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Dead Man's Planet   By: (1906-1980)

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In Joseph Samachson's science fiction novel, I found myself transported to a distant and desolate world. In "Dead Man's Planet," the author immerses readers into a gripping journey filled with suspense, exploration, and existential concepts.

The story follows a small crew of astronauts who crash land on a barren planet, struggling to survive amidst the unrelenting hostile environment. From the very beginning, Samachson artistically sets the tone by depicting an eerie landscape that exudes the feeling of desolation and danger. The vivid descriptions vividly capture the harsh conditions, making it immensely easy to visualize the characters' struggle for survival.

One aspect that stands out is how well-developed the characters are. Each crew member possesses a distinct personality, allowing readers to form a genuine connection with them. As the plot unfolds, we witness their evolution, showcasing the complexity of human resilience in the face of extreme adversity. Moreover, Samachson effortlessly intertwines emotional depth and human psychology, delving into introspective themes such as isolation, sacrifice, and the boundaries of human morality.

The pacing of "Dead Man's Planet" is another key strength of this book. The author crafts a narrative that constantly keeps readers engaged and intrigued. The suspenseful moments are expertly interspersed with periods of reflection, providing a balanced rhythm that maintains the tension throughout. This skillful pacing ultimately adds to the overall tension of the story, leaving readers thirsting for more with each turned page.

Furthermore, the way Samachson explores existential ideas within the confines of this science fiction setting is commendable. Through the characters' internal struggles, the novel raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of existence, the fragility of life, and the significance of our choices. It is this philosophical undercurrent that elevates "Dead Man's Planet" beyond a mere survival tale, offering readers a deeper contemplation on the human condition.

However, there were a few instances where the plot felt slightly predictable or trite, especially within the context of the science fiction genre. Some narrative choices followed familiar tropes, which, while not detracting significantly from the story's overall quality, occasionally dampened the element of surprise. Despite this minor flaw, the overall narrative arc remains compelling and captivating.

Overall, "Dead Man's Planet" is a skillfully crafted and engaging science fiction novel that transcends its genre. With its richly developed characters, immersive descriptions, and exploration of existential themes, Joseph Samachson delivers a thought-provoking and thrilling experience. This book is highly recommended for anyone seeking a profound and enthralling journey into the depths of the unknown.

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Illustrated by EMSH

When a driven man arrives at a cemetery world, what else can it be but journey's end and the start of a new one?

Outside the ship, it was the sun that blazed angrily. Inside, it was Sam Wilson's temper. "Study your lessons," he snarled, with a savageness that surprised himself, "or I'll never let you set foot on this planet at all."

"Okay, Pop," said Mark, a little white around the nostrils. He looked old for so young a kid. "I didn't mean anything wrong."

"I don't care what you meant. You do as you're told."

In the quiet that followed, broken only by the hum of the arithmetic tape, Sam wondered at himself. As kids went, Mark had never been a nuisance. Certainly Rhoda had never had any trouble with him. But Rhoda had been altogether different. Sam was tough and he had always got a sense of satisfaction out of knowing that he was hard boiled. Or at least that was once true. Rhoda had been sweet, gentle....

He aroused himself from thoughts of her by calling, "Mark!"

"Yes, Pop?"

His voice had been harsher than he had intended. Over the past few weeks he seemed gradually to have been losing control of it. Now, although he was going to do his son a favor, he sounded like a slavemaster threatening a beating... Continue reading book >>

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