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Think Yourself to Death

A Johnny Mayhem Adventure

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Author: Stephen Marlowe (Milton Lesser)
Published: 1957
Language: English
Wordcount: 7,986 / 31 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,454
Added to site: 2010.06.16 28162

If you've never read a Johnny Mayhem story before, you are in for a treat. Johnny, who wears different bodies the way ordinary people wear clothes, is one of the most fascinating series characters in science fiction.

Show Excerpt

fanatic gurus ever thought of that. Then the door in front of him opened again and a fat, unctuous-looking Ophiuchan came out. He seemed to be an official of sorts.

"One more!" he said. "Only one! The rest of you begone."

Behind Pandit there was a general press of bodies, but he was first in line and did not surrender his position. The unctuous-looking man admitted him, half-expecting a bribe. Pandit passed him by; he didn't have a single copper.

He approached a desk. The crowd noise outside was loud, those who had not joined the line crowing because most of those on it had been turned away. Behind the desk sat a small Denebian man of middle years. He looked nervous.

"Can you fly?" he asked in a voice almost desperately thin.

"Yes," Pandit said. Then the rumors were right.

"How much experience?"

"Five years on and off."

"You have a license?"

"There are no licenses on Ophiuchus IX," Pandit pointed out.

"Yes, of course. I'm sorry. Habit. You

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Paulo Respighi

On one of the planets of Ophiuchus, something suspicious is going on, but every agent the Galactic League sends in to investigate commits suicide. So they send Johnny Mayhem.
Johnny Mayhem was killed some time ago, but his personality was kept alive and is transferred into a new dead body every month. It so happens that the League has a dead native Ophiuchian to transfer Johnny into, so his infiltration should be undetectable.
An okay pulp story, the only mystery turns out to be what's going on on the planet.


This was my first Mayhem adventure. As the description says, Johnny Mayhem inhabits dead bodies and solves mysteries. In this story (episode?) he's been dispatched to a world colonized by East Indians and where any offworlder who enters the society commits suicide, purportedly by the gurus who run the planet. There's a bit of gimmeckry in the telling but it's still a pretty good pulp tale.



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