Copyright 1980 by
Sadly, I can't remember when I read this book.
In the 81st century, Earth is almost an artificial planet, so covered it is with
level after level of offices, halls and vaults, all staffed with people and
fitted with the machinery that enable the support of Earth single all-important,
For the Earth is the Galactic Library,
providing an archive of information back to the dawn of time, free to all.
It has performed this magnificent duty for thousands of years.
Of course, every now and then a dictator surfaces somewhere among the human
worlds scattered across space. If successful in his conquests he will
inevitably arrive at Earth's door.
Frequently dismissive of the treasures stored within, and caring only for
greater and more powerful munitions, he will threaten the Library.
Once in a while, a more sophisticated caliph may appreciate the worth of
Earth's incredible collection of knowledge, but feel that the knowledge is
not for all, only for some - like himself - capable of truly appreciating it.
Now a new dictator and a new government is determined to destroy the Library
as an example to the rest of the Galaxy.
And the first rule of the Library's Code is that the government must always
The representative of the new government has arrived. He has casually
murdered the gentle Director Caldwell Patterson, Now Vincent Coogan, Patterson's loyal
deputy, must try to save his Library, his world, without breaking the Code,
even without the support of his staff.
Certainly not one of Herbert's best. The novel is really two short stories
and makes a rather slim volume. Bearing in mind that it has an illustration
almost every other page, this is a very slim volume indeed. Albeit with
great illustrations drawn by Garcia, copyright 1980.
* note that part of the novel was originally published in
1954 as "Pack Rat Planet" in Astounding Science Fiction.
Loaded on the 28th February 2007.