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Ultima Thule

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Ronny Bronston wanted to see the galaxy -- and he asked to. But the work turned out to be a search-and-arrest mission -- and he was supposed to arrest Tommy Paine

The real, historical Tom Paine was quite character. But this fellow was slipperier, cleverer, more revolutionary -- "and" he hopped about the galaxy like a flea with the hot-foot
Paperback, 84 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Aegypan (first published March 1961)
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I'd give this a bit under 4 stars.

The premise of this novella is that humanity's expansion out to the stars was often motivated by groups of people who wanted their own planet for their chosen form of political, economic or religious society. As a result, the various planets have radically different cultures which would see each other as misguided. They are held together in a confederation with the number one rule of non-interference with each other.

Ronnie is hired as a new agent of a United Pla
Mankind was exploding through this spiral arm of the galaxy. There was a racial enthusiasm about it all. Man's destiny lay out in the stars, only a laggard stayed home of his own accord. It was the ambition of every youth to join the snowballing avalanche of man into the neighboring stars.
It took absolute severity by Earth authorities to prevent the depopulation of the planet. But someone had to stay to administer the ever more complicated racial destiny. Earth became a clearing house for a tho
Since this was public domain (available at and I assumed it was an early (pre-1923) science fiction story. I was wrong. It's a 1960 story that somehow became public domain.

About a guy who wants to join the space patrol, or star police, or whatever the hell they called the interplanetary government agency in this book. And then he gets his first assignment. And he's DISILLUSIONED.

It's not deep, though it thinks it is. I guess one reason I look down my nose at a lot of
Nice short amusing science fiction novella.
And, as it was FREE, for download on the Kindle, I certainly got my money's worth.
Will be checking out some more Mack Reynolds science fiction soon.
Mark Dewey
This is a great science fiction story. I highly recommend it. It's rather short (about 30k words), so it's a quick read (about 2 hours of listening if you get the free LibriVox recording that I did—see the book link above).

Anyway, there are a lot of ideas seen in this story that future authors (such as Orson Scott Card, in /Speaker for the Dead/) revisit. It reminds me of a mix between the said Card book and /The Scarlet Pimpernel/, with the perspective all switched around. It's kind of a myster
Enjoyable quick read on "school" night.
Marts  (Thinker)
Who or what is Tommy Paine and what is the secret of Section G, Ronny Bronston soon finds out...
Patrick Smith
Patrick Smith marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
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Dallas McCord "Mack" Reynolds was an American science fiction writer. His pen names included Clark Collins, Mark Mallory, Guy McCord, Dallas Ross and Maxine Reynolds. Many of his stories were published in "Galaxy Magazine" and "Worlds of If Magazine". He was quite popular in the 1960s, but most of his work subsequently went out of print.

He was an active supporter of the Socialist Labor Party; his
More about Mack Reynolds...
Mission to Horatius (Star Trek: The Original Series) Galactic Medal of Honor Looking Backward, From The Year 2000 Tomorrow Might Be Different The Towers of Utopia

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