... across half a Galaxy, the Terran Empire maintains its sovereignty with the consent of the governed. It is a peaceful reign, held by compact and not by conquest. Again and again, when rebellion threatens the Terran Peace, the natives of the rebellious world have turned against their own people and sided with the men of Terra; not from fear, but from a sense of dedication. There has never been open war. The battle for these worlds is fought in the minds of a few men who stand between worlds; bound to one world by interest, loyalties and allegiance; bound to the other by love. Such a world is Wolf. Such a man was Race Cargill of the Terran Secret Service.
"Thanks, but I have a few loose ends to tie up." I didn't, but I was damned if I'd spend my last hour on Wolf under the eyes of a deskbound rabbit who preferred his adventure safely secondhand.
But after I'd left the office and the building, I almost wished I'd taken him up on it. It would be at least an hour before I could board the starship, with nothing to do but hash over old memories, better forgotten.
The sun was lower now. Phi Coronis is a dim star, a dying star, and once past the crimson zenith of noon, its light slants into a long pale-reddish twilight. Four of Wolf's five moons were clustered in a pale bouquet overhead, mingling thin violet moonlight into the crimson dusk.
The shadows were blue and purple in the empty square as I walked across the stones and stood looking down one of the side streets.
A few steps, and I was in an untidy slum which might have been on another world from the neat bright Trade City which lay west of the spaceport. The Kharsa
The door through space is matter teleportation, I'm not giving away any secrets, or a plot spoiler. It's a subplot that just sort of fizzles out. The dangerous toys is another subplot that never gets explained. The blood feud is set up early and raises all sorts of expectations, but also disappoints.
The writing is very good, the alien world is well-drawn; it has native humanoids and intellegent creatures, all with their own cultures. The adventure tale almost seems tacked on. I wanted the resolution to all the plots to happen, it didn't.
This novella does an excellent job in limited space of introducing an interesting main character whose main foil is the local society he was exiled from and now returns to. Exploring its ins and outs and sometimes shocking challenges is as enjoyable as the main plot. World creation is not easy and the author shows her expertise at drawing the reader into it and making it live and breathe without dull exposition.
This doesn't get the highest rating from me, largely due to what felt to me like some uneven plotting in the second half of the work, but it's still high-quality SF overall.
Science-fiction thriller about Race Cargill, a failed Terran agent, as he struggles to settle a longstanding feud and unlock the mystery of a deadly toymaker.
It's kind of a potboiler.
The treatment of women is somewhat disturbing, particularly in a novel as late as the 1960s by a female author.
it's a good books for time killing
Its hard to believe this is over 40 years old now, the writing is a fresh and appealing as ever and the detail of the world of Wolf, where Race Cargill is drawn back into his old life as a spy, mingling with the native people of the world while on the track of his old enemy, is convincing.. I was hooked from the opening scene; nothing new here, perhaps, but quality writing that hasn't dated at all.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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