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Fear That Man / Toyman (Ace Double, 23140) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1969
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Ace Double Fear that Man by Dean R. Koontz: The galaxy had forgotten war and evil-until the man without a past intervened. Toyman by E.C. Tubb: They called their planet toy, but the games the toymen played involved the fate of worlds.
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"Toyman" is book 3 in the 33 book science-fiction series the Dumarest Saga. You know what to expect if you are reading the Dumarest books in sequence. If perchance you starting with book 3 you should know a few things. Earl Dumarest is a man with a mission. He travels from inhabited planet-to-planet seeking clues to the whereabouts his home world Earth - which for most other humans is a mythical place if they had heard of it at all. Earl is a master of the martial arts, handsome to a fault and always gets into the thick of whatever issue, controversy, rebellion or revolution happens to be taking place on the planets he visits. He is opposed by the Cyclan, a cult-like group of emotionally neutered humans breed and trained to be advisors to the ruling class, but in reality master manipulators with a secret plan to control the universe.
On the planet Toy, a planet run like a corporation with very few stockholders, Earl becomes involved in a power struggle with the current majority stockholder, The Toyman. Earl's motivation is to question Toys computer, reputed to be one best in the universe as to the location of Earth.
There is a real problem with the Dumarest Saga. None of the books are "in print". Ace Books last published "Toyman" in paperback in 1982. It was first published in 1969, again in paperback by Ace. The series does seem to have a serious "cult" following. There are several web sites that discuss and analysis the series and provide outlines of the individual books contents. Fortunately there are a number of used copies available on Amazon and E-Bay. This availability is attributed to the popularity of the books and the fact that many readers saved them because that was interesting. As a long time reader and collector of science fiction books I am not surprised that these books have never been reprinted. The fact is there is just so many titles by vastly more well know authors that could be reprinted; why should a publishers fill up very limited book shelf space with a "cult" book. I would hope that when the copyrights expire that one of the reprint publishers issues a new set with appropriate artwork.
Quotes from Toyman
Concerning the Cyclan:
"You underestimate them. The power of the Cyclan is frightening even thought based upon such a simple thing the ability to predict a logical sequence of events from a give action. The ability to maneuver people like puppets and yet never let anyone suspect they are controlled."
Concerning Earl Dumarest:
"Dumarest has his quest, his reason for living, above all he has that, and one day, perhaps, he will achieve his happiness."
Toyman by E. C. Tubb