Blish, James
book-date: 1953
cvr art:
cvr price:
Armand Weston

The first mass-market paperback of a very early novel by James Blish: The Warriors of Day. This originally appeared as "Sword of Xota" in Two Complete Science-Adventure Books June 1951, and there was a GALAXY-Novel edition in 1953.

[It has been so long since I read my copy that I'll just quote the back-cover copy and first-page blurb, to give some idea of the set-up...]
THE WILD STAR: Tipton Bond was a man who lived for challenges - and Earth had no more challenges for him. But on Xota: One of the giant's faces bent over him, sardonically benign. "You are an Earthman, little human electron. You are a denizen of a planet which the Warriors of Day will reach and engulf, in a bare thousand years. Did you think to escape us by coming to Xota? You have brought yourself closer to the thing which you thought to escape. You will share in the general holocaust when the Wild Star arrives!" Giants they might be, Bond decided, but they had limitations. "What is this Wild Star?" he called. The slow thunder answered: "It is the most condensed of white dwarfs, almost pure neutronium throughout. And what makes a sun a runaway sun? The answer, little one, is very simple: The Warriors of Day!"

[The first-page blurb]: A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE... One thing was clear: Earth and Xota had virtually nothing in common - except Tipton Bond. Soberly Tipton attempted to extract from his sojourn in the temple the few positive things that he had learned. There was not much to go on. There was the voice, the presence, and its reference to himself. There was the name of this world, Xota. There was an entity named "Mahrt" and a "Sword," which he had surrendered or was about to surrender. Finally there was a group called the Warriors of Day, about which Tipton had overheard nothing but a vague suggestion that they were approaching, and that they were enemies... Wait a moment - the Warriors wer enemies of Xota. If "Xota" was the whole world, the Warriors of Day must be approaching from the outside - and their ships must be - Spaceships.