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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Forgotten Planet

The possibility that our planet will some day be dominated by the insect world has been admitted by our greatest entomologists, and the possibility of this is not half so remote as one might think. Some of our deepest thinkers believe that it is not only possible, but most probable, that this may happen, or possibly has happened in the past. It is a story tremendous in its possibilities, and the author has written it with such a facile pen, that you cannot lay the story aside until you have come to its conclusion.

The Forgotten Planet (SF/Adventure)
By Murray Leinster
Fiction House Press
ISBN #978-1947964136
Price $19.95
220 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

This book contains three novelettes: THE MAD PLANET, THE RED DUST, and NIGHTMARE PLANET, collected from the pulps. The story takes place thirty thousand years after the 20th century, and into the second Carboniferous Period. Insects are now giants, even larger than they were in the first Carboniferous Period. Our hero is Burl, a simple man little more than a savage.
            In THE MAD PLANET we meet Burl as he forages in the large toadstools looking for food, a naked human who only exist for food. He’s about twenty years of age, and has notice Saya, a beautiful female among the tribe, who causes strange feelings within him. While hunting for food he accidentally falls into the river and is swept forty miles from his little tribe. The story is all about his dangerous tract home, and the many near tragedies that come upon him; giant spiders, army ants, fires, and other dangerous insects. Returning to Saya, he is no longer naked, but wrapped in the soft wing of a giant butterfly, and toting a slain spider on his back. Naturally, Saya decides he’s the man for her. This was a fun yarn.
            THE RED DUST finds Burl in a quandary over the sudden appearance of red toadstools that emit poisonous red particles into the air. His people must leave and find new land if they are to survive, and there is much hardship and danger along the route. But in the end he leads his tribe to safety in the mountains far from the deadly toadstools, and finally takes Saya for his mate. A sequel to THE MAD PLANET.
            Nightmare Planet is a bit different from the first two. Actually, it doesn’t seem to fit with the other two stories. It is still Burl and Saya, but they’re not lovers yet, and their valley (not where the second story left off) has been over-run by a giant spider with her egg sack. The babies hatch and start eating everything in the valley, including humans. Burl kills one of the spiders as he goes for food. H thene tells them he’s leaving the valley. He pulls Saya along, and then the rest follow. They climb a mountain reaching high above the clouds where they find fresh air, and small insects, plus view the stars and sunrise for the first time. Then they find a pack of dogs and instantly become constant companions. In the first two stories we were led to believe their world is Earth thirty thousand years after the 21st century, but now we’re given a new history. The planet had been seeded many times in the past by a highly advanced race of aliens. One ship crashed, and that’s where humans and dogs came from. At the end of the story the aliens return once more and find Burl and his people, and subject him to an educator machine, and they build a city on top of the mountain, where the president of the aliens come to hunt with Burl. This story brings a final conclusion to the short series, even f it is hard to fit it in with the previous two stories.
            Okay, the stories were definitely fun. I love anything with giant insects and spiders. We never see a scorpion in the stories, but thirty-foot long centipedes, spiders with a thirty-foot leg spread, and mammoth-sized tarantulas. Beetles the size of tanks, and enormous moths and butterflies. There were some minor formatting problems, but I highly recommend the book for lovers of science fiction and adventure.

Tom Johnson


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