Friday, 6 July 2012

ACE DOUBLE: OFF CENTER + THE RITHIAN TERROR

Ace Double paperback, 1965. Cover by Jack Gaughan.

"The room was quiet; the man in front of the mirror was the only living thing there, and he was too horrified to utter a sound. 
In the mirror, five faces stared back at him: one young and ruddy, which was his own, and four that did not belong in that place at all, for they were wrinkled, malevolent, small as crabapples and blue as smoke. 
So begins Damon Knight's "Be My Guest," a story of the human race possessed by things that were - well, not exactly demons ... but not exactly not demons, either. It's just one of the unpredictable imaginitive tales in this fascinating collection by a modern master of science fiction." 
Contents: 
What Rough Beast
The Second-Class Citizen
Be My Guest
God's Nose
Catch That Martian

Ace Double paperback, 1965. Painting by Jack Gaughan.

"The fate of the Earth Empire hung in the balance - and Security Commissioner Spangler knew it was up to him to find the monster, the Rithian Terror, ans some called it. Seven Rithians had landed on Earth. Six had been disposed of. One was loose. 
Surely, Spangler reasoned, the stereoptic fluroscope would flush it out. "That's one test the Rithian can't meet, no matter how good his human disguise may be." Spangler explained to Pembun, the strange, little Colonial who had been sent to help find the monster. 
But Penbun didn't agree. "The trouble," he said, "is that the Rithi have no bones. Which would be indication enough under a fluroscope, if it weren't for the fact that it can easily swallow a skeleton." 
Spangler Shuddered."
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