The Off-Worlders-John Baxter (1966)/The Star Magicians-Lin Carter (1966)

john baxter-the off-worlders

I had a tough time staying awake while slogging through this short novel about a planet named Merryland that’s given up technology following an atomic war. The population are all farmers and fishermen. They have they’re own police force called the Examiners. They say prayers to Satan.

A man named Penn goes to Earth to get some secret papers about the planet Merryland which is beyond the Limit. Once he gets them he kills the man who gave them to him and he returns to Merryland.

David is an eighteen year old who likes to explore the upper stories of the farm house where no one has gone for years. He finds a man who says he’s a runaway Proctor. That group oversees the planets. He has a green stone with him and what looks like a beetle made of stone. He came to the attic via an illegal matter transmitter.

David has a real yen for his cousin Samantha. She belongs to a secret Christian sect that has some very unchristian like ceremonies. At one of them he runs across Penn and two companions. He tells him all about the man in the attic. When he gets back home the man is dead. Samantha followed him upstairs and he tells what he knows.

One day he sees the farm house burning and Examiners surrounding it and people taking what they want as allowed by law. He finds Samantha and is uncle tied up and they blame him for the destruction. he rescues Samantha and they take off.

They go to what looks like an abandoned church and find a priest who lives in a basement room. David shows him the beetle. The priest blows on it and it flies away. After a stopover, David and Samantha ride to the town of New Harbor only to find Penn waiting for them. Samantha knocks him out and they head for a ship and sail away in a small boat with whatever they need for emergencies.

David stole a map from Penn’s office and heads for a green island. That’s where he makes a starling discovery and the secret Penn has been chasing. Overall it’s a bore.

Turn the book over for a Sword and Sorcery SF/Fantasy about an all out battle for civilization in the stars. The Barbarians used to be the galactic security force, now they run it…all except for….

lin carter-the star magicians

The Carnia Empire collapsed after six thousand years. Argion has fallen to the horde led by the Warlord Drask. A monster reptile has disposed of a swordsman who gave it his all in the arena. Next up is a scrawny musician rebel known as Perion the Piper. Thanks to his acrobatic skills he is victorious. The crowd yells for him to be spared and Drask makes him his Jester.

Good thing because the Princess of the executed rulers of the planet tries to sink a knife into Drask. Being his concubine wasn’t in her game plan. Quick thinking by Perion stopped the assassination attempt. The Princess then turned the knife on herself. Drask picks out a dancing girl to spend the night with. His picks just aren’t cooperating. She tries to stab him. When that didn’t work she drank a potion that knocked her out. The dagger she dropped had a green stone attached. Perion crushed it because he knew it wasn’t just an innocent jewel.

Somehow the girl named Lurn escaped her prison cell. Searching the market for her are shaman Abdekiel and Lord Chieftian Tonguth. They run across Perion who has a mule loaded down with purchases thanks to the money given him by Drask. When he goes to show them off out comes Lurn.

Perion is arrested under suspicion of helping her escape. Abdekiel sees his chance to get rid of Perion and gives him a test. He passes. He’s innocent. Could these assassination attempts be the work of The White Wizard of Parlion, a Star Magician known as Calastor or maybe the Lady of Green Magic, Niamh?

Drask takes his Space Rovers to the mysterious planet Xulthoom. This planet would make a good book in itself. Overall this story moves right along without a single slow spot. That’s not to say it’s at a manic speed. There’s always something happening. Very enjoyable.

I don’t know if it was on purpose but but books in the double have at the center of the stories color green.



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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