I'm trying to identify a novel or novella that I read sometime before the 1980's. The key plot point was that a superhuman "government agent" was trying to capture an alien whose name was "Snipe"(?).

The super-spy had been "modified" and was one of a pair of twins (where his twin had numerous congenital deformities).

The alien had landed on Earth and was very violent, but from his perspective, was very honorable.

  • Many years ago? When exactly? In what language, medium, country? Take a look at the checklist here. – Gallifreyan Dec 18 '16 at 19:58
  • English.Read dureing the 70's or earlier – Edward Patience Dec 18 '16 at 20:09
  • Great. Now you can add this to the question body. – Gallifreyan Dec 18 '16 at 20:18
  • Was this novel-length? Short story? Novelette? Doorstopper? – FuzzyBoots Dec 18 '16 at 20:25
  • 1
    I remember this story. From what I recall of the style I thought it might be by John Brunner or perhaps Mack Reynolds, but I can't place it at the moment. The alien was hyper-intelligent but very superstitious. He believed that humans were too primitive to have developed our level of technology and was trying to make contact with our (hypothetical) rulers. He killed and ate people, but only because that was good manners in his society. – Harry Johnston Dec 19 '16 at 0:48

The story you describe sounds like Earth Invader by Randall Garrett. The alien was called the Nipe, was superfast and had odd funeral customs in that it felt the honorable thing was to immediately eat a defeated adversary. A line I remember from the book:

If I must kill you, I myself will do the honors. You will not go uneaten.


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