this is the 123rd in my series of posts on forgotten or seldom read books
D-99 by H. B. Fyfe, Pyramid Books 1962 mass paperback
I picked this one up last year at Robert’s Books over in Lincoln City, OR and thought “for a couple of bucks, what the heck”. I didn’t then – still don’t – like the cover much, but so what? This is the only novel Fyfe wrote so it’s worth having. The remainder of Fyfe’s output is short stories and a few novelettes.
That said, this is pretty obviously a mash-up novel. I haven’t read enough Fyfe stories, and those I have read were in Astounding Science Fiction / Analog a long time ago. ASF is where many of Fyfe’s stories appeared.
The setup here is that there is a hush-hush branch of the Department of Interstellar Relations which is simply named Department 99 (D-99 for short). If Terrans have been imprisoned on some distant planet for some reason, larcenous or through their own stupidity and diplomacy through the usual channels has fails, then D99 is called in. In the novel the scene shifts from D-99 headquarters on Earth to planets where humans are being held. Then back…and forth. These scenarios were originally stories in the Bureau of Slick Tricks series, combined into this novel.
Never mind about that. This is a very enjoyable late 1950s / early 1960s light science fiction. This one is definitely worth a try if you come across an inexpensive copy.
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase