by Harry Harrison
(1960) Sci-fi (Other world) / Adventure (Survival/War) / Mystery (Source of unrest)
R: * * * *
- Life on Pyrrus is hard, dangerous and often deadly. Why anyone would want to live on such a planet is hard to understand. But the inhabitants are tenacious and resolved to conquer the plants, animals and even the planet itself.
- Even young children are schooled to fight for their lives against the flora and fauna that shows no mercy.
- Kerk, an inhabitant of Pyrrus, wants to stake a well known adventurer and gambler to a night at the tables, to increase a large but currently inadequate sum for planet defenses. It takes a lot o money to fight a whole planet.
- Jason wins the sum necessary, and some for himself, but insists on going back to the planyt with Kerk. All the descriptions of the dangers, that Kerk describes, will not deter Jason.
- Pyrrus is a savage world where the ruling inhabitants must live in a protected shell.
- Jason thinks he knows why this planet seems to be a continuous battleground.
- Old ways are hard to change and opposition is thrown in his way as he tries to make changes. Centuries of prejudice, are hard to overcome.
- Jason sets out to force his knowledge on the inhabitants, for their own benefit. He firmly believes that Pyrrus does not need to be a Deathworld.
by Herbert Jenkins
(1918) Romance / Humor (Romantic Comedy)
R: * * * * *
- Patricia is young, but getting older, is living in a boarding house with older boarders, is unmarried and has no steady boyfriend. In other words, Patricia is a spinster. If something doesn't happen to shake things up, she will remain so.
- She overhears the tenets refer to her situation and decides to teach them a lesson. One night at the supper table, she announces that she is engaged to a handsome soldier. A lie, but that will hopefully stem the gossip.
- The mischief is started and she soon finds she must follow through. She is followed to a fake rendezvous and hastily decides to gain the temporary assistance of a handsome soldier sitting alone in a restaurant.
- To her the meeting is a onetime occurance, to get her out of a jam. To the soldier, who turns out to be Lord Peter Bowen, it is more. He falls in love with her at first sight.
- Peter's obsession with her, her fellow boarders, friends and the soldier's family all conspire, with different levels of knowledge of the true situation, to facilitate a marital union.
- Patricia is flattered, but at the same time rebellious that others are interfering in her life. Her approach to the situation becomes a battle between her will and others and a tug-of-war between her heart and mind.
- Will her stubbornness and willful attitude towards this interference keep her from the happy life that should be hers? Will she always be known as: Patricia Brent, Spinster?
by George Chetwynd Griffith
(1894) Sci-fi (Future world) / Adventure (War) / Pulp / Romance
R: * * * * *
- The Earth has been at peace for over 100 years.
- That peace was not earned but brutally forced on the world populace by Murska, The Master of Terror.
- Now the time has come, by design, to give back control, to the countries of the world. Some control, but not all. The rulers of Aeria will retain the secret of heavier than air flight and the dominance of the skies.
- The Russian Romanoff's were the last of the old powers to be subjugated and the old humiliations are only festering, with no apparent way to revenge them.
- Now one girl, the last of the Romanoff line, embarks on a mad quest for power and revenge.
- Without the rule of the air, countries could only fight between themselves. The Aerians would still be masters. Olga will use all her womanly and mental powers to change that status.
- Olga gains the secret of flight and a terrible war breaks out pitting a Russian and Muslin alliance against the rest of the world and the Aerians.
- This devastation turns out to be less terrible than that which is to come from beyond the reaches of the Earth. Coming events will overshadow the best laid plans of the Aerians and, Olga Romanoff.
by William Hope Hodgson
(1912) Sci-fi (Future Earth) / Romance (Eternal love) / Adventure (Dangerous quest) / Pulp
R: * * * * *
- The first chapters establish the love of a boy and girl in 1800s England.
There is a tragic end to their lives, but not their love. The depth of
that love is establish as eternal and has surfaced from times past
and will live again in future lives.
- The scene changes to a time in the far distant future. A time when the
Earth has undergone vast changes and humanity resides in, two enormous
man-made pyramid structures. The inhabitants of each, having only an
ancient rumor of the others existence..
- The Earth is dark, having lost the influence of the Sun many thousands
of years previous. All that lives, owes it's existence to the heat and magnetism within the Earth. The Pyramid dwellers know it as the Earth Current. As long as it lasts, the Earth may survive.
- Through a telepathic message from the lesser-pyramid, a boy in the greater-pyramid gains proof of the existence of the second pyramid and it's messenger, Meridith, his love of long ago and always.
- The lesser-pyramid has not fared well, since a decline in the Earth Current there, has made the people susceptible to the evil influences from outside. The boy decides to set out to save those inhabitants and the girl, that in this life, is the love of all his lives .
- The journey is perilous. Some have previously ventured out of the safety of the Pyramid, but few have returned from the dangers and evils of that sunless world outside. On his journey, he must face and best:
o The Giant Watchers at the four corners of the compass. They sit motionless
waiting for the time they can conquer the Pyramid when the earth Current dies.
o The Grey men, serpents, poisonous pools, fire pits, poison gasses and other wild beasts.
o The House of Silence, that ghostly house that must be passed and will lure any to their death by Occult powers
o The Giant slugs that live in the rift in the Earth that must be traversed.
o The Beast Men. Savage wild men that know only how to kill.
- On his side he has one marvelous hand weapon, an armored suit, his wit and his love, with with to conquer, The Night Land.
Don't let the first few chapters or the rather antiquated language in which it is told fool you. It is not a nineteen century love novel, but a story of love reincarnated through thousands of years and that takes place in a futuristic world.
This sci-fi has everything and is one of my favorites.