The Path Beyond The Stars-Emil Petaja (1969)

emil petaja-the path beyond the stars

I was expecting an outer space storyline but instead got historical SF that included stops at overworked pop culture icons Stonehenge and Nostradamus. If you’re into astrology you’ll like this one about a mission to save the Pattern before the last man can destroy everything.

Just like Superman, Jon Wood is put into a capsule when he was just a few months old and shot into space. He was picked up and now as an adult works for STARPLOT. He uses his psychic powers to find habitable planets and alien life forms.

He gets a call from Venus Trine, the daughter of a legendary scientist and astrologer. He and his group had to escape Earth because of their beliefs in a cosmic Pattern. She asks him to leave the Moon and meet her in San Francisco.

Her father has perfected a master computer called the Star Reader. There’s one on Earth and another on their hidden planet, Barrecrith known as the home of the LostBelievers. The computer charts the horoscopes of all the Believers. It also charts the courses of all the planets and galaxies.

The Last Man, named Trog, is out to destroy everything and that means killing Venus. He has her chart and can find her anywhere or anywhen. One chart he doesn’t have is Jons’. Venus gives him an amulet she’s wearing which she says is the key to the Pattern.

Now the quest begins. It starts in Babylon as Jon’s mind is transferred to a leperous goat herder and Venus’ mind ends up in a slave girl in the court of the evil King Belshazzar. Turns out the girl is Bestha, the daughter of the late prophet Ezekiel.

Of course our hero gets her out of there and they head for the E-Zida Temple where Ezekiel placed secret tablets for them to find. When they finally get there the tablets are very fragile. As Jon is reading them Trog shows up and Jon destroys the tablets before he can see them and before Jon can discover the big secret.

Their next mind stop is Stonehenge where Venus is in trouble again. It’s a short stay but they manage to talk with the King of the Druids before escaping.

Now it’s sixteenth century France. Jon is in the mind of a novice monk and Venus is in the mind of Amabel, a girl suspected of being a witch. She believes it herself and is in a dungeon waiting to be burned at the stake. Jon leaves the monastery for the village and meets Nostradamus and asks him to save her.

The final confrontation with Trog isn’t what they thought it would be and explains the books title. It’s a good read for those that like adventure in the distant past and anyone who believes there’s a Pattern to everything that can be laid out on an astrological chart.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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