A computer says Earth is doomed. There’s one chance.
A compter predicts that in sixty-seven years the planet Lorion will start an all out war against the Solar System. The computer also says Roy Gardner is the best man to lead a team of five to stop it before it starts. That means blowing up the planet. They’ll all meet on Lorion, each bringing a generator. Together the devices will send out a signal and that’ll do it. The last team wasn’t so successful. One of them turned into an alcoholic thanks to the local brew.
Roy’s cover is that of a jewelry salesman. He meets his contact Jolland Smee who takes him to a nightclub. The show consists of dancers who stab each other, sometimes fatally. Then the joint is raided. They get out and Smee says no one gets arrested it’s just an excuse for cops to bash people over the head. It’s just the way the system works.
Roy was hesitant about his assignment but after seeing the show and then almost getting mugged he changes his mind and thinks the planet has to go. He does wonder about the Earth people that will be blown up but figures that’s just the way it has to be.
In the jeweler’s market he meets fellow salesman Tom Steeves. He introduces Roy to two natives looking for money to use as bribes to get the right people into office to try and change the decadent ways of the planet. Roy is not into charity.
He’s finally used to the idea of eliminating the planet and the Earth people there. Then he meets an anthropologist named Lori Marks. He takes her to the knife show and she takes a lot of notes.
The team starts arriving and one comes a week early. That’s just the start of the trouble. From here on out the book falls apart. Unless you’re already a fan of Silverberg avoid this one until exploring his novels and short stories from the 60’s on up. There’s not even a syntilla of the great writer to come.
Turn the book over for another adventure of Captain Dominic Flandry of Naval Intelligence.
This is the first novel in the series. There were a few short stories before this was published. The last novel was “A Game Of Empire” in 1985.
When Flandry and his boss, Admiral Fenross were cadets together Flandry stole a girl from him. Fenross has hated him ever since and finds assignments that may get Flandry killed. The Earth colony Vixen is under siege. It may be the work of the Merseian Empire using the wolf like race from Ardazir through the Ymir. They live on Jupiter and other similar type planets. There just happens to be one named Orge near Vixen.
Flandry and his alien butler Chives take his ship the Hooligan to Ganymede. From there they’re guided to see the Ymir Governor on Jupiter. The Ymir acting as a guide almost gets Flandry killed. He’s finally rescued and gets back to Earth. Fenross says a girl named Kit has arrived from Vixen who says the planet is under occupation. Flandry is assigned to take her back and investigate.
Once on Vixen they hook up with an underground unit. They capture an Ardazir commander and manage to get some information. Kit isn’t happy that Flandry is spending time with one of the female members of the underground. Later on Flandry is captured by the enemy. Looks like Kit turned him in.
There’s a lot of adventure and battles to come in this exciting story in the annals of Dominic Flandry. The novel is a good start to the long running novel and short story series.
“There’s not even a syntilla of the great writer to come” — hahaha, how I feel about his pulp as well… Almost none of it is worth reading (in my opinion). Some of his short fiction on the other hands has the kernels that would later make SIlverberg so great.
After reading probably all of his SF and Fantasy work I had to go back and see how he started. Sometimes traveling in time isn’t all that it’s purported to be.