Thursday, March 08, 2012
Behold the Stars, by Kenneth Bulmer
From the front page:
"Man had discovered a means for colonizing the galaxy. Through a system of instantaneous matter transmission, men, machines, anything, could be sent light years away in seconds!
"Only men were not the only beings in the galaxy who were expanding, and at 200 light years from Earth the alien Gershmi people made their claims clear, with guns!
"It would have been a fair fight between equally matched races, had not the very matter transmitter boxes which made mankind's expansion possible, suddenly began to put men back together, 200 light years from Earth, with their will to fight removed, so that Earthmen were marching with white flags of truce straight into Gershmi fire!"
This is a fun, blast-through science fiction adventure read, with some nice (though not entirely unexpected) plot wrinkles near the end. Genre-true and reader-hooking, this is, with its tight plotting and writing, and tongue-in-cheek/stock characterizations.
Behold the Stars, like its conjoined novel, Planetary Agent X (by Mack Reynolds), is a worthwhile read.
Behold the Stars was packaged as a reverse-bound "Ace Double" novel, which means that if readers flip(ped) the book upside down and over, there was another science fiction novel, penned by another author, on the other side. (Considering that these books sold for 45 cents a pop, this seems like a great deal, even back in that less-expensive, Sixties economy.)
The cover for the flipside novel, Planetary Agent X, by Mack Reynolds, follows this sentence.