A survivor of a war between Venus and Earth appears to somehow travel back in time, arriving on Earth days before the conflict begins when tensions between the two planets is at an all-time high. Earthmen at the City Hospital eventually uncover the Venusian plot to use a simulacra of a war veteran from the future to trick Earth into believing they will lose an upcoming war in order to prevent a war between the planets that Venus doesn’t want to fight.
This pulp potboiler, like a number of other stories Dick wrote in the 1950s, is populated with wooden characters and much too long.
Cast of characters
- David Unger – the titular war vet who supposedly served under Nathan West
- Vachel Patterson – cancer specialist at the City Hospital
- Edwin LeMarr – neurologist at the City Hospital
- Evelyn Cutter – records keeper at the City Hospital
- John V-Stephens – a Venusian surgeon at the City Hospital
- V-Rafia – a Venusian girl rescued from a crazed mob
- Nathan West – Lieutenant on the battleship Wind Giant
- Francis Gannet – owns Transplan Industries