Bargain bins yield some Clarke and Asimov classics I read when I was a teen but never owned…. I remember thinking at the time that Imperial Earth (1975) was one of Clarke’s best novels. Dickson’s Dorsai! (1960) — I’ve never been a fan of military SF — is a classic I need to get around to reading. And, my final find was Richard Cowper’s Time Out of Mind (1973). I was surprisingly impressed with his lighthearted romp of a novel, Profundis (1979).
Thoughts on the books?
1. Time Out of Mind, Richard Cowper (1973)
(Don Maitz’s cover for the 1981 edition)
From the back cover: “As a young boy, Laurie Linton encountered a strange apparition: a ghostly man who urgently mouthed a message: KILL MAGOBION! Years later, as members of the UN Narcotics Security Agency, Linton and the beautiful Carol Kennedy were assigned a special duty: investigation of a mysterious drug which endowed its addicts with superhuman powers. Now, that investigation leads Linton and Carol into a bewildering maze where past and future slide by each other at terrifying speed… where international peace teeters in the balance… and where all clues point to the top-secret Ministry of Internal Security and its prestigious powerful leader — Colonel Piers Magobion.”
2. Imperial Earth, Arthur C. Clarke (1975)
(Stanislaw Fernandes’ cover for the 1976 edition)
From the back cover: “2276 Welcome to Earth for America’s Quincentennial! The Time of Troubles is over. War and Poverty are read. And Duncan Makenzie, benign ruler of the distant world of TItan has returned to the planet of his forefathers to solve a mystery and create a son. A clone. An exact replica of himself. IMPERIAL EARTH.”
3. The Naked Sun, Isaac Asimov (1957)
(Dean Ellis’ poor cover for the 1972 edition)
From the back cover: “The Planet Solaria could destroy Earth in two seconds flat… And probably would — eventually. Solaria was powerful and power-hungry. It had taken over two hundred years to develop the ultimate weapon — a massive army of robots that could obliterate Earth and rule the universe in a matter of days. But now that would have to wait. One of Solaria’s most eminent scientists had suddenly been found brutally murdered. Only Earth’s most famous detective, Elijah Baley, could solve the dark, baffling mystery. Solaria demanded his help. Baley didn’t want to go. But how could he refuse? earth’s very existence was at stake.”
4. Dorsai! (variant title: The Genetic General), Gordon R. Dickson (magazine publication 1959)
(Jordi Penalva’s cover for the 1980 edition)
From the back cover: “DORSAI! Not all the other wolds of men combined would dare to try conclusions with that one world of soldiers born and bred. DORSAI! More than wealth, more than fame, more than beauty, that name sets them apart from ordinary humanity. DORSAI! But through it is the heritage of them all, still it belongs more to one certain individual than all the rest. His name is Donal Graeme. He is the ultimate, perfect man of war. This is his story. DORSAI!”