Happy Wednesday, everyone! Once again we’re diving into the Magical Mystery Box of Magnificence!
Today’s lucky dip features are titles by the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Gordon R. Dickson and the fantastically talented Keith Laumer (coming to the SF Gateway soon!), and novel by the Hugo-Award-winning author of Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner.*
Among the six hundred thousand stars in the vast Arm of Stars, over six hundred planets had been seeded with human stock by the greatest feat of technology ever achieved, the Ship. And on each of these worlds, the memory of the Ship had faded into legend over the years. The Ship, however, still endured, watching over the colonies on a cyclical and seemingly endless journey through time and space. But in its long odyssey, the Ship had somehow been damaged – it had become as conscious, and lonely, as any human being. And as it visited, again and again, each of the worlds it had seeded, it found tragedy in its wake. For the humans of the Arm of Stars were becoming more and more alien. Even worse, the Ship was beginning to change in ways its designers had never intended . . .
The level of detail in this cover is amazing – John Berkey did a brilliant job. I would highly recommend looking at the high-res version!
The world, as Lafayette O’Leary knew it, disappeared in a flash. Perhaps it was his own doing – after all, he had the uncanny gift of creating alternate realities by sheer mental power. But the result was a nightmare gone out of control. All O’Leary wanted was to find his wife and return to the familiar world of Artesia. Yet no sooner did he manage to extricate himself from one bizarre situation than he was thrust into another, equally threatening…
There was only one thing to do: he had to penetrate the very center of power from which his destiny was being controlled and – take it into his own hands!
“Wait! Did I leave the hair straighteners on?”
“Oh, for the love of–! Come on, we’re already late!”
They were humanity’s hope – the first young people selected to leave Earth for study in the Galactic Federation. But something went wrong in deep space. Terribly wrong. Suddenly Jon Rawlins, Ellen Bouvier, Curt Harrington and the squirrel-like alien philosopher Peep were castaways, stranded on the Quarantined World of Quebahr – with no training, and little hope of rescue. Between them and the Federation’s emergency beacon were primitive Mauregs, aggressive Walats, llizard-like Noifs – plus danger, conspiracy, and the mystery of an impending high-tech war on a backward, peaceful planet…
Without warning, the future of two worlds depend on three young humans’ ability to adapt and survive.
The Star Wars cast sure has changed a lot since I last saw them…
–squints– Did Chewie get a haircut?
*Please click on the images for a higher resolution.