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The Star of Life

by Edmond Hamilton

Cover artist: Richard Powers

Publisher: Crest

Pub year: 1959

Cover price: 35¢


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Book detail for The Star of Life

Cover tagline

The strange and terrifying adventure of the first man in orbit around the moon

Back cover text

How Long Had He Been Lost in Space?

Slowly, Kirk Hammond pushed his way back to consciousness. He remembered then that there had been trouble — that his ship Explorer 19, earth's first manned satellite, had failed to orbit properly — that he had gone astray in space.

Hammond looked up at the sky to get his bearings. He was a man who knew the constellations thoroughly, but it seemed to him there was something wrong with the stars. Something terribly, insanely wrong.

Frantically he checked again. No, the vast star clock did not lie.

The truth hit him then like an icy belt of terror. Either he was mad, or dead — or he had been asleep in space for nearly a thousand centuries!

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Interior text

"Who are the Vramen?" asked Hammond.

"Our enemies — and yours too, now." His strange rescuer gave a bitter smile. The Vramen, he explained, were the lords of space, the tyrants of the Universe. They came of the same old Earth stock as the ordinary human.

But now there was one basic difference. The Vramen did not die!

Some two thousand years before, on a mysterious world they named Althar, they had discovered the secret of eternal life. From that moment on their power was absolute.

No one else was allowed to go to Althar. Those who tried never returned.

The stranger watched Hammond's shocked face with interest. "We have a secret, too," he said softly. "And now you are forced to share it with us."

Hammond stared at him blankly.

"We are building a star ship — a ship to take us to the hidden world of Althar."

Hammond gasped.

"It's suicide," agreed the stranger. "We all know that. But we have to try. Someone has to try."