I remember reading a series of 3 short sci-fi stories or novels in the late 90s. The books themselves were older, probably from the 80s.

The three booklets all had the same protagonist: a psychic gambler, as far as I remember.

In one book he fixed a planet that had to deal with psychic-linked fauna. The settlers there had set up automated defense systems, which angered the fauna, forcing them to attack.

In another, he crash-landed in an early renaissance world. He brown-nosed up to one of the houses that ruled there, using his knowledge about electricity. He built a Morse Machine, that used a modified Morse code. I believe or was HTH encoded like our SOS as ...---... .

My memory fails me on the contents of the last book.

Which series is that and who wrote it?


1 Answer 1


That's the "Deathworld" series by Harry Harrison.

Jason DinAlt is a gambler with erratic psionic abilities that more often than not first get him into trouble and then out of it again.

In the first book, he is hired by a group of people from a real hell hole of a planet named Pyrrhus to help them get together enough money to purchase weapons to keep fighting the native animals.

The plan is for Dinalt to use their money as a stake to gamble and win more so that they have enough for the weapons.

That works out (after a fashion) and Dinalt decides to go with them to their home planet.

He finds that the planet wasn't always such a hell hole. It has been getting worse over the years and decades since it was colonized.

The planet's plants and animals are all part of a psionic network. Basically, all one consciousness.

The humans fought the animals, and the planet fought back. Each round makes the native animals more aggresive, so the humans up the ante and fight back harder.

Dinalt finds a way to calm things down.

He first finds a large, important node in the network which the other humans try to destroy. This of course makes things worse, and make it harder for Dinalt to staighten things out.

In the end, all is peaceful but the humans don't know what to do on the planet anymore since they have all trained from early childhood as soldiers.

I haven't read the other books in the series.

  • 1
    I remember one of the later books in the series had Jason find another planet for the people to settle. But some glitches occurred - the novel was called Deathworld 3 or The Horse Barbarians and the leader of the horsemen was named Temuchin! isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?28 Jun 30, 2018 at 18:50
  • The first book is now out of copyright and available from Gutenberg: gutenberg.org/ebooks/28346
    – JerryTheC
    Jul 1, 2018 at 15:48

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