Mission to the Stars
Novel   (Fix-Up) 1952 50,000 words
Alternate Titles

The Mixed Men     (1952, etc.)

  • According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover the early Berkley printings are in fact abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text in 1962.

  • Chapters 1-7 were newly written to fill the gap between two of the stories incorporated into this fix-up novel. This new section of the book was later published on its own as a story entitled "Lost: Fifty Suns" in 1972.

Part of the
Mixed Men Series
1 —     "Concealment" 1943
2 —     "Lost: Fifty Suns" 1972
3 —     "The Storm" 1943
4 —     "The Mixed Men" 1945

The short stories formed the basis for the novel Mission to the Stars in 1952 [aka The Mixed Men].

"Lost: Fifty Suns" was originally linking material written for the novel, and was first published as a story in its own right twenty years later in 1972.

The original versions of the early stories were reprinted in the collection Transgalactic.

Versions

1952

full novel

1972

novel excerpt
Based On
"Concealment" 1943
"The Storm" 1943
"The Mixed Men" 1945
Contents
Section Source Notes
Prologue "Concealment"
Chapters 1-7 "Lost: Fifty Suns" (linking material, later published separately)
Chapters 8-15 "The Storm"
Chapters 16-23 "The Mixed Men"
English
The Mixed Men (alternate title)
1952 Gnome
hardback 52-10217 223 pages $2.75

cover art by
Ric Binkley

First edition

5,000 copies printed.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
The Mixed Men (alternate title)
1953 SF Book Club
hardback 52-10217 223 pages $1.15

cover art by
Ric Binkley

  Data: Master of Null-A
1955 December Berkley
paperback 344 126 pages $0.25

cover art by
Richard Powers

First Berkley printing.

According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover these early Berkley printings are abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text in 1962.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1955 December Berkley
paperback 344 126 pages C$0.35

cover art by
Richard Powers

Second Berkley printing.

Canadian printing.

According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover these early Berkley printings are abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text in 1962.

  Data: ISFDB
1957 November Berkley
paperback 344 126 pages $0.25

cover art by
Richard Powers

Third Berkley printing.

According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover these early Berkley printings are abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text in 1962.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1958 January Berkley
paperback code: ? 126 pages price: ?

cover art by
Richard Powers

Printing statements found in later Berkley editions do not list this 1958 printing, which is mentioned only in Master of Null-A. So in all likelihood this 1958 printing is erroneous. I've therefore not included it in the printing counts, but I've gone ahead and listed it here until more is known for certain.

According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover these early Berkley printings are abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text in 1962.

  Data: Master of Null-A
1960 March Digit
paperback D343 160 pages 2/-

cover art by
Ed Valigursky

Wallpaper

First British edition.

First Digit printing.

Artist credit: Walwyn.

Valigursky's cover art first appeared on the early Ace printings of Clifford D. Simak's novel City.

(Image courtesy of ISFDB.)

Cover & other images: Axelsson, Lledó Data: Master of Null-A
1962 November Berkley Medallion
paperback F704 157 pages $0.50

cover art by
Richard Powers

Fourth Berkley printing.

According to some sources, despite saying "Complete and Unabridged" on the cover the early Berkley printings are abridged. They seem to have begun printing the full text here in 1962.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1962 November Digit
paperback R637 160 pages 2/6

cover art by
Ed Valigursky

Wallpaper

Second Digit printing.

Artist credit: Walwyn.

Valigursky's cover art first appeared on the early Ace printings of Clifford D. Simak's novel City.

(Image courtesy of ISFDB.)

Cover & other images: ISFDB, Lledó Data: Master of Null-A
1963 September Berkley Medallion
paperback F704 157 pages $0.50

cover art by
Richard Powers

Fifth Berkley printing.

  Data: Master of Null-A
1971 March Berkley Medallion
paperback S1973 157 pages $0.75

cover art by
Mike Hinge

Sixth Berkley printing.

Cover image: Axelsson Data: Master of Null-A
1971 March Berkley Medallion
paperback S1973 157 pages C$0.75

cover art by
Mike Hinge

Canadian printing.

Since the 1971 printing was stated as the 7th, the publisher doesn't seem to have counted this Canadian printing as a separate printing, but rather as one and the same as the American.

  Data: ISFDB
1971 November Berkley Medallion
paperback S1973 157 pages $0.75

cover art by
Mike Hinge

Seventh Berkley printing.

Since this printing is stated as the 7th, the publisher doesn't seem to have counted the March 1971 Canadian printing as a separate printing, but rather as one and the same as the American.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1976 August Sphere
paperback 0-7221-8775-0 159 pages £0.60

cover art by
Chris Foss

Wallpaper

First Sphere printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Cover & other images: ISFDB, other Data: ISFDB
The Mixed Men (alternate title)
1976 September Aeonian Press
hardback 975 223 pages $5.95

(no cover art)

Apparently, Aeonian Press / Amereon House illegally publishes facsimiles of earlier editions. Here, the 1952 Gnome edition has been copied.

  Data: Master of Null-A
1976 Sphere
paperback 0-7221-8775-0 159 pages £0.60

cover art by
Chris Foss

Wallpaper

Second Sphere printing.

Cover & other images: ISFDB, other Data: ISFDB
1977 August Sphere
paperback 0-7221-8728-9 159 pages £0.75

cover art by
Chris Foss

Wallpaper

Third Sphere printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Cover & other images: ISFDB, other Data: ISFDB
1977 October Pocket
paperback 0-617-81451-6 174 pages $1.50

cover art by
Ed Soyka

Back Cover

First Pocket printing.

The art is uncredited but artist Gerry Daly informed me that it's the work of Ed Soyka. Interestingly, this is the edition Daly read when he was commissioned to do the cover of Pocket's 1980 edition a few years later.

This is not a very nice cover per se, but it is notable for being the famous "aluminum foil" edition. The cover is literally aluminum foil — there is a second layer over the foil that consists of the inks that create the outlines of silver figures and the colorful rays coming out of their eyes. Although I don't care much for the imagery involved, Soyka did an excellent job of contrasting the textures of the rainbow beams, the flesh tones, and the metallic sheen. This is the only book where I've seen this technique used to such an all-encompassing extent — it is common to have part of the cover shiny like metal, but usually it is just the title or any spaceships in the picture, parts which are often elevated to give it a more three-dimensional and realistic effect. To have the entire cover made of foil is quite rare, and there are no elevated elements here.

What is even more rare is for a book of this nature to survive 25 years of belonging to various owners and passing through second-hand bookstores intact, or even more surprising, in this instance in mint condition — this copy has never even been opened. I have another copy of this which is worn and peeling — most of the top (ink) layer has come off leaving behind bent and curling sections of exposed foil. The mint condition copy was therefore a fabulous find, and has just one large scratch across the right half of the main figure's chest — but interestingly enough this helps to show that the cover is made of no ordinary substance, but rather is metallic in nature.

I've decided to show the back cover as well, to give you a better idea of how much of the foil shows. The entire spine is also mainly foil, with very little ink overlay. The only problem is that such a highly reflective material doesn't scan too well, particularly with the back cover. You only can appreciate the full effect when you see a copy in person.

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1977 October Pocket
paperback 0-617-81451-6 174 pages C$1.50

cover art by
Ed Soyka

Second Pocket printing.

Canadian printing.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1978 May Sphere
paperback 0-7221-8728-9 159 pages £0.75

cover art by
Chris Foss

Fourth Sphere printing.

  Data: Master of Null-A
The Mixed Men (alternate title)
1979 November Amereon
hardback 0-88411-975-0 223 pages price: ?

(no cover art)

Apparently, Aeonian Press / Amereon House illegally publishes facsimiles of earlier editions. Here, the 1952 Gnome edition has been copied.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1980 November Pocket
paperback 0-671-83661-7 174 pages $1.95

cover art by
Gerry Daly

Third Pocket printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

(Second printing if you don't count the Canadian printing, as the publisher seems to have done here.)

My interview with Gerry Daly can be read here.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn