Brink of Madness

Brink of Madness

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Brink of Madness by Walter J. Sheldon

Published:

1953

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Brink of Madness

By

3
(1 Review)
C.I.B. Agent Pell used his head, even if he did rely on hunches more than on the computer. In fact, when the game got rough, he found that to use his head, he first had to keep it....

Book Excerpt

Okay, tomorrow then Pell would tackle it. Tomorrow he'd think about it. Right now he had a date with his best girl.

He entered the cafe and the music of the askarins swirled more loudly about his head and he looked through the smoke and colored light until he spotted Ciel sitting in a rear booth. The place was crowded. On the small dance floor before the orchestra nearly nude Venusian girls were going through the writhing motions of a serpentine dance. Their greenish skins shimmered iridescently. The sad-faced Venusian musicians on the band-stand waved their graceful, spatulated fingers over their curious, boxlike askarins, producing changing tones and overtones by the altered capacitance. A rocketman in the black and silver uniform of the Space Force was trying to stumble drunkenly out on to the floor with the dancers and his friends were holding him back. There was much laughter about the whole thing. The Venusian girls kept dancing and didn't change their flat, almost lif

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A somewhat dated interplanetary mystery, in that the computers of the future still use IBM punchcards, and Venus is inhabited by sentient space-faring beings. Little of that matters because (except for a brief jaunt to the moon) everything takes place on the future Earth.

The mystery is how people manage to become humanracists practically overnight. The characerizations are minimal, but each character was at least distinct. The plotting kept my interest.