Aliens, empire of Man, and just one story of a man. This book is well-written, with a good sci-fi plot, characters that are a bit under-drawn but only because we are entering their lives in the midst of a crisis. They have a past, and will have a future, and this short book doesnt try to answer everything.
Its a rollicking good ride with a hero thats a human hero, a bit risque for 1960, and chock-full of imagination.
You wont find the stories of four or five (or forty or fifty) people weaving through one immensely long never-ending publishing buffet. Instead, its told through the eyes of only one man, and told well.
The story is exactly what I expected - classic pulp science fiction. It is well-written and has a vivid and interesting world. Is it great literature? No.
But it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
This is a freshly published edition of this culturally important work, which is now, at last, again available to you.
Enjoy this classic work. These few paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside:
It lay white and windswept, a barricade of emptiness; to one side the spaceport and the white skyscraper of the Terran Headquarters, and at the other side, the clutter of low buildings, the street-shrine, the little spaceport cafe smelling of coffee and jaco, and the dark opening mouths of streets that rambled down into the Kharsa-the old town, the native quarter.
...Even after six years behind a desk, my neat business clothes-suitable for an Earthman with a desk job-didnt fit quite right, and I still rose unconsciously on the balls of my feet, approximating the lean stooping walk of a Dry-towner from the Coronis plains.
...It had been six years; six years of slow death behind a desk, since the day when Rakhal Sensar had left me a marked man; death-warrant written on my scarred face anywhere outside the narrow confines of the Terran law on Wolf.
...It had been Rakhal who first led me through the byways of the Kharsa, teaching me the jargon of a dozen tribes, the chirping call of the Ya-men, the way of the catmen of the rain-forests, the argot of thieves markets, the walk and step of the Dry-towners from Shainsa and Daillon and Ardcarran-the parched cities of dusty, salt stone which spread out in the bottoms of Wolfs vanished oceans.
...It took me only an instant to get into the street after her, but as I stepped across the door there was a little stirring in the air, like the rising of heat waves across the salt flats at noon.
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