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TOWER OF THE MEDUSA + KAR KABALLA
Jeff Jones; John Schoenherr
VG+ to near-Fine
Ace Double (#42900, 75 cents) November 1969 paperback. Condition is VG+ to near-Fine: tight and square with flat spine; age tanning is mild and uniform; faint lines next to spine on each side (see scans - more noticeable on G.O.Smith side.) Bookstore stamp and price on first pages and inside cover of the Carter side - no other marks or writing.
An Ace Double from 1969: containing Tower of the Medusa by Lin Carter, bound with Kar Kaballa by George H. Smith.
Tower of the Medusa by Lin Carter (cover by Jeff Jones, frontispiece by Jack Gaughan, 106 pages.) Kirrin of Tellus was the most notorious and celebrated jewel thief in the Near Stars. He had stolen the Nine Diamonds of Pharvis from the dragon-guarded citadel beside the Flaming Sea; he had carried off the tiara of the Queen of Zodah - a trifle composed of eleven thousand matched fire-rubies, and worth an emperor's ransom. He was set upon by Dwarf assassins from Pelizon, and rescued by Dr. Temujin - who he rescued in turn when his rather loudmouth robot ship lifted them off the planet after they collapsed. It seems the Doctor wanted Kirrin to steal something for him: a jewel called the Medusa. It is concealed within a structure called the Iron Tower which lies amidst the barren wastes of the uplands of Pelizon. It is watched and guarded by the Death Dwarves, who regard it as a holy object. Over centuries, Temujin and his fellow Mages had obtained very precise blueprints of the Tower, the surrounding maze of traps and deadfalls, and a safe path through them. But Kirrin wondered - if it was so simple and easy, why did the Master Mages hire his services for a princely fee instead of performing the theft themselves? And for that matter, what was the Medusa, and why did the Mages want it? [This is unabashed space opera - don't ask questions, just enjoy. This is part of Carter's "Great Imperium" loose series.]
(Bound with) Kar Kaballa by George H. Smith - Cover by John Schoenherr, frontispiece by Jack Gaughan, 145 pages. Kar Kaballa was the new king of the Gogs and the rumor was that he would lead his barbaric cannibalistic band of Northern nomads down on a mad crusade against the civilized nations of the world. Cultured people found this improbable - but they were soon to learn better. Their weapons were good, about as good as yoiu could get in a Victorian army, which was what the period was. But there was a traveler in town with a weapon he said was better, and odd chap with a thing called a Gatling Gun from a country nobody had ever heard of called the United States of America. The question was could this outlander, this Major Churchward, sell his unearthly import to the Empire soon enough - or would Kar Kabala become the new Tamerlane of a bloody-dawned Twentieth Century? A sequel to Druid's World and Witch Queen of Lochlann, with more to come in the Annwyn series. When I read this decades ago, I had no problem about coming in to the middle of a tale... [I really like Schoenherr's cover - one of his most atmospheric.]