Ace On Sunday #20

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The last time I shared my Ace On Sunday read it was serial number F-199, today I’m flipping over the book to enjoy the second novel contained in this omnibus – The Psionic Menace by Keith Woodcott. This is an author I was wholly unfamiliar with and so I did a little digging around to find out more information. It turns out that our mysterious Mr Woodcott is actually a pseudonym for the much more widely known John Brunner whom I enjoy very much.

Let’s open the cover and check out what’s in store via the blurb;

Must the universe die with them?

The Starfolk, arrogant masters of vast stretches of the cosmos beyond the Earth’s sphere of influence, were determined to complete the extermination of the mind reading mutants on Regnier’s planet.

But to the mutants themselves, the terror of the Starfolk was nothing compared to the greater dread that gripped their spirits – the obsession that the universe itself was doomed. This obsession ripped into their minds, overwhelmed them, and plunged them into horrifying hysteria.

The message of doom reached the ears of the Starfolk themselves, forcing them to a fateful decision. They would allow an Earthman, archeologist Philip Gascon, to visit Regnier in an attempt to unravel its secrets. What he found would either contain the key to the ultimate destiny of the universe – or the date of doomsday.

The cover of the book features a fantastic Emsh piece featuring three or Regnier’s mutants clad in matching shiny black outfits complete with spiked helmets. They appear to be holding down our hero Philip Gascon in an attempt to insert his face into some kind of shiny black contraption of torture. I think it all looks a little S&M to be honest…

Must find out how Mr Gascon overcomes these fetishistic fiend and what fate lies in store for the universe. I’ll be choosing a new book new time so be sure follow and watch for those notifications arrive in your mailbox. Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

The Psionic Menace by Keith Woodcott
(Serial Number F-199)
This version was published in 1963 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Ed Emshwiller

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Ace On Sunday #19

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Before I introduce today’s reading companion, I must apologise for my recent lack of activity here at unsubscribedblog. There has been a lot going on recently that has prevented me from reading the books I love on a regular basis and photographing their beautiful covers. In October I reach the ripe old age of fifty and have therefore been thinking hard about what the next decade should look like, this has resulted in some readjustments and a pretty major career change. Suffice to say everything is working perfectly after a short bedding in period and so I feel I can return to the twin loves of my life – music and reading. Thanks for bearing with me through this short hiatus, I promise I’ll keep the pictures coming.

Ok, so that said let’s get to this week’s pick from the Ace Double shelves of my library. I’ve chosen serial number F-199, Samuel R. Delaney’s 1963 novel Captives Of The Flame – time to check out the blurb;

The Empire of Toromon had finally declared war.The attacks on its planes had been nothing compared to the final insult – the kidnapping of the Crown Prince. The enemy must be dealt with, and when they were, Toromon would be able to get back on its economic feet.

But how would the members of this civilisation – one of the few that survived the Great Fire – get beyond the deadly radiation barrier, behind which the enemy lay? And assuming they got behind the barrier, how would they deal with the enemy – The Lord of the Flames – whose very presence was unknown to the people among who he lived?

I must say I’m digging the sound of this Lord of the Flames character! Now, onto the artwork – the always brilliant Jack Gaughan turns in another compelling piece featuring three figures confronting a tentacular foe armed with nothing but pointy sticks. That doesn’t bode well in my mind. The main title typography is fantastic too, Gaughan has created each letter using red and yellow flames.

It’s time to find out how the citizens of Toromon get on against the Lord of the Flame now so I’d best put the kettle on and polish up my glasses before I start reading. I’ll be back again next weekend to read the flip side of this book so be sure to join me. Feel free as always to share your thoughts in the comments.

Captives Of The Flame by Samuel R. Delany
(Serial Number F-199)
This version was published in 1963 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Jack Gaughan

F-199 Captives Of The Flame by Samuel R. Delany