Great book when one is in the mood for some country folk rom com of the 18th century. I recommend.
One of several Bupp shorts about the Psi Lodge's work to protect the mistrusted psi-capable minority by forcing them to behave themselves. I wonder about their methods, but the stories are enjoyable and this is no exception.
Here, a gambler shows signs of being able to manipulate cards without touching them - but how he supposedly does that is a mystery to both him and the Lodge.
Swashbuckling! Say it ten times over, and you get the idea of this book. I don't think I've ever read anything so melodramatic, so high-handed, so lacking in science, nor so devoid of believable characterization.
Ignore all the silliness, and it is a half-decent read.
Our hero bounces all around Mars, defeating enemies with the sword, and finally getting the girl he loves.
An ancient "adventure style" story. There is no driving force behind the plot - it is merely a series of events and mini-objectives. It's probably the best it can be within this framework, but woefully short of being a good story.
A boring, pointless, and thankfully short story about nothing.
Most useless book I have ever read
A pretty good read - I would have given it an extra half star, if possible.
Though incredibly racist and sexist for this day and age, it isn't done in a cheap sort of way.
Beware, after the prelude, you could skip about 6 chapters and not miss a thing. From there, lots of skimming is needed in places to keep it interesting. But, with those things in mind, well worth the time spent on it.
A sleeping beauty from Earth's distant past is awakened in the present timeframe. She plans to take over the world - for it's own good - and finds an ally in a present-day human.
Can she be stopped? Should she be stopped? These questions remain until the end, and they are handled well enough even though I would have like to have seen a different turn of events.
The Game of Rat and Dragon is an early story in Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind series. The planoform ships that ply the stars are menaced by malevolent interstellar entities, and protected by pinlighters - parasite craft released from the host vessel carrying light bombs that can dispel the attackers. The pilots of the craft are sentient cats in telepathic communication with human controllers aboard the ship they are protecting. The cats perceive the attackers as rats, hence the title.
The cats are examples of Underpeople - animals genetically engineered to provide sentience - and used for various tasks deemed to risky for true humans. The fate of the Underpeople is an underlying thread in the Instrumentality series, with slowly growing attempts to see the Underpeople granted full rights as sentient beings.
All of Smith's work is simply wonderful.
I first read "the game of rat & dragon when I was about 16 in the mid '50s and it has stayed with me ever since. 7 years later I married a "Little Girl named West" (5 ft 1 & 1/2 inches and 100 lbs) whom I soon found was actually a cat-in-human-form. Our 50 year marriage, before her always dodgy chest finally did for her, was almost telepathic. I have just re-read "The Game of Rat & Dragon" for the first time in over 50 years and I acn't help wonder whether my "Little Girl Called West" might not be out there on a star-ship pin-lighting in the "Up-and-out." The question is "Is she part of the human fighting team, or has she reverted to feline form and is one of the telepathic Partners?"
Despite some hokey dialog and a few cheesy plot devices, this is an enjoyable and interesting read. Our hero, the slightly bumbling, yet lucky/talented FBI agent is trying to stop a gang of teleports from ravaging New York city.
A mostly light-hearted tale with an ending that is just a little too convenient - yet keeps in line with the don't-take-me-too-serious tone associated with the rest of the story.