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Earth and its colonies on Mars and Venus are ruled by an authoritarian post-World War III world state which plans to take control of a new method of space travel when it has been perfected by a Martian scientist. When they fail to secure the invention, the world state's Coordinator decides to destroy the Mars colony with "radi-germ bombs.
E.C. Tubb (1919 - 2010)
Edwin Charles Tubb was born in London in 1919, and was a prolific author of SF, fantasy and western novels, under his own name and a number of pseudonyms. He wrote hundreds of short stories and novellas for the SF magazines of the 50's, including the long-running Galaxy Science Fiction, and was a founding member of the British Science Fiction Association. He died in 2010.
For more information see www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/tubb_e_c