'If he fails the test, if prejudice, fear, intolerance or stupidity trip him up, then you world will be sealed of from the stars for ever!'
This was the ultimatum from space. The task before the world then was - who shall go? What man or woman could be found to take this frightening test for the whole of humanity and be certain not to fail?
(First published 1961)
For the crew of that odd aircraft were not men such as he'd ever seen before - and when he tried to oppose them, he found himself hurled uncontrollably into oblivion.
He awoke to find himself considered as a kidnapped barbarian from a backward planet in a galaxy of advanced civilizations - yet one who somehow held in his own hands the key to all their futures!
He remembered the day ten years ago when his older brother had been made a Warden of Asconel, a prosperous and happy planet, and he and his other brothers had left in the interests of their people. Now they returned to a world where a fanatical cult had usurped the Warden's chair, and men and women were offering themselves up as human sacrifices to Belizuek - whoever or whatever that being from beyond the galaxy was . . .
I'll find out, he told himself grimly, when I enter these doors . . .
(First published 1965)