Sunday, August 19, 2012


By Barrington  J. Bayley

An early classic from Bayley. Rodrone is an inter-stellar outlaw, not so much a Blackbeard of the spaceways as a ‘60s-style rebel-desperado. The galaxy is controlled by the Streall, a highly conservative alien race. But Rodrone has got his hands on something that threatens their hegemony. It’s a twisty little novel with a mcguffin at once compelling and impossible to pin down. The ultimate question is less about how to get power than asking what it means to have it.

By John Jakes

This Bayley novel was only ever published as part of an Ace Double with John Jakes’ Mask of Chaos. This too fits into the counter-culture motif of the era. Mike is a micropig, a cybernetically enhanced man, who faces prejudice and hostility because of his origins. He finds himself stranded on the planet Tome, a perfectly ordered world where people live behind masks, literally (an interesting touch, reminiscent of Moorcock’s Granbretania). Here he meets Ab, a down-at-the-heels drifter with a rebel-streak a mile wide. They find themselves recruited (rather unwillingly) for a science-fictional reality TV show even more vicious than Real Housewives of Atlanta.

-Dave Hardy

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