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Rankine, John
book-date: 1969
cvr art:
cvr price:

Design: Terry James

Book= near-Fine
Dustjacket= VG+ to near-Fine

(British) Science Fiction Book Club 1970 hardcover (the original hardcover from Dobson was copyright 1969.) Jacket art by Terry James, 190 pages. (Size is 5-1/8" by 8") Condition is near-Fine in a VG+ to near-Fine dustjacket: book is tight and amost square with usual slight bumping to spine ends; age tanning is very mild and uniform. Dustjacket is unclipped (10s price at bottom of inside flap) has no tears, with light rubbing wear front and back (see scans.) No stamps, marks or writing.

A hardcover of Binary Z - a science fiction novel by Douglas R(ankine) Mason, writing as "John Rankine." [I know of a British paperback of this book, but there is no American edition.] Mason is a British SF author of more than 30 SF books, active between 1964 and 1980, with more than half his output under the "Rankine" pseudonym. Only about a dozen of his books have appeared in U.S. edtions from 1966 to 1973. Some shorter work can be found in the New Writings in SF series of anthologies, and in Galaxy or If in the early Seventies. He is comparable to Edmond Cooper in quality, and if you picked up a taste for his work from the American titles (mostly from Ballantine), you will find his British-only work rather hard to come by... In my opinion, Mason writes a decent dystopian SF novel. I suspect that most people will be unfamiliar with him, but that those who like him will realize that the hardcovers are really uncommon.

[There is no summary on the flap copy - just an advertisement for the (British) Science Fiction Book Club or Readers Union. But I found a summary on the back-flap of another Dobson book I sold, so here it is]:
"This new Rankine novel, though it has all the action and vivid characterization that have established his wide readership among SF lovers, is a significant development in his work. It is the story of a secondary school which is about to go comprehensive. The head has started a growing relationship with one of his young teachers, a widow with a son. Their love affair is invaded by the unearthing of a black ovoid during excavations on the site of the proposed comprehensive school. The ovoid has existed there for 1000 years and is programmed to resist any attack. It does so with startling thoroughness. When the army is called in, the creature is found indestructible even by high-calibre shells at close range. There is an exciting final confrontation between the creature and the lovers."

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