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Zieborn
February 25th, 2008, 07:48 AM
During the whole transition between high school and university period (grade 12 - 4th year university or so), I had very little spending money, so I picked up a lot of really cheap used books at a local used book store. I didn't really consider quality, just genre and price. Now, a few years later, I can't think of the names of three of the ones I actually thought were kind of alright.

One is easy to describe. It was basically Predator in Greece or Rome (I don't remember which). Some kind of awesome killing monster thing was released on, I think, Earth during the time of gladiators probably.

A second one was about a guy who was sent to prison in a huge underground cave. I believe he tried to go to prison to look for something. In the prison they had to mine gems of some kind, and he managed to force the prisoners to try to escape by making the people in charge believe the prisoners had a secret stash of incredibly valuable gems, so that the people in charge tried to starve the prisoners out in order to get the gems (I believe that was the idea). There was something about Sirens (the living kind). I remember not liking the story a lot, but finding the world it was set in interesting. (Man, that description is very poorly worded, but I don't know how to make a series of loose memories sound more coherent; sorry."

A third one was about a group of humanoids who could travel in time (and I believe to different locations in space). I think they were constantly rewriting history, and I seem to remember some kind of Big Brother storyline, where the leaders made people afraid of some long dead enemy. Also, I think the species varied in ability, such that some could go back further than others. I can't even remember the main conflict in the novel, just that it appealed to me for the same reason Dr. Who does, as stories about changing time are always interesting and full of paradoxes. I also remember one scene where one of the time travelers ends up going to a world that has great security that actually manages to shoot him the second he materializes.

Anyway, if anyone can give me the name to one or all of these, it'd make that nagging "tip of the tongue" feeling go away for me. Thanks.

KEU
February 25th, 2008, 08:05 AM
The third one kind-of-sort-of sounds like The End of Eternity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_Eternity) by Isaac Asimov.

Zieborn
February 25th, 2008, 08:57 AM
The third one kind-of-sort-of sounds like The End of Eternity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_Eternity) by Isaac Asimov.
Nope. That's not it. Thanks though. :)

If it helps, I think the ability to time travel was genetic, and not based in a technology (although I think they were scientifically advanced anyway).

Lowlander
February 26th, 2008, 06:52 AM
The first book should be Killer, a novel written by David Drake and Karl Edward Wagner. It was published by Baen in 1985 and it was reprinted in 2002.

Not a bad novel although Wagner could write much better as he proved with his Kane novels. If I remember well the story is set in the reign of emperor Domitian (around 80 AD).

Maybe it will interest you to know that Drake wrote another alien/roman novel called Ranks of Bronze. This is a story about a group of Roman soldiers who are kidnapped by aliens to fight as mercenaries in an interplanetary war.

Zieborn
February 26th, 2008, 07:57 AM
The first book should be Killer, a novel written by David Drake and Karl Edward Wagner. It was published by Baen in 1985 and it was reprinted in 2002.

That's the one. Thanks! One down, two to go.





Maybe it will interest you to know that Drake wrote another alien/roman novel called Ranks of Bronze. This is a story about a group of Roman soldiers who are kidnapped by aliens to fight as mercenaries in an interplanetary war.
That would certainly interest me. I'm going to have to track a copy down. It seems like another book I read at that time actually (called "The Napoleon Gambit" maybe).

Lowlander
February 26th, 2008, 08:24 AM
I think the "Napoleon" books you remember are the Eridanus novels by French SF writer Pierre Barbet.
Barbet wrote two novels about a group of French grenadiers who after the retreat from Moscow in 1812 are abducted by aliens etc.... The books are called Napoleons of Eridanus and Emperor of Eridanus and were published in English by DAW.

Zieborn
February 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
I think the "Napoleon" books you remember are the Eridanus novels by French SF writer Pierre Barbet.
Barbet wrote two novels about a group of French grenadiers who after the retreat from Moscow in 1812 are abducted by aliens etc.... The books are called Napoleons of Eridanus and Emperor of Eridanus and were published in English by DAW.
Nope, that's not the one. The one I'm talking about involved gambling on putting people into some inhospitable place and seeing who could kill the other using different armies from anywhere and anywhen in the universe. In the first one I read the good guy chose the Ronans, the two other guys chose the Hassassins, and some group of giant berzerker aliens. In a later book they got Napoleon and ended up having to defeat some artificial intelligence that ran a planet.

Zieborn
February 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
I think the "Napoleon" books you remember are the Eridanus novels by French SF writer Pierre Barbet.
Barbet wrote two novels about a group of French grenadiers who after the retreat from Moscow in 1812 are abducted by aliens etc.... The books are called Napoleons of Eridanus and Emperor of Eridanus and were published in English by DAW.
Double post. Sorry.

B5B7
February 27th, 2008, 05:46 AM
Your first book was easy to know [Killer], but Lowlander beat me to it.
Your second book may be Piers Anthony's Chthon.

Keyoke
February 27th, 2008, 06:50 PM
The Time travelling books is the series called "The Gamester Wars" which include the following books.

The Alexandrian ring
The Assassin Gambit
The Napolean Wager

Written By William Forstchen. I know it was collected in a omnibus edition sometime ago, I doubt they are in print any longer. Great series though.

Of course, not sure if that is the series you are mentioning it. SOme of your details ring true. LIke, the Ronin, the series follows the group of Samurai known as the 47 Ronin.. And if I remember correctly, Alexander the Great was pittied against a Alien general who was on par with him.

Great series, should re-read it. :)