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The Defiant Agents is a continuation of the story begun in The Time Traders.

 The Time Traders was one of the first science fiction books I read.  With time travel, secret agents battling Russians in the Bronze Age, and alien space ships, it had everything an adolescent could want.  I was soon inspired to track down and read the other books in the series as well other books by […]

In 1959 Randall Garrett and Laurence Janifer got together to write the first of the Kenneth Malone stories, “That Sweet Little Old Lady” under the pseudonym Mark Phillips for Astounding Science Fiction. This story was followed by two more, “Out Like a Light” and “Occasion for Disaster.” These stories were later expanded and released as the novels Brain Twister, The Impossibles, and Supermind.

Supermind is the conclusion of the series featuring that paragon of the FBI, agent Kenneth Malone as he confronts yet another psychic enemy of the United States. This novel is an expanded version of the story “Occasion for Disaster” that appeared in the November 1960 through February 1961 issues of Analog Science Fact & Fiction magazine.

The Impossibles is the second novel in the series detailing the exploits of FBI agent Kenneth Malone as he confronts various enemies armed with psychic abilities. Malone was first introduced in Brain Twister, and The Impossibles is an expanded version of the story “Out Like a Light” in Astounding Science Fiction in April, May, and June of 1960.

In Unwise Child Randall Garrett takes on one of the common plots of science fiction, a small group stuck on a spaceship far from Earth with a computer that may have turned into a murderer. It’s an idea that has been explored in countless stories, novels, and movies including the famous confrontation with Hal 9000 in the movie 2001. Yet Garrett uses the cliché to explore the deeper theme of what it means to be human and can a machine ever really achieve awareness.

In Police Your Planet, Lester del Rey provides us with a gritty look at life on the frontier, only, in this case, the frontier is the corrupt town of Marsport. In many ways, the novel resembles a western rather than a science fiction story, complete with gamblers, gunslingers and a bar owner with a heart of gold.

Robert Sheckley was one of the most interesting science fiction authors of the 50’s and 60’s. While his works may not have had as broad an appeal as the giants of the era, they always were worth reading, if only for their commentary on contemporary society. Many of his works, both novels and short stories, examined cultural trends of the day and then taking them to almost absurd limits. As human nature has changed little in the intervening years, most of them remain as fresh and relevant as when they were first published.

The world of the period from which these stories are taken, the 30’s and early 40’s, was a much different place than today. There were still places in the world that were unexplored and the planets were known from blurry view through a telescope. It was easy in such a world to imagine that Venus was covered with cloud-shrouded swamps that were the homes to giant reptilian creatures; that Mars was covered with the canals of a dying civilization, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn supported strange life forms and served as bases for space pirates.

Resurrected Press is happy to return this forgotten classic to print. And, if you like what you read, we have also collected a number of his stories in a companion volume, Fyfe Resurrected, for your enjoyment.