[PW] Children's SF book or short story

J Dye dye.j at sbcglobal.net
Wed Nov 18 06:50:40 PST 2015

While I remember the aliens as being more lizard-like than leathery, it sounds a lot like "Turned Loose on Irdra," which I read in the early 70s. I have strong memories of the book, but hadn't remembered the author, who is apparently Phyllis MacLennan. 

Turned loose on Irdra The Kirkus review is unfortunately cut off.

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Jennifer Dye

     On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 8:17 AM, Holly Campbell-Polivka <Hollyc at tigard-or.gov> wrote:

 Hi Great Brain,

I am hoping you all may be able to help me with a stumper.

The juvenile science fiction book (or short story) begins with a guy being interviewed by a computer. He is sent to some sort of desert planet or desert world that is inhabited by beings with leather skin. It is very hot there, but there is a fruit he can eat that helps him tolerate the heat and also makes him be able to go very fast.

The patron remembers reading the story in the mid-1970s.

I did a google search and was able to find somebody else on a science fiction forum searching for what I believe may be the same book. The clue I got from that was that the person thinks the planet or world may be called something like Alpha. But I'm not sure if this is just a false lead or not. I'm wondering if the author possibly could be Robert Silverberg, and if the story may be Revolt on Alpha C, but I can't find enough of a description to find out whether it matches the patron's description, and when he reads the description, it doesn't ring a bell with him.

And suggestions I got from another listserv include: Dorsai novellas by Gordon R. Dickson; The Immortals of Mercury, by Clark Ashton Smith; or Planet of Adventure stories, by Jack Vance. Yay or nay on any of those? I also got the suggestion of Dune, and I'm absolutely positive that is not the one.

Dennis Lien, your name was specifically mentioned as someone who may know. Are you out there?
Thank you in advance!

Holly Polivka
Youth Services Librarian
Tigard Public Library
Direct line: 503.718.2811
Children's Desk: 503.718.2673
hollyc at tigard-or.gov
Regular hours: Sun 12-5, Wed 2-9:30, Fri 9:30-6


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