he problem with reading books off Project Gutenberg, and I’m talking really old books here, is that a lot of what you read was fresh and new and imaginative back then but now they’re old and stale.
Okay, so our hero is aboard a liner off Saturn that gets jumped by pirates. He finds himself herded into a large cargo hold, trapped with the rest of the snivelers for ransom. But a sniveler he is not because he’s actually an undercover agent for some sort of galactic authority (forgive me – it’s been a while). And so he’s got to play it cool until he finds out more about the pirates, like how do they stay invisible (I know this one, and while it’s cute, it doesn’t look like it would mask radar. But telescopes, yes).
The funny thing is – there is a brutish monster of a pirate who is a bully and beats (even kills) his captives. He literally beats on fellow do death and our hero can’t move a muscle to save him. “For to act would be to give away his identity and mission” and all that. Fine. But then when the girl he fancies is hand-clamped and dragged off to a “fate unspeakable”, that’s when the hero is all in, secret mission be damned.
In the end, it’s a fun read if you like finding out more about the origins of Science Fiction. Fun for a rainy afternoon, or possibly a station platform, where I read it.
And you can find it HERE, for free!