Bastei Lübbe #25010, ISBN 3-404-00953-3, 153 pages, 19 chapters, 34 lines/page
Silently Helena Russell, along with ten others who are also all wrapped in white garments, entered the Command Center of the Moonbase. They surrounded the Commander's chair and pointed their stun guns toward Koenig. "John Koenig", Helena said calmly, "you are a servant of evil and a continuing danger to our world. This danger must now be eliminated!" Chaos prevails on Moonbase Alpha. Isolated groups of Alphans fight for power. And nobody has noticed, that the crew has long been under the influence of the Telepaths.
Invasion of the Telepaths begins with the Moon entering the planetary system of a Type G star. As Alpha approaches, sensors begin detecting planets. EIGHT in total, with THREE of them residing in the habitable zone. Soon, Moonbase Alpha's computer begins generating simulated virtual images of how the surface of one of the habitable planets might appear, based only on early sensor measurements.Koenig watches the viewscreen in amazement as gorgeous images of the ONE habitable planet of the SIX in the system appears to have an idyllic and lush surface (the readers first hint that something is amiss). As Koenig stares in awe at the beauty of the uninhabited wilderness planet, that the men will call Paradise, he hears Helena snort in derision. For she has seen Hell, one of the most repellant, ugly planetary surfaces in all of their adventures. And so begins the differences of perception, the misunderstandings, and the total breakdown between the genders on Moonbase Alpha.
Within a very short time, Helena decides she can no longer have the men control the women's destinies and leads a coup against Koenig and the other men. Eventually, the women take control of the Command Center and most of Moonbase Alpha, although the men are able to retain control of the Generator and Weapons sections. The battle of the sexes reaches a stalemate. Eventually though, the Moon is within Eagle flying range of the planet. Koenig is able to head off in an Eagle with a stunned and captured Maya, in the hope that although the women may deny the readings of Paradise from the computer, they will not be able to deny the physical reality of the planet itself.
But then upon landing, Koenig is unexpectedly stunned by a group of aliens and thrown into captivity along with Maya. Now imprisoned, the telepathic manipulation of the two Alphans is no longer necessary. Both he and Maya are now able to see reality, and that they are not actually on either of the imagined Paradise or Hell worlds. The arrival of the Alphan Moon has upset the delicate balance of a solar system of telepaths, who are now controlling the Alphans for their own ends.
The fourth and final novel from H. W. Springer treats the readers to an all-out battle of the sexes between the men and women of Moonbase Alpha. As in The Immortals of Luna, a Year 1 idea (The Last Enemy) is borrowed and again taken in a different direction. In this story the men and women of Alpha spar for control and power of the entire Moonbase. This gives the author the ability to have a story that takes place throughout much of the sprawling base, utilizing numerous different characters, including several minor Year 2 characters (Ben Vincent, Yasko, Bill and Annette Fraser), many of the characters introduced in the prior three novels, as well as bringing in several new ones. Surprisingly, Mark Macinlock is never seen, and Jameson is given a starring role and even pilots a rescue Eagle with Helena at the end of the novel. One weakness of the novel is that even though it occurs in numerous Alphan locations, the reader never really gains a strong sense of place, as there is never more than a superficial description of any of the locales.The novel is initially very dark and graphic in its depictions of the real and perceived atrocities occurring between the men and women on the Moonbase. For the first half of the novel, the reader sees a level of cruelty and brutality never seen in any of the shows. But once the expedition to the planet is undertaken, the focus of the story shifts towards the alien telepaths. Overall, as with the earlier novels, the story is a very quickly paced adventure. Although somewhat superior to The Immortals of Luna, this novel is also not as strong or as tight as the first two entries.
All text © Patrick Zimmerman 2014
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