Cover of The Heavenly Host
Book 167 Science Fiction Collection 1975
Lecherous Limericks The Ends of the Earth
1 spaceship-and-sun
Asimov fan
2 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader

When young Jonathan Derodin arrives on Planet Anderson Two four days before Christmas, the leader of the earth settlement warns him to stay away from the Wheels, the planet’s native inhabitants. They are dangerous creatures, he says, that want to kill humans. Yet when Jonathan accidentally meets one, he finds the little Wheel friendly and intelligent.

Then why does everyone believe they are deadly? And how can he convince the earth settlers that the Wheels are peaceful beings? Will he be able to stop the humans from destroying them all before it is too late?

How Jonathan and his new friend finally bring peace to Anderson Two during the season of good will makes a fast-paced futuristic Christmas story for Ages 7-10. [sic]

This is actually a story which was originally written for Boy’s Life magazine and later published as a book. (As it happens, I was a Boy’s Life subscriber and remember reading it when it first came out.) As a story, however, it is less than thrilling, and the unfortunate illustrations which accompany the book version don’t help.

It’s a Christmas story, and a tale of two alien species learning to get along. It isn’t actually bad, but the villain is a little too stock, the hero a little too uninteresting, and the ending a little too sappy for an adult reader. Still, a grade school child would probably enjoy it.

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