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Cooper, Edmund
book-date: 1973
cvr art:
cvr price:
Richard Powers

VG+ to near-Fine
ex-ChUSFA: stamp on first inside page, page 85. MORE INFO

Berkley (N2711) [1st printing] November 1974 paperback (copyright 1973.) Cover by Richard Powers, 176 pages. Condition is VG+ to near-Fine: very tight and square with flat spine (spine has a ghost of a line); some overall wear/rubbing. Stamp on first page and page 85 - from the reserves of a defunct SF library (same source as the IF magazines I sold years ago on eBay) - no other marks or writing.

[Here's the back cover blurb]: Minerva: the 10th planet. So distant, the Sun is just another star, cold and dim... Earth had finally succumbed to nuclear horror. Refugees of the holocaust fled beyond the bounds even of Pluto's orbit - to Sol's Tenth Planet. Grief-stricken at Earth's fate, they have also fled the adventurous spirit which at once was Earth's pride and her downfall. But their static existence under a benevolent dictatorship was about to end for the Minervans. Miraculously, from 50 centuries in the past, comes a man whose bold and daring spirit threatens to lay their very civilization on the rack of rebellion.

I think the blurb is a little misleading. The book is more about who this "man from the past" is and how he got there. He is Idris Hamilton, captain of the Dag Hammarskjold - the last ship to leave Earth bearing refugees from a planet where civilization was failing. Their destination was Mars, home to half or more of the crew. But since the takeoff was contested, Hamilton suspects sabotage, too. The ship comes to grief before turnover for Mars and most die - but there is something to be rescued or salvaged: the cargo was 20 genius-level children and 2 teachers, already in cold sleep.

5,000 years later… Minerva had been colonized by a last gasp from failing Mars. There is no dictatorship - but a stable Theocracy, set up by a powerful man centuries ago. The remnants of the Dag Hammarskjold and her cargo are discovered, and eventually some of the children were revived and work begun on Hamilton - a project that took years. It is not just that he is rebuilt/revived - but why. As a forceful man from a more wide-open culture than the introverted one that he finds himself in, he is bound to have an effect.