Earthblood Author:Keith Laumer and Rosel G. Brown Highly recommended for Laumer & Brown fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of interstellar adventures, armed and unarmed combat, and a touch of romance. Read and enjoy! — Amazon Review By: Arthur W. Jordin — All around, sounds of destruction echoed along metal halls. A muffled blast shook the deck plates under foot. Harsh odors of hot metal a... more »nd things that burned caught at Roan's throat. He came to the arched entry over the two wide steps leading down to the broad room with its threadbare eternon carpets and blackened gilt fixtures, and stopped, seeing overturned tables, huddled bodies, and standing among them, legs braced wide, cradling weapons, five creatures in coats covered with tight-curled hair.
Earthblood (1966) is a standalone SF novel in the far future of the Retief Universe. Twenty-two millennia from now, Terrans have built an empire over half the galaxy. Then the Niss came and attacked the Terran Empire. Imperial Terra fell and the Solar system was blockaded by Niss warships.
For the past five thousand years, Terrans elsewhere in the galaxy were abandoned to their own fates. The various breeds of Terrans mated and produced hybrid children. Now purebred strains of Terrans are rare.
In this novel, Roan Cornay is a purebred Terran. He was purchased as an embryo at great cost by Raff and Bella Cornay.
Raff Cornay is a Terran hybrid, short but with wide shoulders. His wife Bella is a Yill.
T'hoy hoy is a Yill. He came to Tambool looking for a specific embryo.
Stellaire is a human mule. Her parents were from different Terran breeds and incapable of having a fertile child.
Iron Robert is a humanoid composed of stone with ferrous strands within the matrix. He weighs tons and is very strong.
Henry Dread is the captain of a Terran warship. His crew raids worlds in the Eastern Arm.
In this story, Raff and Bella come to Tambool seeking a viable Terran embryo to raise as their son. They have almost five hundred credits for the purchase. A dealer in humanoid embryos offers them cheaper goods, but they only want a purebred Terran embryo.
The dealer has an embryo that matches their desires, but it was ordered by a very rich client who died after issuing the order. It is very expensive, but the dealer only asks for two citizenships (worth about two thousands credits). After some haggling, Raff and Bella pay the price.
Raff and Bella are followed from the dealer's office. They enter a cul-de-sac and then turn on their pursuers. Raff proves to be much more than the followers expect. All the pursuers except one are killed, but Raff has broken bones throughout his body.
T'hoy hoy is with the attackers and pleas for his life. Bella agrees to take him as a slave. He is a storyteller and spends much of his time telling Roan about the Terrans. According to T'hoy hoy, the Terrans had chosen a short life of glory rather than a long dull life.
Roan grew up playing with gracyl children about his age. The young gracyls dig holes and Roan digs one even deeper than theirs. He lands in the den of a See, who exchanges thoughts with him.
Later, the gracyls practice flying. His crippled gracyl friend Clanth cannot fly and neither can Roan. So Roan finds another way to join the game.
When Roan becomes sixteen, he tries to sneak into the Grand Vorplisch Extravaganzoo by walking a rope to a high pole, but is caught coming down the mast. The security guards are too big and tough for him to get away from them. Then Roan spots Raff inside the tent and tries to reach him.
Raff is clubbed down and Roan is dragged away. Yet he fights long and hard against the security guards and savages the hand of the guard who brought down Raff. Later, the guard threatens to kill Roan and he is that Roan will surely kill him.
Roan is visited in his cell by Stellaire. She shows him around the ship and introduces him to Iron Robert. Raff is enamored with Stel and spends much time with her.
Roan also spends time with Iron Robert. When the Iron Man is hurt in a fight with a more massive saurian, Roan gets Iron Robert back aboard the ship and insists on having the doctor treat his injury. After the casts are removed, Iron Robert is completely healed. The crew is amazed at his recovery.
Then the ship is attacked by another warship. Stellaire is pinned by a steel beam and dies in the fire. Dread is impressed with Roan's Terran looks and takes Roan back to his ship. Roan insists on taking Iron Robert with him.
This tale brings the pirate ship into the range of a Niss battleship. Dread insists that Iron Robert be left behind on the pirate ship. Roan leads an attack on the Niss ship with his sixty foot armed lifeboat.« less