FORGOTTEN BOOKS #209: THE PHARAOH CONTRACT (Emancipator #1) By Ray Aldridge

Back in early 1990s, Ray Aldridge published a trilogy of novels that reminded me of Jack Vance’s Demon Princes series. In the first book, The Pharaoh Contract, Aldridge’s hero, Ruiz Aw, signs a contract with the Art League to discover who is poaching on their slaves on the primative planet of Pharaoh. Ruiz Aw is a skilled agent, but even he is almost killed before this book ends. Slavery is common in the galaxy and various groups compete for the profits such a dark business produces. Like many Jack Vance novels, The Pharaoh Contract features bizarre human societies and amoral violence in a decadent Galactic civilization. I can also recommend the other two books in this series: The Emperor of Everything and The Orpheus Machine.

12 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #209: THE PHARAOH CONTRACT (Emancipator #1) By Ray Aldridge

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, George the Tempter strikes again! I bought the EMANCIPATOR trilogy for a penny a book (plus shipping). They’re light entertainment with a Jack Vance flavor.

      Reply
    1. george Post author

      Rick, Ray Aldridge’s trilogy was new to me, too. I don’t know how I missed it in the 1990s (maybe I was working on my dissertation and missed it).

      Reply
  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Rick, I was able to get all three from paperbackswap.com in case you want to check. I figure they should be arriving around the time we get home.

    Reply
  2. Ray

    I do recommend to read this brilliant trilogy started with The Pharaoh Contract and following two more The Emperor of Everything and The Orpheus Machine

    Reply
    1. george Post author

      Ray, I enjoyed reading the trilogy, but THE PHARAOH CONTRACT was the best book. The other two novels, THE EMPEROR OF EVERYTHING and THE ORPHEUS MACHINE, had a drop-off in quality. Aldridge’s decision to return to SeaStack in the third book was a mistake in my opinion.

      Reply

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