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Anvil, Christopher
book-date: 2003
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(Tall) Trade paperback
Mark Hennessey-Barratt

Christopher Anvil: INTERSTELLAR PATROL - the first of 2 collections of stories and novelets that feature this organization, or Vaughn Nathan Roberts and companions, or associated stories set in Anvil's common backdrop of a loose confederation of planets (2003.) For most of these, this marks the first appearance in an Anvil collection. The first 3 stories were revised when incorporated into the fix-up Strangers in Paradise (1969) - but this was done by simplifying the secondary characters and dropping some explanations (like exactly how they got the spaceships for their return in Part II)... so the original magazine versions printed here are preferred.

(Introduction by David Weber)
(Editor's Preface by Eric Flint)
Strangers to Paradise
The Dukes of Desire
The King's Legions
A Question of Attitude
The Royal Road
The Nitrocellulose Doormat
Test Ultimate
Compound Interest
Experts in the Field
The Hunch
Star Tiger
(Afterword by Eric Flint)

Original appearances from 1958 to 1969: most from Analog (late Sixties) or Astounding, and one from VENTURE.

(Here is a plot summary for Strangers in Paradise, or the first 3 novelets): The planet Paradise was supposed to live up to its name - but things didn't go as planned. Vaughn Nathan Roberts was Captain of the Orion which crashlanded there. The native animal life is quite vigorous and destructive, so Roberts and his crew of Hammell and Morrissey are pleased when they get through to the computer-directed Planetary Control Center. But when they manage to get through to the nearby city, they are promptly arrested for shoplifting and sentenced to servitude - their claims of having come from a crashed spaceship are disregarded as "improbable." The dream of Paradise has turned into a nightmare run by a faceless computer Authority, enforced by roboid police, who/which are bent on enforcing all regulations to the letter. When Roberts and Hammell manage to escape and return to the ship, they find that Morrissey has given them an Ace to play - he has cobbled together some circuitry that appears to influence emotions: a "want generator." They decide the best way to get aid is to liberate the populace from the robot Authority, and use the "want generator" to help them. They are sucessful, but nothing ever quite works the way they expect. When they return with backup (new ships) they find things even more screwed-up than before. Roberts dreams up a fantastic lie to try and bluff their way out, and is dumbfounded when it gets backed up, apparently with the help of his ship - a castoff of the Interstellar Patrol, which only responds to commands from those it deems worthy of Patrol standards or qualifications (ie: Roberts.)