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Brain Twister

Brain Twister by Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)
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“Mark Phillips” is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one.

Originally published as That Sweet Little Old Lady, Brain Twister follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J. Malone as he attempts to unravel the machinations of a telepathic spy. His first problem: how do you find a telepath to catch the first telepath?

The novella was nominated for the Hugo Award in 1960.

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from the 1962 book publication of the story. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.

"Mark Phillips" is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one.

They have been collaborating for some time now, and have devised an interesting method of work: Mr. Garrett handles the verbs, the adverbs and the interjections, Mr. Janifer the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Conjunctions are a matter of joint decision, and in the case of a tie, the entire game is replayed at Fenway Park, Boston, early in the following year... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - February 25, 2014
Subject: 1960's Men in Black
A good story that could have been a predecessor to The 'Men in Black'.


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