NOW TO THE STARS
First Published on 16th August 1956 - 190 pages
This book starts with a short forward that summarises the first two books. After agreeing to set a signal when they are ready to return to space, the Professor, Tiger Clinton, Toby Paul and Rex await the arrival of their alien friends. This time Judkins, the butler, is only going to see them off. Vargo and Gator arrive with their crew in a new and bigger spacecraft. This is called the 'Tavona' and the rest of the space adventure books take place in this craft. Initially, they go to Mars and the city they named Utopia. Vast progress has been made in rebuilding and the mosquito problem has ended. Ducks and chickens are released on Mars and Rex has also brought a kitten for his friend Morino. The Professor meets Borron, a Navigator of vast experience. Travelling on to the planet Mino, the Professor gets permission from the High Council to borrow the Tavona and Borron and Vargo to go on a tour of the planetoids. On their way to the planetoid Lin, the space travellers stop off at the world of Unkos, with a surface of glass and find it to be a dangerous place. On the planet of Lin, there is a surplus of salt, and the people live in fear of large water lizards. The people are only four-foot tall and live in the trees but they are under attack from the lizards. Next they visit a world of water and then the planet Jax, a world of grass and spiders. Pallio is next, where the past inhabitants can still be seen frozen under the ice. Moving on to Norro, our heroes find that the inhabitants have to barricade themselves into holes in the ground to protect themselves from the wildlife. On Kund, the people are cannibals and the Professor is almost lost to them before Tiger saves him. On the way to the next planetoid of Stontum, the Tavona is caught in a cloud of dust or frozen particles of gas. When they emerge, they are completely lost. Landing on an unknown world, our heroes find creatures like giant monitor lizards and they also find that they have sunk into the sand and their spacecraft is trapped! Eventually they dig their way out. Landing on another planet, our heroes find some space-wrecked castaways, from the planet Ando. The planet they are now on is called Arcadia and it has an orbit that takes it extremely close to the sun. Rex discovers an old dried up body in a cave. Later, on a further visit to the cave, it is found to be packed with the bodies of men, women and children who all perished in devastating heat. After allowing the orbit of the planet to take them back to known space, our heroes depart before the planet gets any hotter, taking the stranded Andoans with them. Short of supplies, our heroes need to travel to planets where stores have been deposited for emergency use, but there is a problem at every one. The need for oxygen becomes desperate. Reaching the planet of Vana just in time, our heroes remain here while Borron and a crewmember go alone for help. This planet is infested with crabs and strange little monkey type men. Here, there is a fight for survival before Borron returns with the Tavona to rescue them all. Our heroes journey then back to Mino and on to Mars, where the population is now being terrorised by a monstrous white beast. This is Rex's kitten, grown to gigantic proportions due to the effects of the Professor's insecticide. Tiger has to shoot it. There is then one final problem to solve. The mischievous Rolto has gone to visit Earth and not returned. He is in custody, believed to be insane. The Professor is able to arrange Rolto's release and Borron takes him back to Mars.
Now to the Stars
Subtitle - Rex Clinton, as one of Professor Brane's companions, again returns to Mars and Mino by spaceship, but this time only as a preliminary to a Grand Tour of the planetoids, where the party find many curious things and not a few frightening ones. And even a Minoan pilot can get lost in Space.
Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton
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