Well, I think I used up all my silly for the week in Wednesday's post, so I'll see what I can work up for today. One of the amazing things science fiction is that it is such an open framework, and if you want to add some fantasy to it, go right on ahead. No one says you can't, such as in 1978 when barbarian fantasy was all the rage. Conan, He-Man, Vardeman?
This book sounds like it has it all, and it should, because Robert Vardeman is a prolific writer of space operas and at least one Star Trek novel. Just another book on the shelf that I haven't gotten around to reading, I think this would be a good one...it seems the sandcats are telepathic. The best thing I like, of course, is the cover. My gut is telling me that the artist is not Frank Frazetta, but heavily inspired by him. Here's to you, unknown book cover artist!
The Sandcats of Rhyl
Nightwind and his cyborg companion were an unlikely team, by galatic standards, but they shared a fierce drive for independence and adventure. When they heard about the lost civilization, and its untapped treasures, they wasted no time to search for it. But Rhyl was a barren, unrelenting planet, covered with endless deserts, and deadly sciroccos. They were prepared for that hardship, but not for the beasts - sandcats of Hell!