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Gilman, R.C. (=Coppel)
book-date: 1970
cvr art:
cvr price:
Harcourt Brace &World
Richard Loehle
Book= near-Fine
Dustjacket= Fine-

Harcourt, Brace & World: 1970 hardcover (stated "first edition" on credits page.) Cover by Richard Loehle, 190 pages, $4.95 cover price. Condition is near-Fine in a Fine (-) dustjacket: tight and almost square (bottom is square, top has slight tilt); very light bump traces to ends of spine (corners are still sharp), age tanning is mild and uniform. No stamps, marks or writing - a very clean copy. Unclipped DJ has no tears, with a hint of rubbing wear to (blank) back cover (see scans.) When I got this 2 decades ago, I placed it in a new Demco DJ protector, which has kept it in great shape.

A rare hardcover first edition of The Starkahn of Rhada - 3rd in a juvenile SF trilogy by Alfred Coppel, writing as"Robert Cham Gilman." While the first book had a paperback he same year, the 2 sequels did not appear in paperback for a decade or more.

Since I haven't read this, I'm quoting from a short review in Analog December 1970 for a plot set-up/summary:
If the annual SF conventions gave a "Hugo" for the best juvenile SF - and they should - the longtime championship of Andre Norton would be seriously threatened by the "Rhada" stories by Robert Cham Gilman... ...Gilman is writing about intrigue in a galactic empire of the very far future - just how far, we finally learn in this book. Earth has become the center of a galactic empire (the new calendar begins with A.D. 6000 of our era.) The empire collapsed in an interregnum in which science was carried on as a religious cult by the Navigators... then a Second Empire grew faster and farther than the first. Instead of following one character through a limited part of this tremendous turmoil, the author has placed each of his books in a different era. ...Now we are introduced to another Star-king, namesake of Kier, 800 years after the events of "Navigator." The new Kier is a scholar and student of history, doing his stint as a space scout in partnership with the cyborg ship Ariane. (Much as I hate to say it, Ariane makes her counterpart in Anne McCaffrey's Ship Who Sang just a little bit bland.) In the depths of space, the partners come upon a gigantic black ship orbiting an obscure star, and Kier bullheadedly goes in to investigate. He finds it is an automated fortress with one human passenger, a strange silver-eyed girl held in suspended animation in a sealed chamber. He gets her out, just as the ship goes berserk and destroys a star. And then the trouble starts... The girl, Marissa, is one of a society of mutants, descended from refugees who were shipped off to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud as political "criminal" during a short-lived episode in the First Empire, ten thousand years before. Three death ships have been built and sent back to ravage the Empire: 2 have vanished, and this third ship is partially disabled.

"The girl, revived, becomes a political pawn in the hands of a fanatic Navigator clique. The dying Vulk, Gret, sends Kier and his cyborg partner, with his own mate, Erit, to steal the mutant girl from the "warlocks" who have revived her, and persuade her to stop the death ship. Only it develops that it will no longer obey her. "Robert Cham Gilman" has earned himself a place in the field that Poul Anderson and Gordon Dickson, in particular, have kept fresh and lively. His books are not watered down, his people and creatures are real, and the social forces that move them are the ones we can recognize in our own time... [-P. Schuyler Miller]

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