I grew up reading ACE Doubles and D-497 (1961) was always a favorite because of the cool cover on Ray Cummings’s Wandl the Invader. Wandl the Invader is a sequel to Cumming’s Brigands of the Moon. A mysterious “Tenth Planet” enters the Solar System and our heroes, Haljan and his friend Snap, battle against the Forces of Evil. Wandl the Invader was serialized in Astounding Stories in 1932 so you can gauge the amount of pulp in the story (a lot!). “Keith Woodcott” is a pseudonym of Science Fiction writer, John Brunner. A Federation of Worlds threatens Earth as it prepares to launch it’s first starship. The Federation demands Earth send them a “representative” who would live among Federation members for year so they could determine whether Earth is worthy of becoming a member or not. The leaders of Earth come up with a clever strategy to fool the Federation: they use psychic technology to house six personalities in one body (two of the personalities are females, the other four are males). Each personality has its own scientific expertise. I Speak for Earth has a clever ending that forecasts some of John Brunner’s later SF. If you’re a fan of classic SF, here are two good examples.

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #342: WANDL THE INVADER By Ray Cummings/I SPEAK FOR EARTH By Keith Woodcott

  1. Wolf Böhrendt

    Yes, those covers were (still are …) great!
    I also bought as many as I could lay my hands on, most of them really cheap – first in London (markets near Portobello Rd and others …) and then in the Fantasy Centre, London’s most famous second hand SF bookshop, closed now.
    Oh, those were the days – I used to arrive on the weekend with the ferry and we’d have a beer or two in the afternoon at the pub nearby – my only problem was:
    One of the proprietors was a Scotsman and very difficult to understand …
    Later of course I went to the Forbidden Planet on Broadway – anyone been there, in the old two-storey place, 821 B’way?

    Btw I found out that Ace sometimes (often?) packaged these doubles in different combinations, you might have one edition with titles A and B and later A and C and B and D combined. As a “completist” I got many of these movels in diffeent versions/editions …

    John Brunner also is one of my favourite “intellectual” authors.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      Wolf, yes. As a New Yorker I’ve been in that Forbidden Planet many times.

      Great covers. I haven’t read them but they sound like fun.

  2. Jerry House

    BTW, George, WANDL was the sequel to Cummings’ 1930 serial BRIGANDS OF THE MOON. BRIGANDS was published in book form a year later while WANDL remain in pulp limbo for 29 years before Ace published it. I haven’t read either book (I can only take Cummings in small doses — too many worlds-in-an-atom, methinks) so I can’t comment on either. I did read the “Woodcott”/Brunner, though, and enjoyed it thoroughly; but then, I’ve never come across a Brunner I didn’t like.

    Enjoy Bouchercon!

    1. George Kelley

      Jerry, I’m with you on taking Ray Cummings in small doses! I’ve enjoyed all the John Brunner SF novels I’ve read (about a dozen or so). I have several on my Read Real Soon stack.

      1. Jerry House

        George, you should also try some of Brunner’s non-SF. He was a versatile and talented guy who too often got the rotten end of the publishing stick.

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