Laurence James - Earth Lies Sleeping: Simon Rack #1 (Sphere, 1974)
Keep The Stars Free
That's the motto of the Galactic Security Service. Using vast ships and the massive weight of Federation diplomacy, it sweeps the star-ways to hold inter-stellar conflict in check. Most of the time. The Federation fleet is big enough for most missions. But for some it's too big, like when a dictator's throat needs cutting. Or a spy is lost in a prison colony on Golot 4.
Dirty jobs. Violent jobs. Lonely jobs.
That's when they send for Simon Rack.
The Witches: 1. The Prisoner is moving ominously toward the summit of the 'to re-read' pile, so if I just post up the details of this one and leave it to you's. Didn't someone mention before that the Rack books are essentially Westerns in outer space ....?
Helpful author notes for a change!
After several years of publishing other people's books, Laurence James decided that it was time he started writing some of his own. So, since early in 1972 he has been a full-time freelance author and journalist.
He has had science fiction short stories published both in Britain and in the United States, but the Simon Rack books are his first novels in this field. His likes include Alf Tupper, Wilson and Braddock as well as old films, old comics and rock'n' roll. Among many other things, he dislikes suits, gherkins and earwigs.
Mr James is married and lives with his wife and three young children in an east Hertfordshire village.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
I've got (or have read) all the Simon Rack novels.
But Ken Bulmer (writing as Tully Zetford) did an even better job with his Ryder Hook sci-fi series. Got all of them that were printed in the UK in English. More were written for the German market. Andreas over on the Piccadilly Cowboys forum told me that. He translated them.