Humans on the space frontiers may have enough problems with befuddled bureaucrats, rules that don't fit the realities of very dangerous situations, and general rear-echelon incompetence without bringing in unfriendly aliens, but it's that kind of universe. On the other hand, as master satirist Christopher Anvil makes clear, the aliens are anything but omnipotent and have plenty of problems of their own. Here for the first time the stories and short novels of the war with the Outs are collected into a novel-length chronicle. The Outs had mental powers they could use to make humans see illusions and convince them to change sides. Obviously, they were unbeatable - until some troublesome humans found their Achille's heel. Another set of aliens arrive to conquer the Earth with the promise of eternal youth and healthfulness, and might have won, if some humans weren't too plain ornery not to be suspicious. Who's the best human envoy to deal with aliens who can read minds and learn anything their opponents know - the man who knows little or nothing, of course, including why he was sent there. When an investigator was hired to find out the reason for the strange events in a palatial mansion, he quickly solves the case-until he wakes up and finds that his solution was only a dream and the case is still unsolved. And the same thing happens again every night. These and other stories of human/alien conflict fill this large volume by the master of wryly sardonic science fiction adventure.
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