I'm looking for a book that I read 10 years ago. But the book is of course way older. It contained 3 stories that have a common main character. I'll try to remember as many details as possible. The book was in German, but hopefully it was a translation and somebody here knows it.

First story: Minerals crashing into sun

The first story started with mining minerals on Pluto. Only two persons work on Pluto. Their job is to monitor the machines that are mining. One transport ship arrives with two men, which collects the minerals and take them to Earth (or Mars, which was inhabited, I think).

During this transport there's a radioactive accident; the two people on board flee with a rescue ship. When they finally manage to contact Earth, the mining cooperation is angry (millions in money are lost), and the mining cooperation tries the rescue the minerals. And this is the job of the main character.

As it turns out, the ship with the minerals is on the way directly to the sun and they have to do some risky stuff to prevent this from happening. Not sure if they had success.

Second story: Emigrating cult

There's a cult that tries to emigrate to another planet. The planet is about 2000 (?) years away. So they build a gigantic ship with lots of nuclear power plants, fields for planting, and so on. A few thousand (?) people start on this mission. After they start, the Earth government calculates that such a mission is far too risky and tries to stop them. The main character and a second one fly after the ship in a little ship, and convince the cult leaders that they also want to join the mission. On board they try to persuade the people to turn around.

Third story: Man from Neptune (?)

Humans are the only race in these stories. There are no aliens or such. Therefore there was quite a big excitement and fear on Earth when a unidentified spaceship turned up on radar. As it later turned out, it was a spaceship from Earth, but it was very old and didn't had the common identifying radio signals. The ship was lost on a mission to Neptune (?).

The rest is only very vague in my memory and I think I'm mixing it with a few other stories. I think there's one or more persons frozen on board and the main character has to go on board and he finds them.

Other things

The stories play in our universe a few hundred years in the future.

The main character has a girlfriend and even marries her. I think for one of the three missions he has to cancel their honeymoon.

There were a few supercomputers on Earth. The main characters used them a few times to compute different stuff, for instance to compute the routes for the spaceships. During the second story he asked the computer to tell him everything important about the cult in 10 minutes and the computer prepared a 10-minute documentation film for him.


1 Answer 1


I found the book. As it turns out it's written by Robert Brenner, a physicist from Austria, and there is no english version / translation of the book.

It's called "Der Mann vom Neptun - 3 Weltraum-Abenteuer" ("The man from Neptune - 3 space-adventures"). The three adventures are called: "Duell mit der Sonne" ("duel with the sun"), "Der Mann vom Neptun" ("The man from Neptune") and "Unternehmen Aldebaran" ("Operation Aldebaran").

Der Mann vom Neptun cover art Duell mit der Sonne cover art Unternehmen Aldebaran cover art Collection cover art

  • 1
    You can accept your own answer.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Oct 25, 2017 at 17:15
  • These are books from the early 70s. I read "Duell mit der Sonne" as a library book but can't remember anything. I was too young to fuse the story into a coherent storyline, lol. After that I got Verbannt in die Zukunft, a short story collection by Arthur C. Clarke (mostly from the 50s), which made more sense to my mind if I managed to parse them. Then I got "Unternehmen Aldebaran" which was comprehensible. (There is a rip of the latter at the usual suspects pirate bookstore) Dec 15, 2019 at 1:24
  • Added cover art. Note that the collection volume's cover art is practically exactly the same as the cover art for another young reader's book from that epoch, C.V. Rock's "Alarm Im Weltraum" (with a space pirates story and a telepathic alien story, as I recall) - I have no idea why. It should have been possible to find distinctive cover art in the Germany of the 70s, but apparently not. Dec 15, 2019 at 2:10
  • @DavidTonhofer: I have seen SF books in Germany with identical cover art before. I was once in a bookstore in the trainstation in Wiesbaden, and saw a copy of "Starship Troopers" and another book. Both had identical cover art. I only had enough cash in my pocket to buy one of them. I bought "Starship Troopers." That was in the early 1990s. I have forgotten the title of the second book.
    – JRE
    Dec 15, 2019 at 9:01
  • @JRE I think what happens is that german publishers would buy a stack of Chris Foss artwork (say), and slap around the translations, and so you would get generic spaceships or artwork about a completely different story for that book. French books used to have the same problem (so you would get a cover fitting the PKD story "The Zap Gun" around the text for "Blade Runner", a fact that becomes clear once you get around to reading "The Zap Gun"). Acceptable bespoke cover art must be expensive or hard to obtain before publishing deadline. Dec 15, 2019 at 9:29

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