Saturday, August 14, 2010

Intergalactic Olympic Games

Stadium Beyond The Stars by Milton Lesser is, as far as I can remember, the only book by him I have read.  I remembered it fondly enough that I searched for it a long time before finding it.
It’s the story of Steve Frazer a Spacesuit Racer for Earth’s Olympic team at the first Intergalactic Olympic Games on the planet Ophiuchus near the center of the galaxy.
On the way to the games they discover a derelict spaceship that should have held the team from Antares. Steve is sent over to investigate.  He finds, just like the Mary Celeste, it's abandoned with food on the tables, the escape pods in place, but no team, except Billgarr.
Bilgarr tells a tale of the Rollers, apparently the first non-humans to encounter the human race.  They have taken the Antares Team to be ‘measured’. 
Steve is alone when he meets Billgarr.  Then a Roller appears and takes Billgarr away with him. Steve returns to the ship and tells them what he found.

Political intrigue begins.  Earth is just a backwater planet now and the powerful former colonies of Antares and Deneb vie for power, including at this Olympics.  (Sound familiar?)
So, Steve’s story is dismissed.  And when he persists he is harassed and the Denebian Commissioner of the games tries to have him deported.
Steve and his teammate, wrestler Hunk, do their best to save the day, along with Billgarr.
Not a really serious story to my mind.  But a fun read.  And its interesting now comparing it to some of the other juveniles how its set in and near the Coal Sack Nebula, and other similarities to other books.  I guess a lot of these writers were reading the same magazines or books on Astronomy and using the same backgrounds. 
It’s a well written book to me,  Makes me wish I could find and read some of his other stuff. 
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