Melchior's Fire by Jack L. Chalker

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Synopsis

ON THE RUN FROM THE INTERSTELLAR MOB!For centuries, interstellar prospectors had searched for the fabled worlds of the Three Kings, the lost El Dorado of the galaxy. But none had succeeded. Only the mad cyborg Prophet, Ishmael Hand, had ever seen the mysterious system, and he had refused to reveal its location before vanishing forever into history. Then, with the help of his flock, a starfaring evangelist -- Doctor Karl Woodward, preacher and leader of the starship "The Mountain" -- found it, only to disappear in turn.Now a new group of explorers must follow the trail that Woodward blazed. A spacegoing salvage team, desperately in debt after a violent alien menace ruins a lucrative assignment and decimates the group, is hired to follow the clues Woodward left behind. But the team's shady creditors won't want to wait...and they won't much care how they get their investments back.Fearing pursuit by their former backers, the group heads off for the ultimate salvage operation. By hook or by crook, they will find the Three Kings -- if the galactic underworld's repo men don't get them first!
 

About Jack L. Chalker

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Jack L. Chalker was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 17, 1944. He received a B. A. degree in English from Towson University and a graduate degree in English and history from Johns Hopkins University. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1978, he taught history and geography in the Baltimore public school system. He founded a publishing house, The Mirage Press, Ltd., which produces nonfiction and bibliographic works on science fiction and fantasy. He was the author of several science fiction series including the Well World series, the Dancing Gods series, and the G. O. D. Inc. series. He received numerous honors including the Dedalus Award in 1983, the Gold Medal of the West Coast Review of Books award in 1984, the Skylark Award in 1980, and the Hamilton-Brackett Memorial Award in 1979. He died of kidney failure and sepsis on February 11, 2005.
 
Published May 22, 2001 by Baen. 288 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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This serviceable action-SF novel of far-future starfaring opens with a useful prologue, bringing the reader up to speed on the planets called the Three Kings—Balshazzar, Melchior and Kaspar, satellites of a gas giant and the source of incredibly valuable alien artifacts—and the events of the firs...

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