Newly accepted as a Special Agent of the star-spanning United Planets organization, Ronny Bronston found that his first assignment was one which had taken the lives of dozens of agents before him: he was to track down a man named Tommy Paine.
'We've been trying to catch him for twenty years,' said Ronny's section chief. 'How long before that he was active, we have no way of knowing. It was some time before we became aware that half the revolts, coups d' tats and assassinations that occur in the United Planets have his dirty finger stirring around in them.'
'But what motivates him ' Ronny asked. 'What's he get out of all the war and killing he stirs up '
'Nobody seems to know. But the best guess is that he's insane - a homicidal maniac on an intergalactic scale. He's dangerous, Ronny, and you've got to get him!'
Mack Reynolds (1917-1983)
Dallas McCord ('Mack') Reynolds was born in California in 1917. His father was the Socialist Labor Party Presidential Candidate on two occasions, and Reynolds' life and work were deeply affected by his political upbringing. After early careers in newspapers and computing, Reynolds returned from the Second World War and began to write science fiction. Based in Mexico but travelling widely in his role as Travel Editor for a men's magazine, he started slowly but surely to sell his work. Mack Reynolds wrote the first Star Trek novel, Mission to Horatius, and was once voted Most popular SF Author by the readers of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine. He died in 1983.