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Bear Trap   By: (1928-1992)

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Bear Trap by Alan Edward Nourse is a gripping and intriguing sci-fi novel that takes readers on a thrilling adventure through a dangerous alien world. Set in a dystopian future where humanity has expanded its reach to other planets, this book explores the consequences of greed and the lengths people will go to in order to survive.

The story follows the main character, Jack Renshaw, a skilled trapper who finds himself in the middle of a deadly game on the planet Ragnarok. Desperate to make ends meet, Renshaw reluctantly accepts a job to capture elusive alien creatures, known as "bears," for a wealthy collector. As he delves deeper into the mission, Renshaw discovers the dark secrets behind the bear trade and the true nature of these creatures.

Nourse's writing style is gripping and effective, drawing readers into the story from the very first page. The vivid descriptions of the planet Ragnarok and its inhabitants paint a vivid picture, creating a world that is both awe-inspiring and treacherous. The author seamlessly weaves in themes of corporate greed, environmental destruction, and the human instinct for survival, adding depth and complexity to the narrative.

One of the standout aspects of Bear Trap is the well-developed characters. Renshaw is a flawed and relatable protagonist, struggling with past mistakes and forced to confront his own morality. The supporting characters, from the enigmatic bear hunter Joss to the ruthless corporate executives, are equally well-crafted, each bringing their own motivations and conflicts to the table.

The pacing of the story is fast-paced and intense, keeping readers on their toes throughout the entire book. From the heart-stopping encounters with the bears to the tense moments of negotiation and deceit, there is never a dull moment in Bear Trap. Nourse's ability to create suspense and build tension is masterful, making it difficult to put the book down.

While Bear Trap excels in many areas, it does have a few minor drawbacks. Some readers may find the plot predictable, as certain story beats follow a familiar trajectory seen in other sci-fi novels. Additionally, the ending may leave some wanting more resolution, as it leaves certain plot threads dangling. However, these slight flaws do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

In conclusion, Bear Trap is a thrilling and thought-provoking sci-fi novel that will captivate fans of the genre. With its well-developed characters, immersive world-building, and fast-paced narrative, it is a book that will keep readers engrossed until the very end. Alan Edward Nourse's storytelling abilities shine through in this enthralling tale of survival, highlighting the danger and beauty of venturing into the unknown.

First Page:

Dr. Alan E. Nourse, who when last heard of was vacationing in Alaska and probably gathering material for SF or Mystery stories set against this background is the author of many mystery and science fiction stories including MARTYR, the lead novel in our January 1957 issue.

bear trap


The man's meteoric rise as a peacemaker in a nation tired by the long years of war made the truth even more shocking.

The huge troop transport plane eased down through the rainy drizzle enshrouding New York International Airport at about five o'clock in the evening. Tom Shandor glanced sourly through the port at the wet landing strip, saw the dim landing lights reflected in the steaming puddles. On an adjacent field he could see the rows and rows of jet fighters, wings up in the foggy rain, poised like ridiculous birds in the darkness. With a sigh he ripped the sheet of paper from the small, battered portable typewriter on his lap, and zipped the machine up in its slicker case.

Across the troop hold the soldiers were beginning to stir, yawning, shifting their packs, collecting their gear. Occasionally they stared at Shandor as if he were totally alien to their midst, and he shivered a little as he collected the sheets of paper scattered on the deck around him, checked the date, 27 September, 1982, and rolled them up to fit in the slim round mailing container... Continue reading book >>

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