"The High Hex" is a 1969 science-fiction novel, written by Laurence M. Janifer and S.J. Treibich, and published as an Ace Double. Janifer and Treibich both wrote several books, apart, but wrote three books in a series together, with this book being the second of the series.

This book is a near future story where most of the political entities at the time of writing were still intact. The protagonists of the book are a group of United Nations astronauts who apparently, in the previous book, had been on a United Nations Space Station when it encountered difficulty. The book starts by the United Nations getting the band back together, to deal with a new problem: a group of African Revolutionaries has taken over another space station, and is broadcasting messages to earth encouraging an uprising.

It should be fair here to point out this was a comedic novel. Or that it was attempting to be: humor is subjective. While the book was not attempting to be racist, and was indeed seemingly attempting the opposite (the African space-ship hijackers are demonstrated as having a point), comedy about racial differences, and comedy dependent on topical allusions, does not always age well. The initial plot, as odd as it is, gets supplanted by another plot half-way through (of a 120 page book), where we are introduced to a combination grey goo and alien invasion scenario, where the protagonists and the African space ship crew have to team up to save the world.

This book tries something different. In fact, of the Ace Doubles I have read for this project, it is the only one that takes place in the near future, and the only one that involves an alien invasion scenario. And the comedic element is a nice touch. The wittiness of the book is not quite there, though, and it feels like the attempt of the book to be both comedic and topical fall just short of being innovative, instead seeming more like a curiosity.

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