond the laws of man and nature, he will learn the astonishing legacy of the Anasazi—but not without a price. Set in the contemporary Southwest, The Haunted Mesa draws on Louis L’Amour’s extensive knowledge of Indian lore and mysticism. In this extraordinary book L’Amour tells a tale of epic adventure that takes his readers across the most extraordinary frontier they have ever encountered.
Shadow Singer by Marcia J. Bennett
Del Rey, 1984
Price I paid: $1
Humans had long shared the planet Ver-draak with the Ni-lach people—until, in fear of the unusual Ni-lach powers, they turned on the natives. The Ni-lach who survived the massacres went into hiding.
Pursued by bounty hunters, Dhalvad the Ni-lach and Poco the half-breed fled into the woods.
Though Poco didn’t know it, she had a special Ni-lach talent, similar to Dhal’s abilities to Heal and to transport himself through space and time. But somehow she had to learn to use her gift—for the fate of all the Ni-lach people hung in the balance.
The Penetrator #35: Black Massacre by Lionel Derrick
Pinnacle Books, 1980
Price I paid: $1.50
Alarmed over the increasing number of mysterious deaths among the black population, the Penetrator rushes to Indianapolis, where he learns that a strange epidemic of sickle cell anemia is sweeping the country.
Then, hearing that a similar situation is occurring in Puerto Rico, Mark Hardin flies to San Juan…and finds out that a deranged toxicologist has developed a secret formula that triggers the fatal disease…an invisible death spray to infect those susceptible, killing them one by one…
It’s a race against the clock as the Penetrator searches for the insane scientist responsible for dealing sudden death to the blacks, and discovers the shocking reason for his deadly revenge…
The Mansions of Space by John Morressy
Ace Science Fiction, 1983
Price I paid: $1.50
Jod Enskeline, master of the driveship Rimjack, was a free trader traveling from one alien planet to another in his restless search of the universe.
Then he landed on Peter’s Rock, a forgotten planet of humans, ruled by priests and harboring a treasure of books holding all the extinct languages of Earth. The books would bring Jod a fortune, but in return for this uncountable wealth, he must take priest-voyagers on a dangerous mission—to find the Holy Shroud, the last relic of an ancient faith lost somewhere in the universe!
The Alien Trace by H.M. Major
Signet Books, 1984
Price I paid: $1
Mehira, home world to a totally empathic race, is a place ruled by love not violence. After all, when you experience the feelings of others as if they are your own wouldn’t you rather share the joy of pleasure than the horror of pain? Yet even Mehira is not completely free of lawbreakers, and so there are the Catchers. Police, bounty hunters, no matter what they are called, Catchers like Cord and his family are looked upon by their fellow Mehirans as a necessary evil in a not quite perfect world.
And then humans come to Mehira to establish a trading post, and suddenly the planet’s carefully ordered society is plunged into chaos, forcing Cord to face the greatest challenge of his career. For the traders have brought with them far more than rare metals and advanced technology. In their midst lurks Death, stalking the echoing spaceport tunnels, prowling throughout the peaceful Mehiran nights, seeking a key that will unlock the universe, and ready and eager to destroy Cord or anyone else who gets in its way…
Mahogany Trinrose by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Price I paid: none
Ercy Farris, heir apparent to the House of Zeor, lives in a time when humanity has mutated into predatory Simes, and their prey, Gens, who produce the selyn which the Simes need to survive…and will kill to get. Centuries ago, a Sime-submutation appeared, the channels, with the ability to take selyn from Gens without killing and to transfer it to Simes. Now, a complex social structure rules the world, with the channels at the top, preventing Simes from killing Gens.
Ercy, a not-yet-matured channel, has dedicated her life to cultivating the mahogany trinrose, source of the drug kerduvon, which legend says can free humanity of the threat of the kill.
Pursuing the secret of the mahogany trinrose during her changeover into an adult Sime, she wakens in herself powers outlawed by her society as witchcraft: telekinesis, clairvoyance, teleportation…and the strange power to make her wishes come true. Yet as they come true, they make her into a danger to her Householding and her world.
One man, the mysterious Halimer Grant, can help her in the desperate struggle to preserve those she loves and their ideals. What price does he foresee that makes him hesitate?