The Man In the Maze - Robert Silverberg - 1969 Avon Books Paperback

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Cover art: Jim Burns

Blurb: “It is the future, technology is advanced, lives are long, and the galaxy has been partially colonised by humans. Linking the disparate human worlds together are diplomats and agents who travel the starways. One of these men is Richard Muller, and now he has the greatest opportunity of his career.

Humans at long last have met an intelligent alien species. Muller is sent to make initial contact, but the mission does not go well. Muller is cursed by the aliens. His brain is modified so that his subconscious thoughts radiate from his mind. This makes his presence unbearable to humans. Embittered, he choses to live out his life in an abandoned city of murderous mazes on a long-dead planet.

For decades Muller is left alone, but suddenly he is needed again. Humans have made contact with a second and even more dangerous species, one seemingly bent on destroying humanity. The only hope is Muller. His brain can broadcast the thoughts that might convince the aliens that humans are sentient and their equals.

A team from Earth make a perilous entry into the maze, confront Muller, and convince him to come to the aid of his former colleagues.”