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 #4

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Today’s novel is a continuation of the book I chose at random last week by Ray Cummings (here) which I ended up enjoying a lot more than I initially thought I would despite its fantastic cover. Flipping the book upside down reveals I Speak For Earth by Keith Woodcott which is actually a pseudonym for John Brunner and bears the tagline;

The Man With Seven Faces

I love the cover painting by the inimitable Emsh, a row of overlapping heads which when looked at closely show that the mouth of each ascending figure is in fact the eye of the one below. It’s a very clever piece that works incredibly well to trick the eye if scanned from arm’s length. There is however a slight disparity in the number of faces portrayed, the tagline clearly says seven whereas Emsh only has available space to paint six!

Time to stop pondering this conundrum now and get on with reading the novel, I’ll be selecting a new Ace Double from the library shelves next Sunday so please do join me then. I hope you enjoy this fine example of vintage SF cover art, feel free to let me know your thoughts as always in the comments.

I Speak For Earth by Keith Woodcott
(Serial Number D-497)
This version was published in 1961 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Ed Emshwiller

D-497 I Speak For Earth by Keith Woodcott