None but Man
by Gordon R. Dickson
Cover Artist: Sam Kennedy; Original Cover Art by Tom Kidd
Review by Mel Jacob
Baen Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781481482851
Date: 07 November 2017 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Vintage science fiction by Gordon Dickson, None But Man is now on its third Baen printing. Cully When, an almost superhero, wants everyone to get along but he understands the balance of powers must be maintained or mass destruction will ensure. Now an alien species, the Moldaug, threatens his beloved frontier world.
Cully is the epitome of a derring-do space hero who is always way ahead of his enemies and almost invulnerable. The novel begins with Cully hilifting (hijacking) spaceships from the Old World Confederation (those of the Solar System) for use by the frontier worlds of the Pleiades. It then jumps several years with Cully lured to earth by a friend, but then imprisoned and tortured.
Apparently, the Old Worlds are willing to yield the Pleiades worlds to the Moldaug, an alien species whose main sphere of influences is light years away. This proposed agreement would doom all the human settlements including Cully's home planet.
On Earth, he is eventually sent to an underwater prison six miles from land. There he meets other prisoners including Will and Doak. They help him heal and recover. Will, an anthropologist, actually lived among the Moldaug and speaks their language. Cully works with Will to learn about the Moldaugs and their language.
Dickson offers a stirring adventure, a hero, and an interesting alien culture. While the genre has moved on to more psychologically based novels, this is one where many current writers first came to the genre. It is a landmark novel and still a fun read. Not many can say their work is still in print after twenty-eight years. Hilifter, the opening section, was first issued as a short story in 1963.