A Perry Rhodan Spin Tale on the Double
When earth's first lunar rocket discovered alien Arkonide technology on the moon it opened up a whole new vista for humanity. Under the aegis of the Third Power, humans made great strides towards the stars during the past ten earth years. Many threats, from both inside the solar system as well as outside, were overcome as mankind's reach grew.
Prior to his demise in the solar system's asteroid belt, desperate mutant master Monterny sent an SOS to the stars. Suspicious radio communications now originate on earth and point to a new outside threat beyond Pluto. Three small earth ships have disappeared. Perry Rhodan suspects an alien spy network on earth and has a homing device implanted on an unsuspecting space cadet who is sent out with his class mates to lure the enemy into the open.
Titles, teasers, covers, characters, & blurbs
Besides the story itself, this is a tale of two publishers: Moewig and Ace. German publisher Moewig released its first Perry Rhodan pulp magazine on March 26, 1961. Having sold more than two billion copies as of 2019, it is the most successful science fiction ever written. Eight years after Moewig’s debut, American publisher Ace Books published its first English translation in 1969. Ace Books ceased publication in 1979, even though the translations remained profitable at the time.
Wendayne and Forrest J Ackerman respectively acted as translator and editor for Ace. Although at first Forrest mostly copied Moewig’s cover and content verbatim, along the way he made the Ace translations his own with unique covers, additional content, and out of order story telling. The left column below contains original content while the right holds Ackerman’s derivative work.
|Der kosmische Lockvogel||The Cosmic Decoy|
|Kadett Tifflor unterwegs in geheimer Mission – so geheim, daß er selbst nichts davon weiß ...||Cadet Tifflor on the way in secret mission – so secret that he himself knows nothing about it ...|
|Die Hauptpersonen des Romans:||THE ACTION & ADVENTURE HAPPENS WITH|
Perry Rhodan – Der Herr der Dritten Macht.
Julian Tifflor – Perry Rhodan benutzt ihn als „kosmischen Lockvogel“.
First Sergeant Rous – Er bildet die zukünftigen Kosmonauten der Erde aus.
Major Deringhouse – Er hat die Aufgabe, den „Lockvogel“ an den Einsatzort zu bringen.
Humpry Hifield und Klaus Eberhardt – Zwei Kadetten der Weltraumakademie der Dritten Macht.
Mildred Orsons – Eine Studentin der Kosmo-Bakteriologie.
Orlgans – Ein galaktischer Händler, der die Erde entdeckt hat.
Perry Rhodan–feet on the ground of Terra, head in the stars of the Universe
Julian Tifflor–a young space cadet chosen for a dangerous mission.
First Sergeant Rous–trainer of future astronauts
Maj. Deringhouse–his mission is to take the unknowing decoy to his destination
Mildred Orsons–a student of Cosmo-Bacteriology
Felicita Kergonen–Milly’s friend
Humpry Hifield & Klaus Eberhardt–cadets at the New Power’s Space Academy
Orlgans–a trader from the Galaxy who discovers Terra
Homer G. Adams–greatest financial genius of the century
Manuel Garand-chief of the technical team
Maj. Nyssen & Capt. McClears–officers of Perry’s space patrol
Reginald Bell–Defense Minister and defender of Perry
Dr. Haggard–in charge of the Gobi Clinic of the New Power
Prof. Karner–medical man
Lt. Marcus Everson–Vega-bound as part of a plan
Col. Freyt–Rhodan's deputy
James Frederick Tifflor & Eileen Tifflor–father & sister of Julain
Khrest–the Arkonide scientist
Die Dritte Macht – jene glückliche Mischung aus arkonidischer Supertechnik und menschlichem Tatendrang – kann, nach irdischer Zeit gemessen, bereits auf ein zehnjähriges Bestehen zurückblicken.
In diesen zehn Jahren ist vieles geschehen: die Mondlandung der STARDUST I, die erfolgreiche Abwehr von Invasoren aus dem All, die Enträtselung der uralten Geheimnisse der Venus, der Kampf mit den echsenähnlichen Topsidern und die Entdeckung der Welt der Unsterblichkeit, um nur einige dramatische Höhepunkte aus der noch jungen Geschichte der von Perry Rhodan geleiteten Dritten Macht zu nennen.
Auch der Overhead, jener mit hypnotisch-suggestiven Kräften unglaublicher Potenz ausgestattete Mutant, konnte schließlich besiegt werden.
Der Kampf gegen den Overhead schien jedoch nicht unbemerkt geblieben zu sein – wie anders ließe sich sonst das plötzliche Auftreten von kosmischen Spionen erklären ...
Wer sind diese Spione? Woher kommen sie? Was beabsichtigen sie? – Um das zu erfahren, setzt Perry Rhodan den KOSMISCHEN LOCKVOGEL ein ...
STRANGERS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
The very thing the Peacelord has feared most has happened at last:
Our solar system and Earth have been discovered!
Some intelligent beings from Somewhere Out There are ... here!
Perry Rhodan is convinced of it.
Aliens on the Earth!
A shadow has spread out over Terra, a shadow without substance, a shadow that can be neither seen nor touched but whos existence is suspected.
An emergency situation calling for desperate measures.
Measures that move the action out to Transplutonia, to the outer reaches of the Solar system.
Action that centers on THE COSMIC DECOY
Cadet Julian Tifflor's at the top of his class in mathematics. When Perry Rhodan interrupts First Sergeant Rous' final checkout flight of three cadets to request Tifflor's immediate presence, everyone assumes it's about the dangerous maneuver Tifflor pulled seconds ago.
Instead, Tifflor's given a hand sized cylinder and asked to attend his sister's wedding at his family's Long Island estate, where he'll remain until he's taken to meet Homer G Adams, financier of the Third Power, in New York City. Tifflor is also given a diplomatic passport, a loaded impulse beamer, and orders to kill anyone who attempts to take the cylinder.
John Marshall telepathically talks to Tifflor at the Long Island estate moments before two assailants attack Tifflor with gas. Marshall orders Tifflor to kill the two and young Tifflor reluctantly complies and then passes out from the fluorescent vapours.
While Tifflor's out a telepathic homing signal device is implanted into his pelvis. Upon awakening he finds himself in Adams' office where's he's handed another cylinder and matter-transmitted to the moon to join his classmates on the Vega bound K-7 under the command of Major Deringhouse. As the K-7 prepares for transition outside of Pluto's orbit an alien ship appears and uses a tractor beam to tow the K-7 though hyperspace to regions unknown.
As expected, Johnny Bruck’s cover, shown above on the left, depicts actual story elements. The scene takes place aboard the training ship K-7. Lankey cadet and boxing champion Humpry Hifield throws a punch at an older crew member as part of a diversionary fake fight. Demure blonde galacto-botany student Felicita Kergonen ducks out of the way. One of K-7's small destroyers appears in the window.
An elongated Orla XI’s tractor beam holds Die Dritte Macht’s spherical K-7.
Gray Morrow, as usual, brings his own unique vision to Ace’s cover, shown above on the right. It's apparently a homage to the Springer’s Orla XI. The illustration on the right comes from the next Moewig issue. It shows the storied, enlogated 1,000 foot long Orla XI next to the 200 feet in diameter K-7. The Orla XI holds the K-7 in a tractor beam.
In addition to visual art alterations, Ackerman also takes liberties with the story line. Ace (a publisher who killed off its profitable Perry Rhodan translations for no good reason) took it upon itself to insert a full page color cigarette ad into the middle of each story without editorial permission. So Ackerman fights back with his own little insert. In the original Moewig, non-smoker Tiff says he wouldn't give a traitor such as Mouselet a cigarette under any circumstances. Things are a little different in Ackerman's dialog:
"Don’t you have any cigarettes?" Mouselet begged, edging closer.
"I don’t smoke," Tiff replied tersely. "If I did, I’d gladly give you a whole pack."
Mouselet acted surprised at this seemingly friendly gesture. But the gesture was anything but. Tiff made that perfectly clear with his next words. "I’d gladly give you a whole carton—it’s fine by me if a traitor to Terra wants to ride the Cancer Express to his own funeral."
Inside both covers, a cast of characters appears near the beginning. Character descriptions in the Moewig tend to remain static from issue to issue, while Ackerman constantly changes them in the Ace. For this story, Ackerman also adds members to the cast.
This story does a fair job of laying the groundwork for the next sub-arc in the ongoing saga. It fleshes out the primary protagonist and introduces readers to most of the characters who play a major role. It also paints the first setting of the new sub-arc.
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