THE PIRATES OF ZAN (cover art by Ed Emshwiller)
This novel elucidates a different perspective on the role of criminality in a highly civilized society. Bron Hoddan was a serious electronics engineer who wanted no part of his planetary heritage, for Bron hailed from Zan, and Zan's planetary occupation was - space piracy.
So Bron went to Walden, "the most civilized planet of all." His first step towards a good reputation was to invent a machine which would save the government (therefore the taxpayers) millions. As a result, he was seized and jailed, called the Most Uspeakable Criminal In History! Slowly he came to realize that the only sensible way to overcome this nonsense was to put to work some of Zan's time-tested buccaneering techniques. Wonderful stuff!
THE MUTANT WEAPON
Medic Calhoun of the Interstellar Medical Service has appeared in several Leinster stories. Here he is attempting to discover why the new colony he is to inspect: (a) lacks inhabitants, and (b) attempts to kill him. The former is easy to answer: the colonists have all starved to death, even though there is plentiful food about. The latter involves uncovering a sickening plot to steal a planet, with loss of human life no object!