"It can't be true! It must be some kind of hoax!" These were the words that went spinning through Neil Banning's mind when the Greenville authorities told him that the house he had grown up in, the aunt and uncle who had raised him, had never existed.
So Banning found himself in jail, charged with disturbing the peace - and maybe insanity. But when a stranger from outer space came to his cell at midnight and hailed him as the Valkar of Katuun, then Banning decided that maybe the authorities were right, maybe he was crazy. Because the only alternative was to believe the impossible explanation of the Outworlder - that he really was the exiled ruler of a remote star-world, and the personality of Neil Banning was an elaborate fraud.
It didn't really matter, though, who was right. Banning was on his way to Katuun whether he liked it or not. And as Banning - or the Valkar - he would have to save that star-world from the terror of THE SUN SMASHER...or perish with the loyal subjects he might never have known!
Edmond Hamilton (1904-1977)
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Edmond Hamilton was raised there and in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania. He was something of a child prodigy, graduating from high school and undertaking his college education at Westminster College at the young age of 14; he dropped out aged 17. A popular science fiction writer in the mid-twentieth century, Hamilton's career began with the publication of his short story 'The Monster God of Mamurth' in the August 1926 issue of Weird Tales. After the war, he wrote for DC Comics, producing stories for Batman, Superman and The Legion of Superheroes. Ultimately, though, he was associated with an extravagant, romantic, high-adventure style of SF, perhaps best represented by his 1947 novel The Star Kings. He was married to fellow SF writer Leigh Brackett from the end of 1946 until his death three decades later.