Dark Kensington had been dead for twenty-five years. It was a fact; everyone knew it. Then suddenly he reappeared, youthful, brilliant, ready to take over the Phoenix, the rebel group that worked to overthrow the tyranny that gripped the settlers on Mars.
They ate in silence. When supper was ended, the children scattered, some to play, others to chores. Goat beckoned to Adam and Brute to follow him. He led them down the corridor and into his study.
Goat turned on the light, revealing a book-lined, paper-stacked room focused on a huge desk. He removed his marsuit to stand in baggy trousers and loose tunic. Adam and Brute stood near the door, shifting uncomfortably, for the study was normally forbidden ground.
Goat stood by a thick double window, looking out over the desert to the west. The small sun disappeared beneath the horizon even as he looked, leaving the fast-darkening sky a dull, faint red. Almost as though released by the sunset, pale Phobos popped above the horizon and began to climb its eastward way. The desert already was dark, but a stirring above it bespoke a distant sandstorm.
Goat turned from the window and faced the pair.
"Well," he snapped harshly, "what happened?"
Adam smiled confidently.
A good multi-layered sci-fi novel; the characters keep turning into new people as aspects of their character become revealed. Pretty good descriptions, and the author has a good imagination.
A few characters are important for a few chapters, then disappear, and one I was most interested in--Shadow--never got explained. The final coincidence was a bit too much to believe, but a twisting, surprising story until the end.
Human genetic engineering experiments to facilitate colonization of Mars take some tragically wrong turns. Include the obligatory 1950's space romance and you have - pulp - but good pulp. Very entertaining.
Love this, its great pulp sci-fi. Bought it for a pound in a second hand bookshop in a small town in County Wexford years ago. Always reminded me of Total Recall, right down to the rebels training in psychokenesis. The imagery is great and occasionally creepy. The characters have weird names that reflect something about them (Goat Hennessy, Dark Kensington). Not the kind of thing you'd get in bookshops anymore!
A ripping good space yarn. Some similarity to 'Total Recall':
>Takes place on a newly colonized Mars
>A wealthy and powerful powerful company vs. rag-tag rebels
>An attactive yet dangerous heroine.
Also includes a feature I always enjoy in 50's, 60's, and 70's sci-fi. They smoke cigarettes! (Example; not from this book)
Star Pilot Kral Drevl relaxed after landing his cruiser on Asteroid X-242 and lit a cigarette. He blew out a long stream of blue smoke into the cabin of the cruiser.
'Hey.' said the busty blue-skinned Princess Qwillia. 'How about giving me one of those.'
'Sure baby, sure.' replied Kral, lighting it for her.