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Literature / Dumarest of Terra

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Dumarest of Terra (The Dumarest Saga in the UK) is a series of 33 science-fiction novels written by Edwin Charles Tubb between 1967 and 2008. They are the mostly episodic adventures of Earl Dumarest, a man who wanders the galaxy getting odd jobs and finding adventure wherever he goes. Throughout the series Dumarest searches for his lost homeworld: Earth.

The books in the series are:

  1. The Winds of Gath (1967)
  2. Derai (1968)
  3. Toyman (1969)
  4. Kalin (1969)
  5. The Jester at Scar (1970)
  6. Lallia (1971)
  7. Technos (1972)
  8. Veruchia (1973)
  9. Mayenne (1973)
  10. Jondelle (1973) (also published as Mayenne and Jondelle (1981))
  11. Zenya (1974)
  12. Eloise (1975)
  13. Eye of the Zodiac (1975)
  14. Jack of Swords (1976)
  15. Spectrum of a Forgotten Sun (1976)
  16. Haven of Darkness (1977)
  17. Prison of Night (1977)
  18. Incident on Ath (1978)
  19. The Quillian Sector (1978)
  20. Web of Sand (1979)
  21. Iduna's Universe (1979)
  22. The Terra Data (1980)
  23. World of Promise (1980)
  24. Nectar of Heaven (1981)
  25. The Terridae (1981)
  26. The Coming Event (1982)
  27. Earth is Heaven (1982)
  28. Melome (1983)
  29. Angado (1984) (also published as Melome and Angado (1988))
  30. Symbol of Terra (1984)
  31. The Temple of Truth (1985) (also published as Symbol of Terra and The Temple of Truth (1989))
  32. The Return (1997) (originally written in 1986 and was to have been titled Figures of Earth; first published in France as Le Retour (1992))
  33. Child of Earth (2008) (a small portion of this work was previously published separately as short stories Child of Earth and Figona)

Contains examples of:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: In Prison of Night, Dumarest meets with a Hive Mind. It takes the form of a religious leader he'd known years before, stating that the hive has assumed this appearance because "the shape is one you find comforting and trust." Dumarest isn't a very trusting person, so this is a strong statement.
  • Adventure Towns: Adventure planets, but still the same idea. Usually one per story.
  • Brain in a Jar: The evil Cyclan are led by an interconnected set of ancient brains in jars. They need a secret process entrusted to Dumarest to stop the brains from going mad.
  • Earth That Was: Earth has been so forgotten by future humanity that most people don't even know what Dumarest means when he says he's from Earth. "Earth? That's just another word for 'dirt'."
  • Food Pills: A liquid high-energy food called "Basic," typically described as sickly sweet because of a large amount of glucose. It was often used when reviving a Human Popsicle, to aid quicker recovery. Nobody drank Basic if they had the time and money for real food.
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  • Human Popsicle: Traveling "Low" involves being frozen for the trip. The opening scene of the first story features Dumarest waking up from this. The mortality rate is said to be 15%.
  • Imaginary Friend: Haven of Darkness and Prison of Night involved a world where daily flares of stellar radiation induced detailed hallucinations of dead acquaintances, friends and enemies alike. Extensive conversations often occurred with these "ghosts."
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: It's so insignificant that the very existence of Earth is considered dubious. The final stories make clear that a fan theory is in fact Canon: Earth is the Cyclan base planet.
  • Mercy Kill: Dumarest had to do this more than once in the series. In one book, a man was taken by giant spiders which laid eggs in his flesh. Dumarest went into the spiders' nest to find him, and the narrative states, "There was no cure and only one mercy. Dumarest administered it..." Another character commented that the dead man was lucky because "'Sometimes that's what a friend is for—and he had one of the best.'"
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  • Saintly Church: The Universal Brotherhood. The "monks" are pacifistic, doing good among the downtrodden, oppose the machinations of the Cyclan, and frequently assist Dumarest against them.
  • Scannable Man: In the early books, Earl Dumarest's credit account is tattooed into his forearm, to be read — and altered as necessary — by magnetic scanner.
  • Super Speed: Through a medical drug called "slow time" that speeds up a person's metabolism by about 40 times. It's usually used to heal people up quickly. If you use it while conscious you have the problems of moving so fast you kill yourself if you trip, and possibly starving to death before the drug wears off.
  • Walking the Earth: Essentially what Dumarest does, only he's walking the galaxy, looking for Earth.


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