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A MIRROR FOR OBSERVERS
First Bluejay printing December 1983 trade paperback (copyright 1954.) Cover by John Pierard, 229 pages, $5.95 cover price. Condition is Fine (-): tight and square with flat spine, age tanning is mild and uniform; very slight (rubbing) wear to back cover. No stamps, marks or writing - this looks new/unread, with a small bit of shelfwear.
Edgar Pangborn's second SF novel, A Mirror For Observers (copyright 1954.) Martian refugees (they call themselves Salvayans) have been on this planet for 30,000 years- observing us and waiting for the day when humans will be ready to meet them. But there is division amongst the Martians: the Abdicators are tired of waiting and want to rid the Earth of the greedy, petty race that pollutes the surface- (the humans.) They think they have found their tool in the form of a boy genius, named Angelo Pontevicchio- a potential ethical innovator. Learning of the Abdicator's plans to manipulate the boy, the Observers send in their own agent, poet-historian Elmis. Against Namir the Abdicator, who will stop at nothing- including murder, Elmis is alone, with only the power of love and truth... and an ancient bronze mirror from the lost civilization of Crete: that can show what one really is - or could be.
A Mirror For Observers won the International Fantasy Award in 1955. The I.F.A.s were British awards, from 1951 to 1957. When LOCUS noted a reprint of this, they listed it as "One of the classics of Science Fiction. Highly recommended." I heartily agree.