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Crossroads of Destiny   By: (1904-1964)

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Crossroads of Destiny takes readers on an enthralling journey through a richly developed science fiction universe. Written by H. Beam Piper, this novel captures the essence of interstellar exploration, political intrigue, and the consequences of humanity's actions.

The story unfolds in a future where humanity has colonized numerous planets, forming intricate alliances and rivalries across the galaxy. The protagonist, Captain Lazarus Longworth, finds himself at the center of a web of political tensions when he is assigned to a critical mission on a distant planet. As he navigates through diplomatic minefields and encounters mysterious alien races, Lazarus becomes embroiled in a deadly conspiracy that threatens to upend the balance of power.

Piper's writing style is gripping, with vivid descriptions that bring each planet and alien race to life. The intricate world-building serves to immerse readers in this futuristic universe, allowing them to easily envision and navigate its complexities. From the intricate political landscape of Terra Prime to the fascinating alien culture of the Velantians, every aspect of this world is meticulously crafted.

What sets Crossroads of Destiny apart is its ability to explore the human condition within a science fiction framework. As Lazarus grapples with his role in what unravels, the novel delves into themes of personal responsibility, loyalty, and the moral implications of one's actions. Piper creates a believable and flawed protagonist, making him relatable to readers as he confronts his own weaknesses and confronts the consequences of his choices.

One of the book's strongest aspects is its complex and intricate plot. The author masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, keeping readers guessing until the very end. The pacing is spot on, with a perfect balance of action-packed sequences and quieter, introspective moments. Each twist and turn adds depth to the narrative, leaving readers eager to uncover the truth behind the conspiracy.

While Crossroads of Destiny is an enjoyable and captivating read, it does require some investment from the reader. The extensive world-building can be overwhelming at times, with a plethora of names, organizations, and political dynamics to keep track of. However, for those who appreciate richly detailed science fiction, this complexity only serves to enrich the overall experience.

In conclusion, Crossroads of Destiny is a thought-provoking and exciting science fiction novel that will captivate fans of the genre. H. Beam Piper showcases his talent for world-building, creating a universe that is both vast and intricate. The compelling protagonist and the well-crafted plot ensure that readers will be engrossed from beginning to end. Whether you are a seasoned sci-fi reader or new to the genre, this book is sure to leave a lasting impression.

First Page:

Transcriber note: This etext was produced from Fantastic Universe Science Fiction July 1959. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

Crossroads of Destiny


H. Beam Piper

No wonder he'd been so interested in the talk of whether our people accepted these theories!

Readers who remember the Hon. Stephen Silk, diplomat extraordinary, in LONE STAR PLANET (FU, March 1957), later published as A PLANET FOR TEXANS (Ace Books), will find the present story a challenging departure this possibility that the history we know may not be absolute....


I still have the dollar bill. It's in my box at the bank, and I think that's where it will stay. I simply won't destroy it, but I can think of nobody to whom I'd be willing to show it certainly nobody at the college, my History Department colleagues least of all. Merely to tell the story would brand me irredeemably as a crackpot, but crackpots are tolerated, even on college faculties. It's only when they begin producing physical evidence that they get themselves actively resented.

When I went into the club car for a nightcap before going back to my compartment to turn in, there were five men there, sitting together... Continue reading book >>

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