Post by Craig Herbertson on Dec 2, 2009 21:00:12 GMT
The Irish adventurer or robber depending on your moral viewpoint, Paddy Blackthorn, is caught as he attempts to steal an interstellar space drive and is sentenced to death by the ruling council of mutant humans. These mutants, five species, are all descended from the sons of the original adventurer who accidentally discovered the space drive. Their descendants mutated under the influence of their new planetary conditions and after a bit came to despise earth men.
The five councilors each have a ring; effectively separate clues to the drive to preserve its secret from everyone else. The rings are hidden in five secret locations. Paddy, with the help of the beautiful but scrawny human secret agent, Fay Bursill, attempts to find them.
Published in the fifties, it's brilliantly written for the time. Paddy seems a bit over American Irish but beyond that its a great read - a bit like a Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel rat for grown ups.