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DOUBLE IN SPACE
A collection of 2 short novels by Fletcher Pratt: Double in Space. These originally appeared in Thrilling Wonder Stories in October, November 1951.
"Project Excelsior" - this is centered on the Allied Space Station, from which atomic torpedos can be loosed on the Earth, if necessary. In a more distant orbit an enemy satellite is located, and naturally the inhabitants of that satellite are extremely anxious to learn the secrets of the Allied operations without revealing their own. When this inter-espionage painfully interrupts a blossoming romance between Allied crewmember Duruy Lambert (who is vacationing in Brazil), and the beautiful but mysterous Senhorita Tina Castelhoso, it is obvious that both sides are playing for keeps. But even with disaster imminent, the coldly scientific world of the future finds it expedient to bow to love...
"The Wanderer's Return" - recounts the strange adventures of a United Planets fleet of 12 spaceships, en route home after the successful devastation of Ilya. Although it is vitally important for Commodore Lartud, leader of the force, to return to Earth as soon as possible, he continually meets unaccountable and frustrating but apparantly unavoidable delays. The interplanetary fleet visits the religious fanatics of Asmara, the drug addicts of Kushan, the lobster men of Star H..D. 92111, the Haurakian philosophers, and the hedonists of Calla, before an astute psychologist pinpoints the devilishly clever criminal campaign at work... [Both plot summaries are from the jacket flap copy of 1951 editions - it has been 30+ years since I read these.]