The Door Through Space
Marion Zimmer Bradley
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... across half a Galaxy, the Terran Empire maintains its sovereignty with the consent of the governed. It is a peaceful reign, held by compact and not by conquest. Again and again, when rebellion threatens the Terran Peace, the natives of the rebellious world have turned against their own people and sided with the men of Terra; not from fear, but from a sense of dedication. There has never been open war. The battle for these worlds is fought in the minds of a few men who stand between worlds; bound to one world by interest, loyalties and allegiance; bound to the other by love. Such a world is Wolf. Such a man was Race Cargill of the Terran Secret Service.
The Door Through Space is a rollicking good ride with a hero that's fully human, a bit risque for 1960, and chock-full of imagination. It is classic pulp science fiction at its best!
threw my skean away before I came here. I won't fight." He thrust at me. Even I could see that the blow was a feint, and I had a flashing, instantaneous memory of Dallisa's threat to drive the knife through my palms. But even while I commanded myself to stand steady, sheer reflex threw me forward, grabbing at his wrist and the knife. Between my grappling hand he twisted and I felt the skean drive home, rip through my jacket with a tearing sound; felt the thin fine line of touch, not pain yet,
angrily, defending himself: "You did it yourself, you ape. I was trying to get rid of the knife when you jumped me." But I knew that and he knew I knew it. He turned and scooped up Rindy, who was sobbing noisily. She dug her head into his shoulder and I made out her strangled words. "The other Toys hurt you when I was mad at you...." she sobbed, rubbing her fists against smeared cheeks. "I—I wasn't that mad at you. I wasn't that mad at anybody, not even ... him." Rakhal pressed his hand against
mauling. I couldn't handle three men; and if nerves were this taut in the Kharsa, I might get knifed. Quite by accident, of course. The chaks moaned and gibbered. The Dry-towners glared at me and I tensed for the moment when their steady stare would explode into violence. Then I became aware that they were gazing, not at me, but at something or someone behind me. The skeans snicked back into the clasps of their cloaks. Then they broke rank, turned and ran. They ran, blundering into stools,
could not identify. It seemed to pinpoint some great change, either in Rakhal or myself. It's not difficult to visualize one's sister with children, but there was something, some strange incongruity in the sight of Rakhal carrying the little girl, carefully tucking her up in a fold of his cloak to keep the sharp breeze off her face. Miellyn was limping in her thin sandals, and she shivered. I asked, "Cold?" "No, but—I don't believe Evarin is dead, I'm afraid he got away." For a minute the
for the transmitter. And I had a feeling my own solid, ordinary desk was going to look good to me in the morning. But I knew now that I'd never run away from Wolf again. It was my own beloved sun that was rising. My sister was waiting for me down below, and I was bringing back her child. My best friend was walking at my side. What more could a man want? If the memory of dark, poison-berry eyes was to haunt me in nightmares, they did not come into the waking world. I looked at Miellyn, took her