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The Glass Men

Publishing details:



Chris and Sue are married, and head on their honeymoon to a hotel in Rome. But when they learn that a strange object - possibly a spaceship - has been found near the road to Pisa, Chris makes his position as Deputy Director of UNEXA known to the authorities, and UNEXA takes over the investigation, hindered only by the Italian farmers on whose land the craft has landed, and Italian bureaucrats who are concerned about traffic disruption. Sir Billy sends Morrey, Tony, and Serge to Italy to assist in the investigation of this strange craft and its two even stranger occupants.


This novel was submitted to Faber & Faber, but was never published.

It's very much of a kind with its immediate predecessors, dealing with contact with advanced Beings and what the Human Race might learn from them - see also First Contact, The Caves of Drach, The Blue Aura and The Dark Triangle - but nonetheless it is charming enough and it's nice to meet our ageless heroes for one last time. No sign of Whiskers here though.

Favourite paragraph: However there was little prospect of either Tony Hale, Morrey Kant, or Serge Smyslov submitting to such a ceremony [marriage]. Several times Chris had thought that his big American friend, Morrey, might have become engaged to a girl, but each time the astronaut had laughed off the idea. Serge, the serious-minded Russian, had never expressed any interest in the fair sex even though he’d had his share of attention from them. As for Tony, his reaction in the past had always been summed up by his favourite expression “Ugh! Girls!” Yet Chris didn’t think he’d heard him use it quite so much lately.

Continuity with the previous volumes seems to have been largely forgotten though:
Tony has "never been inside a hospital himself" - has Walters forgotten how he was introduced to the series in Moon Base One?
Sir Billy says "no Nation as far as I am aware has done anything in the field of contra- or counter-gravity" - apart from the giant anti-gravity machine built in The Last Disaster?
"The plans for a permanent base on Mars were well advanced." - surely they've had one of these for a long time...?