Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bird of Time, a novel by Wallace West

The Bird of Time, a novel by Wallace West (1959)

At left: Paperback (New York: Ace Books, 1961),
#F-114, 224 p., 40¢. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

"A running chronicle of the conflict between the ancient feathered folk of Mars and the brash expansionists of Earth. ... It is entertainment from start to finish, with only snatches of the serious aspects of dying Mars and bull-headed Earth. Go along with the author and enjoy the story." -- P. Schuyler Miller, Analog Science Fiction

And here’s the blurb from inside the front cover:

When the first expedition from Earth arrived on Mars they were not greeted with open arms. Not only had the Martians long ago learned all they wanted about Earth -- they wanted nothing to do with us.
To quote their welcoming committee:

“You Earth people don’t know your own history. You have always been incorrigible. When Mars was younger, we drove you back to your own planet, whereupon you tumbled into savagery for a gratifyingly long time. The really intelligent Martians then emigrated to the ends of the universe to avoid a second encounter. In fact we are not interested in playing cowboys and Indians with your people.”

But Earthmen are incorrigible and Martians are obstinate, and the result is an adventure-packed novel that spans two planets and several stars and is great science-fiction all the way.

An editorial note inside the front cover states that The Bird of Time is "based upon material originally copyrighted in 1936 by Street & Smith Publication, Inc., 1949, 1952, 1953 by Thrilling Wonder Stories." According to an entry in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, The Bird of Time is a fix-up of four stories by Wallace West: “En Route to Pluto” (Astounding Stories, August 1936), “The Lure of Polaris” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1949), “The Bird of Time” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1952), and “Captive Audience” (Thrilling Wonder Stories, June 1953).

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