War and famine on Earth had been abolished by Morec Reclamation, and now peace and prosperity were compulsory. The Morec Block Committees, robot peeping-toms, and youthful goon squads made sure that everybody "enjoyed" it.
It was Alan Purcell's job as the new director of Entertainment and Propaganda to keep the people in sober thought channels; only, someone was playing pranks, publicly but secretly. Such humor was dangerous, and the heretic had to be stopped at all costs! Then Purcell realized that the mad japer was familiar to him-as familiar as the face in the morning shave-mirror!
By E. C. Tubb
Cover by Ed Valigursky
Tubb tackles the "slowboat to the stars" theme, and, heretical though this may be, I prefer this novel to Heinlein's classic Universe.
Jay West was a killer-he had to be. No human kindness could swerve him from duty, because the ironclad law of The Space Ship was that no one -- no one -- could be allowed to live past 40.
Jay had a problem when his next assignment turned out to be the murder of his sweetheart's father; yet, how could he not do it? The old had to make way for the new generations. There was no air, no fuel, no room for the old.
One slim hope remained: the mythical master of The Ship's destiny. But how can a man find a legend?
The Japed cover looks like new. The other side has two long diagonal crinkles emanating from the upper left corner, a dogear at the bottom right, and some wrinkling around the lower left. The pages edges at the bottom of that side look like they were attacked with a cheese grater, or suffered from an interrupted bookworm attack, No text is affected. Pages are browned. Binding is tight and square.