Brunner, John
omni,w/new-to-book: 1962
cvr art:
cvr price:
Ace (F-242)
Ace-Double (1 author)
Ed Emshwiller; Edward Valigursky

Ace Double (F-242): 1963 paperback; 40 cent cover price. Condition is near-Fine:tight and very square with flat spine; age tannning is mild and uniform (slightly darker on inside of covers.) There are faint scratches on "Ohe" side that show only in angled light (scan may not pick them up.) No stamps, marks or writing - a very clean copy.

Ace Double F-242 (1962) - with both sides by John Brunner, containing Castaways' World and The Rites of Ohe. This is the first paperback appearance for either novel.

Castaways' World (cover by Ed Emshwiller, 127 pages) is original. One of the "Zarathustra Refugee" books (the first written was Secret Agent of Terra, from 1962.) This is a very loose series whose connection is that all take place on planets settled by refugees from Zarathustra. When that planet's sun went nova, 3000 starships carried a few million survivors into exile on a variety of worlds.
Lex was crew on one of 2 ships from Zarathustra that had made it to this new world. Within days of landing, their ship was underwater, and Captain Arbogast had lost all touch with reality. The planet has plenty of life - vicious, hungry, and very carnivorous. The winters were harsh, the summers torrid, and chances of survival seemed slim. Lex was a trainee Polymath- one who's job would be to forsee all problems necessary to set up a safe home for humanity. It took decades to train a Polymath for a particular planet. Lex had just started training, and he had been studying for a different planet. He didn't want the job. No would want to take orders from a relative youngster like him - but if he didn't take the job, the colony would fail.

The Rites of Ohe (cover by Ed Valigursky, 129 pages) appears to be original. While Merry Duner is trying to trace her missing lover Rex Quant, she runs into the Immortal Karmesin. Just over a thousand years old, Karmesin takes an interest in her search, even more so when it seems to match up with 2 other "problems" he is involved in: the nonhuman Ohe, who were old before Man had starflight, and the Phoenix mystery - an interstellar rash of terrorist-like bombings, that to Karmesin has many of the symptoms of a contagious disease. The creed of the Phoenixes was birth in death, of regeneration in destruction. Karmesin had to unravel the Phoenix mystery, or live to watch it bring fiery death to all the planets of man...

To my knowledge, this Brunner half has not been reprinted elsewhere, making it another of the hard to find titles by him. John Brunner (1934-1995) was well-known for writing (a lot of) "literate space opera," many of which appeared in Ace-Doubles. Find out why I considered John Brunner one of my 5 favorite authors (both prolific and good.) Trust him for the first 5 pages, and then you won't be able to put the book down.