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The Weapon from Beyond: 09/02/15
The Weapon from Beyond by Edmond Hamilton is start of the Starwolf trilogy. The trilogy was the inspiration for the 1978 Japanese series Star Wolf (Sutaurufu). In turn, the series was dubbed and cut together into two TV movies, Fugitive Alien and Fugitive Alien 2. These two films were then re-edited and riffed as two different episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is this final version that I was first introduced to Edmond Hamilton's trilogy.
After many times of watching the MST3K versions with the many many Kens, I decided it was time to read the source material. I was curious to see if the original version was as nonsensical as the final iteration.
"Ken" turns out to be Morgan Chase, a Star Wolf, who ends up in the service of some mercenaries. They are after the "weapon from beyond" to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands, or perhaps to sell it to the highest bidder.
Most of the story is Morgan's reaction to meeting all sorts of different aliens. Except, they aren't exactly aliens. Turns out humanity has spread across the galaxy and evolved into different adaptations for survival. The Earthling version is the boring, less evolved version.
So basically the way the mercs, who are all humans because it's the only job out there for them, get the job done, is they disguise themselves as the other human subspecies. I guess that explains the blond wigs all the Kens were wearing?
Although there are two other books I don't think I'm going to continue with them. The adventures are too episodic and there's too much time spent on wondering about all the different cultures and the dangers of being an Earth human.