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The Falling Torch

by Algis Budrys

Cover artist: John Schoenherr

Publisher: Pyramid

Pub year: 1964

Cover price: 40¢


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Book detail for The Falling Torch

Cover tagline

He had to free an enslaved planet — or die

Back cover text

The spaceship dropped them into the night — two men pitted against the mighty empire that held Earth as a slave planet. One was the anonymous agent of the mysterious "munitions firm" supplying weapons to Earth's Underground. The other was Michael Wireman — son of the last President of Free Earth.

Their mission was simple — and suicidal — to weld the underground guerilla fighters into a force capable of beating the most powerful army in the Galaxy. Danger and death waited for them on Earth's nightside — but within him Michael Wireman held the weapon that could conquer Earth.

The only trouble was ... he didn't know he had it....

Here is a tense story of a future with strange parallels to our own time.

"A crackling good yarn."
— Galaxy Magazine

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Interior text

Wireman against the killers

This was the 25th Century, but men still fought as they had back to the dawn of time — the silent stalk in the woods, the swift, bloody ambush.

While his companion lay bleeding his life away on the forest floor, Wireman hefted his rifle and crawled in search of the hidden killers.

He came upon them suddenly — two men crouched in the pine grove. One of them heard him and gave a strangled cry and rolled aside — Wireman's trigger finger jerked convulsively.

He sprayed his fire across both men and the ground between them, watching the pine needles explode into the air and the slugs punching the fabric of the men's clothes into their bodies....

Now Wireman knew he was not afraid to kill.