The Midnight Dancers by Gerard F. Conway
Ace Science Fiction, 1971
Price I paid: 90¢
THE MIDNIGHT DANCERS is a novel of the far future, when mankind has spread through the galaxies, tamed worlds and prospered…until a mysterious plague swept through the worlds of men, a plague that left the race insane and helpless.
Only on a distant rim world where men still fight the elements is there any sanity left. To this world comes the Walker, a supernormal being on a quest to find salvation for humanity. Perhaps here, he thinks, there is a clue to the answer.
But the Walker too is insane, and he plunges even this world into confusion. And one man stalks him across the planet, across the emptiness between the stars, to a final battle against the gods of the cosmos…and a chilling vision of ultimate reality.
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Pavane by Keith Roberts
Ace Science Fiction, 1968
Price I paid: 90¢
In the year 1588, Queen Elizabeth of England was assassinated.
As a result, when the Spanish Armada attacked, England went down to defeat. The entire history of Europe and the New World was changed: now, in the Twentieth Century, the Church of Rome reigns supreme over an orderly world of pastoral beauty, but Man’s technology is still at the level of the steam locomotive, the typewriter and primitive radio.
Yet Science cannot be held back forever; its advocates become more daring and open with each year. A vast revolution is building….
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Frontier Earth by Bruce Boxleitner
Ace Science Fiction, 1999
Price I paid: 25¢
Bruce Boxleitner, best known for his role as Captain Sheridan on the hit television series Babylon 5, delivers an exciting science fiction novel of Earth’s first contact with an alien species—in the year 1881.
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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!
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Second Contact by J.D. Austin
Ace Science Fiction, 2001
Price I paid: 75¢
Dangling on the edge of the galaxy is Kivlan, a planet reputed to be a gracious and accommodating paradise. Even its name means tranquility—but apparently in some dead language, because when an earthship sends out a friendly hello, Kivlan immediately responds with missile fire.
Leave it to Earth to give peace one more chance—by dispatching one more ship to Kivlan. And Matt Wiener, its optimistic captain, isn’t traveling way the hell out there just to make enemies. A real straight-arrow, he’s prepared to do what it takes to keep the universe in harmony. Even if it kills them all…
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Phase Two by Walt and Leigh Richmond
Ace Science Fiction, 1979
Price I paid: 25¢
WISDOM IS WASTED ON THE OLD…
By the time a man was truly wise, he was old and feeble—until now. A revolutionary technique developed by Dr. Katsu Lang of the Asteroid Belt has changed all that; students can actually be innoculated [sic] with “memory molecules” and given a lifetime of knowledge in the same length of time as ordinary schooling. that’s why the brightest youngsters from all over the solar system vie for entrance to the Astro Technology School on Earth.
At the head of his class at AT is Stan Dustin, son of the hero of the Asteroid Belt’s first triumphant battle for independence. When he learns that he is being groomed for a career in Earth’s hated militia Stan escapes to the Belt, where he learns the frightening truth about the memory injections and the side effects Earth has so carefully cultivated.
The struggle for the Belt’s independence is far from over—and of all the brilliant young officers from the AT school, only Stan has full control over his own will. Earth plans that the second battle with the upstart Belters will go very differently from the first—but Earth reckons without Stan Dustin, and the courage of men who fight for a world they love.
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Peace Company by Roland Green
Ace Science Fiction, 1985
Price I paid: 25¢
If you seek peace—prepare for war
A rule as true in the 24th century as it is today. When 75 planets—from savage tribes to outlaw tyrannies to star-spanning mega-powers—totter on the brink of the hell that began the day Earth destroyed itself. When only one military outfit has the experience, strength, and firepower to deliver rapid deployment justice to the galaxy—the Planetary Union Peace Force.
This is the frontline.
Peace Company Group 14, New Frontier Seventh Peace Brigade. The 900 shock troops of the battle-cruiser Ark Royal. Knife-honed vets, men and women, commander to crew. Elite commandos ready to wage and win war, anytime, anywhere. Under any conditions. On any world.
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The Universe Against Her by James H. Schmitz
Ace Science Fiction, 1964
Price I paid: 90¢
Meet TELZEY AMBERDON
She’s one in a billion. She’s brilliant, charming, beautiful, and a high-level genius. She’s also the most powerful latent telepath the Psychology Service has ever discovered. That’s why the Service is keeping a very close watch on her: fully developed, Telzey’s Talent could prove disasterous for the Service’s plans for the future development of galactic civilization. If Telzey gives so much as a telepathic sneeze the “psionic traffic cop” they’ve implanted in her head will blow the whistle!
For Telzey the answer is obvious: join the Service and enjoy both its protection and its not inconsiderable assistance. But she’s an independent sort, a person who wants to go her own way in her own time. That’s why she has
THE UNIVERSE AGAINST HER
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Brigands of the Moon by Ray Cummings
Ace Science Fiction, 1931
Price I paid: none
A pioneer of imaginative writing, Ray Cummings is one of the founding fathers of modern American science-fiction. For in his novels and short stories, this talented writer—once an associate of Thomas Edison himself—first originated many of the soaring conceptions that became part and parcel of all science-fiction since then.
Cummings spanned the gap between the early gropings of H.G. Wells and the full vision of our atomic future. His vivid tales were the first to fully explore the cosmos from the interiors of atoms to the farthest bounds of the galactic universe.
BRIGANDS OF THE MOON is one of Cummings’ classic novels—a thrilling novel of the clash of two planets in the fight for super-power ore, an adventure in interplanetary piracy, and a prediction of the mining and colonization of the moon that is still as timely as the day it was written.
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