THE SECRET AGENT X OMNIBUS: Legion of the Living Dead, The Murder Monster & The Fear Merchants

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by Brant House

Secret Agent X was one of the most lurid of pulp magazines, as these three novels reprinted from its pages prove. The series was unique in another respect: as a Wikipedia entry notes: "In the stories, the true identity of Secret Agent X is never revealed. He is a master of disguise, known as 'the man of a thousand faces', who adopts several different identities in each story. Although he is a dedicated crime-fighter working undercover for the U.S. government, this is unknown to the police who consider him an outlaw. His true role is known only to newspaper reporter Betty Dale and his mysterious Washington controller, K-9."

Like other pulp hero novels, the Secret Agent X stories are filled with nonstop action, bizarre villains, fiendish weapons, and diabolical plots, as these book-length reprints show. If you love the Shadow, the Spider and Doc Savage, you will love Secret Agent X!

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THE THIRD STAR MAN OMNIBUS: The World Changer and The Slaves of Venus by Stuart J. Byrne

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From the #1 Bestselling Author of Star Quest!

More adventures of tomorrow's greatest hero. In The World Changer, when Germaine breaks into the cosmium vault at Martanium, he discovers why he is the key to a would-be tyrant's scheme of empire—and the threat it poses to his personal freedom.

Meanwhile, Germaine and his friends find a way to use a comet as camouflage so they can blast the growing Earth Empire Fleet on Luna. Germaine meets the tough, beautiful Lori Beldon who begins to nurture feelings for the Star Man, but his lonely heart belongs to Anne of Thulone. But the destruction of the Empire Fleet triggers a psychic command the tyrant had implanted in Germaine's mind. He must return to the tyrant's headquarters and surrender himself into the tyrant's hands.

In The Slaves of Venus, when he is sentenced to the Venusian slave mines with his old "Superman" crew from Thulone, Germaine discovers the lost laboratories of the 23rd century "Magicians." There, mutant Paul Traynor comes into contact with a Quasar Crystal and a history-changing breakthrough.

If that weren't enough for Germaine to contend with, the dangerous beauty, Aarri-Waziya, also becomes a love temptation for him. The Star Man creates a second front on Venus by allying with the hidden Braburni nation, the gill-breathing race of the Gagandhi, and the "Magicians'" new star ship, Night Song II, with its mutant weapons. This in turn leads to threatened retaliation from the forces of Sol.

Add the possessive impulse of Aarri-Waziya, and the resulting crisis threatens to leave our adventurers lost in the Milky Way!

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THE FIRST STAR MAN OMNIBUS: Supermen of Alpha and Time Window by Stuart J. Byrne

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Fans of Star Trek, Farscape, and Star Wars will Love This Classic Series!

A space accident sends modern astronaut Steven Germaine to the Earth colony at Alpha Centauri in the 25th century. In Supermen of Alpha, Germaine is drawn into an undreamed-of new life of adventure and cosmic intrigue. First, Germaine finds himself to be "property" of the insidious tycoon, Vincent Cardwell, who rescued him. But soon, he is caught up in the riptides of an interstellar revolution against a tyrannical Earth government, and a growing love for Cardwell's beautiful "contract woman," the mutant Anne.

However, Vincent Cardwell has his own schemes for Germaine. There is a secret about the astronaut known only to Cardwell—a secret he plans to use as a hidden "ace" in his own game of empire. Meanwhile, Germaine faces the deadly challenge of the heavy-gravity planet Thulone. Somehow, he must find the will to determine his own destiny and overcome the world's crushing gravity—or die centuries and light years away from Earth. If he fails, he knows he will never see Anne Cardwell again, and the galaxy will suffer in slavery for centuries to come! If he lives, Germaine will become one of the rare cross-overs who survive Thulone, one of the "Supermen of Alpha"—and humanity's one slim hope.

In Time Window, Germaine escapes from an interstellar prison, to land in the secret stronghold of the Thulonian Independence Party (T.I.P.) on the jungle planet, Alpha Minor. Reluctantly, Germaine becomes involved with the rebel cause, never realizing he is destined to be the vital key to Man's first interstellar revolution.

On Alpha Minor, he makes remarkable new friends such as "Si" the human cyborg, and Paul Traynor, the mutant strongman. He also learns the awesome secret of Anne Cardwell, and of Cardwell's hold over her. Planning to strike directly at the heart of the tyranny and use Traynor's formidable paralysis weapon to take over Earth's government, Germaine and his new friends must smuggle Traynor's secret ship, Night Song, in among the cargo in an interstellar star-train. But, but they must risk discovery and act quickly, for Germaine's own destiny and the fate of worlds is being narrowed down to an inescapable tine window.

Read the first two complete Star Man novels for one low price! And don't miss The Second Star Man Omnibus, featuring books #3, Interstellar Mutineers, and #4, The Cosmium Raiders, of this enthralling series by veteran science fiction author Stuart J. Byrne.

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THE SECOND STAR MAN OMNIBUS: Interstellar Mutineers and The Cosmium Raiders by Stuart J. Byrne

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Find Out Why Gene Roddenberry Wanted Stu Byrne for Star Trek!

Forget the captains of the Enterprise, the real space hero is Steve Germaine, the Star Man, featured in two complete novels in this special omnibus edition.

In the first epic, Interstellar Mutineers, Steve Germaine has sacrificed his love for the mutant Anne Cardwell to fight for human freedom on the worlds of Alpha Centauri. Accompanied by "Si," the human cyborg, Paul Traynor, another mutant, and a handful of others, Germaine has snuck Traynor's small ship, Night Song, into a long train of cargo being escorted back to Sol.

Germaine's goal is nothing less than to attack the tyrants of Earth, who hold the worlds in thrall, with the Night Song's new paralysis weapon. Now, in the midst of a 4.3-light-year voyage, Germaine finds himself and his mission threatened by conspiracies and power struggles. For behind the mission lurks a secret plotter who plans to use the revolutionaries as mere puppets on his way to grasping supreme power. Not knowing who to trust, Star Man must cut the strings of the puppet masters before they cut his throat.

If he survives, he will have to capture Sol's first cosmium-powered interstellar warship—which is protected by all the might of Earth's space navy—before he can possibly think about returning to the woman he loves.

In The Cosmium Raiders, Steve Germaine leads a desperate raid to Mars to break into the impregnable vaults that hold the dictators' coveted hoard of cosmium, the metal of power. Cosmium is the key to Germaine's plan for overthrowing the tyranny that holds the stars in slavery. The problem is not only how to steal the cosmium but also how to escape with the booty when all of Earth's Navy is on his heels.

Also, Star Man's long personal battle against the insidious schemer, Vincent Cardwell, could hold the vital key to human liberty on many worlds already aflame with revolt. What Germaine doesn't know is that in discovering Cardwell's secret, he will acquire the greater burden of becoming THE WORLD CHANGER.

Cover art by Igor Varavin.

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THE CURSE OF CHAOS [THE BOOKS OF RETSLU IV] by Joe Vadalma

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Chaos is the most enigmatic, mysterious and powerful of all the gods and goddesses. Only she can turn what is to what is not, make nothing of something and with the help of her servant Time, destroy all that is or ever will be. Thus the heart trembles and the knees quake when this powerful and capricious goddess interferes directly in the affairs of humankind.

Pity, then, the citizens of Retslu, a tiny kingdom ruled by an honest, just and liberal monarch, King Knight Black, whose only faults were muddleheadedness—not an unusual trait in rulers of this land—and a tendency toward extravagance. During his reign, the once proud and prosperous Retslu was subject to several years of drought, wars with neighboring Neerg, poaching by the dreaded beast-things in the south and more, and now the kingdom was destitute.

Near King Black's castle squatted an ancient, venerable and hoary church. Presiding over this church was Bishop Faith, whose ambition was to replace the church with a tremendous cathedral. When two marriages are to be performed there, the king throws a lavish masquerade ball, and the goddess Chaos appears, awarding Bishop Faith the prize for the best costume. When others ridicule her choice, Chaos curses the kingdom.

The very next day, the royal treasurer, Screege, discovers that not enough gold is left in the treasure room to pay the king's bills. Thus begins a hilarious serious of misadventures in the tradition of Discworld and Xanth. In it you will meet Captain Blite, a pirate with an unusual buried treasure; the hapless knight, Lord Noise, who must hock the Royal Crown if he can survive the monsters that litter his path; the king of Atlantis and his troll, Turkle; Ping Pong, a monsterous gorilla; the witch, Wortisha; Lord Noise's slutty daughter, Hunkerina; Pancho Beastman, and many of Retslu's other crazy and irresistible denizens.

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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON [THE BOOKS OF RETSLU III] by Joe Vadalma

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On Friday the thirteenth, in the dead of winter, a beautiful woman named Pim chains up her werewolf lover in anticipation of the full moon. Yet when the orb rises blue and later turns to blood, her lover disappears and the castle of her vampire friend, Count Gorblud, is burned to the ground. So begins another tale of Retslu, a fantasy land in the tradition of Oz or Xanth, with humor, satire, love and adventure.

Some of the many quirky characters include: Pim, the lovely gypsy girl in love with a beast; Mordrake, the sorcerer who wants King Skeemer to stop bugging him about the ultimate magical weapon; Doctor Nemesis, the evil scientist who turns the moon blue and forgets to change it back; the youthful King Black Pawn who worries that his mother will make him marry a haughty noblewoman; the sinister Gnorduc who wipes the mind of the king's father returned from exile; Hokum, an illusionist pretending to be a real sorcerer; Lord Noise and Clank, a bumbling dragon-fighter and his metal assistant; and many more.

In addition, there is a castle whose labyrinth passages trap anyone who enters it, an enormous crystal ball that broadcasts the news of the future, a war fought with wooden soldiers, a magical painting that transports people to the lair of the ferocious red dragon, and other monsters, magic and mayhem.

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WHITE QUEEN, KNIGHT BLACK [THE BOOKS OF RETSLU I] by Joe Vadalma

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A humorous fantasy in the tradition of Piers Anthony's Xanth series!

In the magical land of Retslu, Dorian, a plucky youth, sets off to win the hand of the lovely princess Jennifer, by winning a tournament. During his travels he befriends a vampire, saves a tiger-headed woman from assault, falls into the Looking-Glass World, is thrown down a well by a witch, is tried by gnomes, goes to Hell, is kidnapped by pirates, finds Atlantis which sinks into the sea, and exchanges riddles with a troll.

Through amazing luck and guile, he nonetheless becomes one of ten tournament finalists. But that's only the beginning; the tournament winners must go on a quest to obtain water from the Fountain of Youth. The first to return with the magical fluid will marry Princess Jennifer and be named heir apparent to the throne.

The final test of Dorian's pluck comes when he and the other finalists reach the Fountain of Youth, guarded by the great red dragon who demands the one thing each finalist cannot give. A uproarious fantasy classic in the making which no true fan should miss.

Cover: Sami Hursey

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THE SEARCH FOR PRINCE KNIGHT BLACK [THE BOOKS OF RETSLU II] by Joe Vadalma

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Here is a rollicking fantasy about the search for the missing Prince Knight Black, husband of the beautiful but shrewish Princess Jennifer of Retslu. It includes ghosts, demons, dragons, witches, sorcerers, a fabulous and wild birthday ball, war, revolution, high adventure, magic and time travel—and it begins where most fairy tales end, after the handsome prince marries the beautiful princess.

On a dark and stormy night within Castle Klinton, a quarrel brews between the royal couple. Prince Knight Black regrets his marriage to the Princess, who in her final months of pregnancy has become impossible to live with. After Knight Black stalks off from her room and disappears, Prince Black Pawn is born. Promptly following the baby's birth, a ghost predicts disaster for the kingdom and a witch places a curse on him.

When King Woden decides to hire a sorcerer to help with these problems, Hokum, a prestidigitator and juggler, gets the job. The King also sends his best men on quests: General Eric to find and assassinate the missing Prince Knight Black; Minister Dorian, Tiger Lily and the boisterous braggart, Lord Noise, to retrieve a lost talisman; Duke Wisdom and Bishop Faith to defeat the demoness who caused all the mischief; Hokum, the humbug sorcerer, to consult a prophetic book; and Screege, the miserly treasury secretary, to search for the king's missing foster children.

Meanwhile, Jennifer is kidnapped by a demon who dwells in her mirror, King Woden collapses into a deathlike coma and King Skeemer, Woden's northern neighbor, conquers Retslu. It's a modern fantasy classic in the making no true fan should miss!

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AN EAST WIND COMING [The Great Mystery Trilogy Book 2] by Arthur Byron Cover

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Nebula Nominee author Arthur Byron Cover returns to the Great Mystery Trilogy with this captivating novel, featuring an immortal Sherlock Holmes and a deathless Jack the Ripper in a duel through space and time!

“An East Wind Coming is a decadent smorgasbord oozing sex and nihilism, peppered with the thrills of various pulp fictions and comic-book universes. In a far future the iconic characters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century pop culture have been reborn, all of them referring to themselves coyly as "the consulting detective," "the good doctor," "the Big Red Cheese," etc. Imagine Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time reinvented by a chimera of Kim Newman, Philip José Farmer, and Belgian nihilist surrealist Jacques Sternberg, and you'll get an idea of the strange atmosphere of this dense and mindwarping novel. Cosmic concepts, depressing sex, horrific crimes, and pulp heroes . . . what more could you want?” —The Magazine of F&SF

“A dark, rich and unusual fantasy/science-fiction novel. The Golden City of the Godlike Men is haunted by a murderer -- possibly a reincarnation of Jack the Ripper. As the utopian streets run with blood, the godlike men face the ultimate crisis of their aimless, drifting existence. The murders seem to expose the underlying corruption and pointlessness of their existence. And the only hope seems to be to rouse the Consulting Detective (Sherlock Holmes) from his torpor, to finally investigate a new case that could change the nature of the godlike men's world. The literary fun-'n'-games should appeal to fans of Alan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN or anyone who's explored the Wold-Newton playground of Philip Jose Farmer. But there's a wholly unique and utterly fascinating quality to this lonely, haunted, elegiac novel. Again and again, Cover defiantly mines new meaning and hidden power from the detritus of junk, pop, pulp culture. This lost classic of fantasy richly deserves to be rediscovered.” —Amazon Review

“The book is excellent. I recommend this one very highly, with the proviso that the reader will only enjoy it if they happen to like a great number of different types of writing; from great literature to comic books, pulp magazines, penny dreadfuls, etc.” —Casebook: Jack the Ripper

Arthur Byron Cover’s work is filled with "…agile inventiveness … extraordinary salience and outlandishness … astonishing imagination … grotesque and hilarious … honest and often truly beautiful … shocking and exultant. …nothing like the usual sf fare." —A.A. Attanasio, author, Radix

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