4

The time - a year or more after Star Wars, certainly from the time when "Wow, Star Wars is big, what SF stories do we have?". I believe, but am not %100 certain on this that it had proudly emblazoned on the cover "From the publishers of Star Wars" (I may be conflating this with "Damnation Alley", which definitely did have this.

It was a fairly pulpy tale that involved political exiles from some alien planet being exiled to earth via some kind of stargate thingy (?) (earth of I guess the 60s or 70s).

They were human appearance, but I remember as being very tall?

There was possibly some back and forth stuff with the home planet, but I remember nothing else, except the cover was a character wielding something that was not exactly unlike a light-saber. Which was totally misleading, but the whole packaging screamed of "SF is big now, this is a SF book".

It's quite possible that it's by a well-known author, but I've not been able to remember anything else about it.

6

I think you're referring to Wolfling by Gordy Dickson:

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The aliens were very tall albinos who had contacted Earth to re-join their empire. They were clearly Homo Sapiens. Earth sent a rep to their empire to determine whether or not we were a colony of theirs lost in the mists of time, or if we were a case of parallel evolution, or if we were maybe the original cradle of humanity. The swords in question were controlled cones of plasma which could be extended or shortened at will. Which, as you might imagine, is considerably terrifying (think of a light saber able to spring out and reach you from across a large room).

Earth's rep, an Indiana Jones type of archaeologist/adventurer with the both of a 7 foot tall Arnold Schwarzenegger, determines that we were a colony because he himself is a genetic throwback. Despite how it sounds, the main character actually goes through the book by out-thinking folks around him. The combination of this body build and his intellect causes him to conclude that he is indeed a descendant of the albino ruling class of the Empire.

The ruling class, incidentally, is shown to be fairly unique in history. They are required to learn the entirely of the vast stores of science of their empire, and because they are not allowed to simply lay about eating peeled grapes all day. And this has meant a stable empire spanning thousands upon thousands of years. The albinism is done on purpose to mark the ruling class.

I haven't read the book for many years, but I remember enjoying it very much. No note about Star Wars on the cover, but those are clearly the lightsaber-style plasma swords which may have made you think of Star Wars. A different edition may mention Star Wars.

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