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Mixed Men Hardcover – November, 1979


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (November 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884119750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884119753
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,051,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on March 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Mixed Men" by A. E. van Vogt is a novel created from three previously released works as well as a new section linking them together. It was first published in 1952. As one would expect with shorter works of fiction, there is not a great deal of time spent in character development, and this problem was not corrected in the creation of the novel. The result is a decent, but far from great work of fiction. These stories are collectively known as the Dellian Robot series, and all the stories from this series are included. The novel was also published under the title "Mission to the Stars".

The novel takes place in the far future, as an Earth ship discovers a human far from where any should be. They quickly learn that he is a Dellian. Dellian Robots are not actually robots, but instead are a group of humans which were altered by the use of a matter transmitter. It made them less creative, but much stronger than normal humans and less subject to nervous strain. After hatred and bigotry forced them to flee, along with some non-Dellian humans and they had remained hidden for fifteen thousand years. During that period, Dellians and non-Dellians had found a way to breed, the offspring being known as Mixed Men. The novel falls easily into the four sections from which it was created.

Preface: This was first published as the short story "Concealment" which was originally published in "Astounding Science Fiction" in September of 1943. In this story, the Earth ship, Star Cluster, discovers Gisser Watcher, a Dellian on a meteorite weather station. He realizes the ship's origin and tries to destroy himself, but the Earth ship contains technology far beyond what he anticipates. This story introduces the Lady Gloria Laurr, the Grand Captain of the Star Cluster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A. E. van Vogt spins a great space opera in this short (157) page volume. Mission to the Stars--as it was later known--was originally published under the name The Mixed Men. Here is a brief plot summary: The Lady Gloria Laurr, Gran Captain of the Earth Space ship Star Cluster is sent (initially to map) the renegade civilization (called the Fifty Suns) of Dellians, non-Dellians, and Mixed Men in the Greater Magnetic Cloud. The Mixed Men are second class citizens in the Fifty Suns civilization and have the weigh the benefits and disadvantages of declaring the presence of their culture to the Earth vessel. Maltby, the hereditary leader of the superhuman Mixed Men who is also an officer in the Fifty Suns space fleet is presented with a series of moral choices. I will not give away anymore of the plot but it involves a "forced" (in an interesting way) romantic element.

A. E. van Vogt writes with admirable prose for the time (especially the introductory chapter). I was also very impressed with his use of female characters - most importantly the Lady Gloria Laurr. Albeit, the two main characters, Gloria and Maltby aren't particularly well rounded but then again rarely do we find well rounded characters in space opera of this time. Also, the uniqueness of Gloria's position in sci-fi of the time is reduced substantially by the end - i.e. she is a "career woman" who "needs a husband". That said the far future technology is fantastic, the plot moves quickly (a little too quickly in some places to the detriment of interesting detail and depth), the dialogue is almost always pretty weak, and sadly Vogt skimps on many interesting battle scenes involving the powerful Earth ship Star Cluster. All in all, this was a quick, fun, light, and interesting read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Deubler on October 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Lady Gloria Laurr, Grand Captain of the Earth ship Star Cluster, is exploring the Greater Magellanic Cloud when she stumbles upon an outpost of the vast new empire that calls itself the Fifty Suns in this light, upbeat, intergalactic space opera. Settled by the outcast Dellians and their sympathizers long ago, the Fifty Suns hope to avoid outside interference by staying hidden, but how will that plan be received by the unreconciled Mixed Men - those of mixed Dellian and non-Dellian ancestry? Will they be content to maintain the status quo, or will they try to sell out to the Earth ship in hopes of gaining the equality and recognition they've so long been deprived of?
This book is certainly entertaining and fast-paced - almost too fast. There are places where even major plot points are just glossed over for no obvious reason. Only two characters are dealt with in any detail: Captain Laurr and Captain Peter Maltby, hereditary leader of the Mixed Men, and even these two aren't especially well rounded. Maybe the biggest weakness is the lack of substance. Instead of delving deeply into the sociological problems faced by men of mixed race, the emphasis is more on their (and specifically Maltby's) unusual psychic abilities. In fact, the social order isn't really filled out to any great extent, which might lead one to believe that the real thrust of this novel is the romance that develops between the two main characters. This, coupled with the presence of a very strong, independent, female protagonist, leads this reviewer to recommend this book for young women who enjoy far-flung science fiction romance. Others may find this book enjoyable; it really isn't bad, but neither is it very memorable.
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