When the world’s ace secret agents crash a party in Spain, they’re onto something monstrous—an ominous threat to world peace.
It looked like a Convention of Secret Agents, thought the famous columnist Quentin Jones. Not one of them had been invited to the party of the distinguished Hungarian scientist. The Hungarian was known for advocating World Government—and for grafting a second head on a dog—but Quentin Jones suspected him of far more chilling experiments. Quentin runs up against former Nazi war criminals, and a series of weird murders that lead straight to… him.
It was the highest and most coveted award of all time. It was given to only the bravest among those defending Earth from the mysterious Kradens. Many had sacrificed their lives for it. The current bearer of the medal became the idol of all mankind—a man above the law, a man who would never want for anything. One man was going to cheat to win it—and live to regret it.
This is an extended version of the novelette first published in magazine in Nov 1960.
The time is the future. The government is a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy, mainly concerned with protecting the profits of large corporations. The Movement is a new and non-violent revolutionary group seeking to replace the political mess with a just and scientifically efficient socioeconomic system. The Movement was staffed by some of the world’s greatest intellectuals and scientists; unfortunately, they were amateurs in the business of revolution. The government could call on an army of ruthless professional agents--and they had no scruples about violence.
The odds were right for victory. The problem with computer warfare is that the computer is always logical while the human enemy is not—or doesn’t have to be. And that’s what the Betastani enemy were doing—nothing that the Alphaland computers said they would. Those treacherous foemen were avoiding logic and using such unheard-of devices as surprise and sabotage, treason and trickery. They even had Alphaland’s Deputy of Information believing Betastani propaganda without even realizing it. Of course he still thought he was being loyal to Alphaland, because he thought that one and one must logically add up to two. And that kind of thinking could make him the biggest traitor of them all.
Milk run. That’s what they told Ronny Bronston this job would be. “Just like a vacation,” his boss had said. All he and the giant Dorn Horsten would have to do is visit the planet Einstein and see if there was any reason not to admit them to United Planets. The planet was a paradise, where the people had bred themselves for intelligence and beauty, where everyone was completely free. Free, sometimes, to get into more trouble than they could handle. Only Ronny could get them out of that trouble; and that’s how he wound up on the Dawnworld, in a gladiator’s arena!
It is the far future. Earth is a beautifully planned, efficiently run and happily united. But still it is a world with problems—people have become so lazy, so self-satisfied, that human progress has all but ceased. Addicts of the newly-developed “programmed dreams” are increasing at an enormous rate. Only a few individuals realize that the human race is destroying itself. This book is about what those few people do.
An elite soldier is asked to take part in problem researching sophisticated physical and mental testing, and to take university coursework as their computers direct. He finds out that more is going on than this, the creation of a mental and physical elite, going way beyond supergenius IQ into physical abilities and even immortality.
A spaceship has crashed on a planet, and the descendants of the original colonists have all but forgotten their origins. But they have built a culture around the “holy books” that have survived the wreck—books of Indian lore and the novels of Sir Walter Scott.
Then this culture in contact with a crew from a Company spaceship, coming from a society that is high-tech, opportunistic, and ruthless. We see the action through the eyes of the native warrior, John-of-the-Hawks. Can his bravery and cunning win the day? Or will his people be destroyed?
The book is a “fixup” novel based on three long novelettes originally published in magazine in 1966 under the pseudonym of Guy McCord.
El Hassan, would-be tyrant of all North Africa, was on the run. His followers at this point numbered six, one of whom was a wisp of a twenty-four year old girl. Arrayed against him and his dream, he knew, was the combined power of the world in the form of the Reunited Nations, and, in addition, such individual powers as the United States of the Americas, the Soviet Complex, Common Europe, the French Community, the British Commonwealth and the Arab Union, working both together and unilaterally...
A novel of colonialism set in North Africa, continuation of “Blackman’s Burden”. First serialized in Analog magazine in Jul–Aug 1962; published in book form in 1972.
In his “North Africa” trilogy Mack Reynolds argues that a future African continent abandoned by the rest of the world might achieve prosperity if it were unified and brought under the control of a benevolent dictator—here, African-American sociologist Homer Crawford, who under the name of El Hassan strives for “the uniting and modernization of the continent of my racial heritage.”
Serialized in magazine Dec 1961–Jan 1962, but was not published in book form until 1972.