Hilarious Leinster, vintage pulp humor tale! Time paradoxes, wacky characters, prime-time entertainment. You should feed your TV (or DVD player for that matter) to the nearest crocodile in a zoo - and go home to happily read stories like this one! Mind you, Leinster did write a lot of fluff during his career, but this story is not like that.
The Ultimate SF&F Collectible! An extremely rare "round-robin" serial, published in the impossibly hard-to-get magazine (almost a fanzine) and only recently reprinted as a limited-edition chapbook. The similar SF round-robin serial "Cosmos" from "Fantasy Magazine" is also hard-to-find: it's been reprinted only in "Perry Rhodan" magazine, of all places! It's time for somebody to publish these serials together as one paperback... The best pulp writers at the time were asked to submit a story episode, and they all did - this tells you what an unpretentious and enthusiastic crowd they were - each keeping his or her own signature style, together making a sort of "Who's Who" catalogue of the fantastic pulps. The science fiction episodes were written by Stanley Weinbaum, Donald Wandrei, Doc Smith, Harl Vincent, and Murray Leinster. The weird fantasy parts were written by C. L. Moore, A. Merritt, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long. So far I have only read a few episodes, but let me tell you, it's almost like coming to the most delicious smorgasbord of all times... vintage and delectable stuff all over. review: 30-Sep-06 (read in 2002)
Has an interesting landing grid technology and a very clever solution to the problem facing the colony planet. Generally a good story, competently written, but does not linger long in memory. review: 12-Jul-06 (read in 1996)
One of these stories, that do not generate a lot of reviews, quietly providing us with the sense of wonder and adventure. Strange expedition, stars above us, mystery and great pulp writing. review: 01-Jul-06 (read in 2002)
Med Service replaces a Galactic Government in these series of novels, being the only organization that keeps civilization together in the face of great distances and travel times. Med Patrol man Calhoun is a loner and a type of space-ranger, who travels with his alien pet around the Galaxy and solves mysteries on many colonized planets. This is a great premise for an adventure book, but not every novel from this series is a winner. In fact, the only exciting and enjoyable part for me often were the first pages, as Calhoun chills out in a little ship, jokes with his alien pet, and keeps his cool - the contrast between glorious stars and loneliness of his watch is striking - but when the ship actually lands on some planet the sense-of-wonder begins to diminish, planet ecologies usually are run-of-the-mill, and the plot turns to pretty basic mystery-solving. The better part comes again at the ending, when the pair blasts into space again and is back to enjoying each other's company among the vastness of surrounding stars. This novel tells of a man-made plague designed to finish off the native population before the main group of colonists arrive. review: 29-Jul-06 (read in 2006)
A classic tale of branching-out realities, and alternate universes, affected by our choices. You would think that this is no more crazy idea than "uncertainty principle" in quantum physics, where location of anything in space is ...uncertain. How about "uncertainty principle" applied to time? Just as easy to believe. review: 07-Jul-06 (read in 1999)
Some say that this is a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta in space, using good old space pirates as a backdrop. Some even say it's funny. I would agree with the first statement but not the second. Light-hearted fare, to the point of evaporating the moment it enters the brain, so the memory retention factor is zero. Sadly, this is considered one of Leinster's high points in writing, so it is widely reprinted. I found the style of writing wooden and awkward, the plot is marginal and the idea non-existent. Plus I just feel plain insulted by the fact that Leinster uses the venerable "space piracy" stage, completely stripping it of action, wonder and romance (compare this novel to the greatly exciting "The Three Planeteers" by Edmond Hamilton), and for many readers that would be the only brush with the theme (as they do not have access to pulps). Oh well, enough grumbling. The plot is about the coming to fame and fortune of an ex-pirate engineer, who uses pirate economics for the benefit of an otherwise backwater planet. There is some romance in it, but I could not care for the characters, so they might as well be cats or hamsters (they perfunctorily kiss in the end, so they must be humans after all). review: 29-Jul-06 (read in 2006)
First Murray Leinster's published story, and already a feast of "wonder-filled" action. Whole Manhattan skyscraper and all its occupants are transported into pre-historic past, and witness some fabulous environment. review: 30-Jun-06 (read in 1997)
I thoroughly enjoyed this planetary exploration tale. I remember, after laying my hands on this old Belmont collection in a library, i devoured it so fast, that the worlds and stars were whirling in my head like crazed comets and a satisfied nebula of reader's delight dwelt in my mind like in the center of the galaxy, for many years afterwards. This collection made me REALLY appreciate Leinster as a space adventure writer. A piece of trivia: this novella was one of the first attempts at "shared world" type SF stories, so called "the Twayne Triplets". A scientist would design a "world" and a situation, and three writers would be commissioned to write novellas based on the world/situation. In this case, first one was "Get Out of My Sky" by James Blish. The prospective third story was "First Cycle" by H. Beam Piper, which Piper left unfinished, but which Michael Kurland completed and published in 1982. review: 04-Jul-06 (read in 1986)
A typical problem-solving piece from Astounding of these years. Not very exciting, with an exotic scientific puzzle, having little application for our life... in other words a waste of time (only redeemed feature is that it is from Leinster, who brings some class to the story). Otherwise - yawn...Here is the summary from Amazon: "On Canna III, a colony was built on the only island in a water world. However, when the colonists started irrigating the soil, the water soaked down to the bedrock and there created a swamp below the surface. And now the soil of the island is preparing to slip down the bedrock, into the ocean, carrying the Canna III colonists to a watery grave. Can Bordman save this situation?". review: 19-Sep-06 (read in 1997)
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