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The Time Masters by Wilson Tucker
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.
Killerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
Self-published Kindle edition, 2017
Originally published by Doubleday, 1975
Price I paid: $2.99
Thirty years in the future, the ultraviolent sport of Professional Street Football, a phenomenally popular 24-four-hour-long athletic event, combines pro football with mixed martial arts and armed combat. On New Years day, quarterback T.K. Mann plays the most dangerous game of his life, the game known as Killerbowl!
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
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?
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?