By James P. Hogan
During this modest SF-mystery hybrid, set on Mars circa the twenty second century, Kieran Thane (aka the Knight), a type of futuristic Saint or Travis McGee, and his girl significant other, June, who's no longer particularly an entire companion yet greater than a sidekick, take on the secret of a teleportation scan long gone unsuitable. rather than teleporting, the method duplicates the person, with unlucky effects for one of many scientists concerned, Dr. Leo Sarda. One Dr. Sarda is left with holes in his reminiscence, whereas the opposite places a gap in his double's checking account. the path leads Thane and June to high-powered company shenanigans, which threaten to ruin via improvement useful archeological websites which can carry a clue to the destiny of the vanished Martian race. as well as utilizing biotechnology to salary mental struggle opposed to the company meanies, the Knight has to conceal himself as a mystic, the Khal of Tadzhikstan, and lease a few simple previous actual weaponry and its wielders. An amiable mutt named Guinness, half Lab, half Doberman, lends a few canines curiosity. This light-weight page-turner, which calls for a undeniable tolerance for expository lumps, libertarian preaching and Gods from Outer house, won't make new converts for Hogan (The Proteus Operation; Endgame Enigma; etc). even though, the author's efficient dealing with of a few average subject matters within the SF event type will greater than fulfill confirmed lovers.
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Even with no human in the tank, at the whisper of a relay in Command Central the fat weapon would light the world cyan and smash to lava anything within line of sight of its muzzle. "We sold our wheat to a Weststar agent, a Hindi named Sarim who'd lived, Via, twenty years at least on Dunstan but he still smelled funny. Sweetish, sort of; you know? But his people were all back in Ongole on Weststar. When the fighting started between the Scots and the Hindi settlers, he raised a battalion of farm boys like me and shipped us over in the hold of a freighter.
Houses were relatively uncommon. Apparently each farmer plowed several separate locations rather than trying to work the rugged or less productive areas. Occasionally they passed a rough-garbed local at work. The scowls thrown up at the smoothly running war-car were hostile, but there was nothing more overt. "OK," Jake warned, "here's where it gets interesting. " "It won't be far," Worzer answered. " He turned to Rob, touching the recruit's shoulder and pointing to the lighted map panel beside the forward gun.
Just run us out to the edge of the field," he directed. " With a sigh he hopped into the fighting compartment. Leon motioned Rob in front of him. Gingerly, the recruit stepped onto the trailer hitch, gripped the armored rim with both hands, lifted himself aboard. Leon followed. The trailer bonged as he pushed off from it, and his bulk cramped the littered compartment as soon as he grunted over the side. "Put this on," Worzer ordered, handing Rob a dusty, bulbous helmet like the others wore. " The black laughed.