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Rogue Moon

by Algis Budrys

Cover artist unknown

Publisher: Fawcett Gold Medal

Pub year: 1960

Cover price: 35¢


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Book detail for Rogue Moon

Cover tagline

He suffered and was killed. And the next day he was reborn and ascended to the moon — and was seated on the right hand of death.

Back cover text

That old devil moon

During all recorded history she was hovered near the earth, a timeless symbol for the lover's ecstasy, a vast frontier for the adventurer's curiosity. Goddesses and Gibson girls have tripped the light fantastic of her surface while sonneteers and scientists have scanned her changing phases.

Now man had actually reached the moon — and on it the explorers found a structure, a formation so terrible and incomprehensible that it couldn't even be described in human terms. It was a thing that devoured men — that killed them again and again in torturous, unfathomable ways.

Earthbound were the only two men who could probe the thing — Al Barker, a suicidal maniac, whose loving mistress was Death, and Dr. Edward hawks, a scientific murderer, whose greatest mission was rebirth.

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Interior text

Tigers thrown together

Barker raised the bottle to his mouth and peered at Hawks over it as he drank. When he lowered it, he said: "A man should fight, Hawks. A man should show he is never afraid to die. He should go into the midst of his enemies, singing his death song, and should kill or be killed. A man who turns his back — who lurks at the edge of the battle, and pushes others in to face his enemies —" Barker looked suddenly and obviously at Hawks. "That's not a man. That's some kind of crawling, wriggling thing."

Hawks got up, flexing his hands uncertainly, his face lost in the shadows above the lamp's level. "Is that what you wanted me here for? So no one could say you wouldn't clasp the snake to your bosom? A truly brave man wouldn't hesitate to lodge assassins in his house. Let Connington the backstabber come right in. Let Hawks the murderer do his worst. Let Claire egg you on from one suicidal thing to the next, ripping off a leg here, a piece of flesh another time. What do you care? You're Barker, the Mimbreno warrior!"