nother book from the dusty stacks, this a gem from 1973 from the wonderful wooden shelves of Maya’s Books & Music. This is an old scifi yard that has a taste of the late-hippy, anti-Vietnam-war, ecology and brash-Earthman-bad-kickback era. And it’s got about the most desperate opening chapters you’re likely to find.
The last ship lifts off a doomed Earth, always a depressing topic. Global warming has taken place, with flooding and rains, rains and more rains (sounds a little like my current vacation). With all this going on, Captain Idris Hamilton has a lot on his mind, namely getting to the Martian colony with his load of super-brainiac schoolkids, their schoolteacher, all in cold sleep. He’s taken off in the midst of a firefight, having had to kill a couple of people on the pad himself. And now he’s worried about any possible bombs (because you know how crazy humans can get with bombs. Happens every goddamn day).
Turns out he’s right.
Running short of sleep, he has his crew of three searching the ship for explosives. After losing folks here and there, just when you think it’s safe, that’s when the final terrifying bomb goes off, cracking the hull, sucking him halfway out. Then the ship’s inertia grinds the ship sideways, chewing him literally in half. Everyone dies.
Well, not really. His drifting ship is found floating around the tenth planet, Minerva, five thousand years later. And through a combination of cloning and mental transference, he is made whole again, expected to join the pacific, quiet and sheepish race (humans that fled the atomic war on Mars thousands of years ago – us and those damn bombs!).
But the thing is, Idris doesn’t fit in. He tries, but he’s a lusty, self-deterministic captain of space and they are gentle socialists. Soon enough, Idris is trying to change things, making their world a more outthrusting place. Will it work? Will he change them? Or will they kill him (again?).
If you can’t find it and really want to know, post me here and I’ll send you my copy. Good read from an era I vaguely recall.
>>>AND IF FORWARD ISN’T YOUR CUP OF TEA, LET ME TAKE YOU BACKWARDS IN TIME. JOURNEY WITH MASON TRELLIS AS HE FALLS BACK A TWO THOUSAND YEARS TO DEAL WITH ONLY THE SORT OF STUFF COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS DEAL WITH<<<
p.s. Alas, this should be renamed The Ninth Planet. That is, if you buy into the current controversy…