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Murray Leinster




(art by Boris Vallejo)

Pen-names: Will F. Jenkins, William Fitzgerald
-----------------------------------------------

"The Aliens"
© Astounding, Aug 1959
The Aliens, 1960
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

----------------------------------------------



Murray Leinster
"The Ambulance Made Two Trips"
© Astounding, Apr 1960
--/ cool sf story
--/ humour award
--/ rare find


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.

----------------------------------------------

"Anthropological Note"
© F&SF, Apr 1957
The Aliens, 1960
--/ cool sf story

"Assignment on Pasik"
(as William Fitzgerald)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1949
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"The Black Galaxy" (nv)
© Startling Stories, Mar 1949
Galaxy Novels, 1954
--/ cool sf novel
--/ rare find

"The Boomerang Circuit"
(Last Spaceship series)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jun 1947
The Last Spaceship, 1949
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"The Brain-Stealers" (nv)
(also as "The Man in the Iron Cap")
© Startling Stories, Nov 1947
novel: Ace Books, 1954
--/ fourth place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


----------------------------------------------



"The Challenge from Beyond"
(Cosmos round-robin serial)
© Fantasy Magazine, Sep 1935
The Challenge from Beyond, 1990
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


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)

----------------------------------------------

"The Corianis Disaster"
© Science Fiction Stories, May 1960
(Original Science Fiction Stories)
--/ fourth place space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ rare find


"The Covenant" (Part IV)
(Parts 1, 2, 3, 5 were written by
 Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov,
Robert Sheckley and Robert Bloch)
© Fantastic, Jul 1960
The Most Thrilling SF Stories, 1966
--/ cool sf story

----------------------------------------------



"Critical Difference"
(also as "Solar Constant")
© Astounding, Jul 1956
Colonial Survey, 1956
The Planet Explorer, 1957
--/ cool sf story

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)

----------------------------------------------

"Cure for a Ylith"
(as William Fitzgerald)
© Startling Stories, Nov 1949
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"The Day of the Deepies"
© Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Oct 1947
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"De Profundis"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Win 1945
Sidewise in Time, 1950
Monsters and Such, 1959
Fantastic Story Magazine, May 1953
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

----------------------------------------------



"Dead City"
(also as "Malignant Marauder")
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Sum 1946
Fantastic Story Magazine, Jul 1953
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


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)

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"Dear Charles"
© Fantastic Story, May 1953
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ cool sf story

"The Devil of East Lupton, Vermont"
(as William Fitzgerald)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1948
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ style award
--/ humour award
--/ rare find


"The Disciplinary Circuit"
(Last Spaceship series)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Win 1946
The Last Spaceship, 1949
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"Doctor To The Stars" (coll)
(Calhoun / Med Service series)
© Pyramid Books, 1964
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award

"The Duplicators" (nv)
(also as "Lord of the Uffts")
© Worlds Of Tomorrow, Feb 1964
novel: 1960, Ace books
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award

"The End"
©Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1946
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Ethical Equations"
© Astounding, Jun 1945
The Best of M. Leinster, 1976
--short story : 1996 Retro Hugo
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Exploration Team"
(also as "Combat Team")
© Astounding, Mar 1956
Colonial Survey, 1956
The Planet Explorer, 1957
--novelette : 1956 Hugo W
--/ second place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


"The Fifth-Dimension Catapult"
(Tommy Reames)
© Astounding, Jan 1931
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"First Contact"
© Astounding, May 1945
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1976
--novelette : 1996 Retro Hugo W
--short fiction : 1971 Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll /9 (tie)

--/ second place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ idea award
--/ style award


"The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator"
© Astounding Stories, Dec 1935
Sidewise in Time, 1950
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award


"The Forgotten Planet" (nv)
© 1953, Science Fiction Plus
--/ second place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ awesome scale


"Fugitive from Space"
© Amazing, May 1954
The Aliens, 1960
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award

"Get Off My World!" (coll)
© 1962, Belmont Books
--/ third place space sf collection
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"The Grandfather's War"
(Med Service)
© Astounding, Oct 1957
Doctor to the Stars, 1964
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Hate Disease"
(also as "Tallien Three")
(Med Service)
© Analog, Aug 1963
Doctor to the Stars, 1964
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Historical Note"
© Astounding, Feb 1951
--/ cool sf story

"If You Was a Moklin"
© Galaxy, Sep 1951
Monsters and Such, 1959
--/ cool sf story
--/ humour award

"Interference"
© Astounding, Oct 1945
The Best of M. Leinster, 1976
--/ cool sf story
--/ humour award

"Jezebel"
© Startling Stories, Oct 1953
--/ cool sf story
--/ humour award
--/ rare find


"The Journey"
© Star Science Fiction # 1, 1953
--/ cool sf story
--/ rare find

"Keyhole"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1951
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1976
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Laws of Chance" (nv)
© Startling Stories, Mar 1947
Fantastic Story, Spr 1954
--/ cool sf novel
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"A Logic Named Joe"
(as by Will F. Jenkins)
© Astounding, Mar 1946
Sidewise in Time, 1950
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award

"The Lonely Planet"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1949
Monsters and Such, 1959
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Lord of the Uffts"
(exp into "The Duplicators")
© Worlds Of Tomorrow, Feb 1964
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"The Lost Race"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1949
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"The Mad Planet"
(The Forgotten Planet series)
© Argosy, Jun 1920
Amazing Stories, Nov 1926
Super Science Stories, Dec 1944
Fantastic Novels, Nov 1948
The Forgotten Planet, 1954
--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ awesome scale


"Malignant Marauder"
(see as "Dead City")

"The Man in the Iron Cap" (nv)
(also as "The Brain-Stealers")
© Startling Stories, Nov 1947
novel: Ace Books, 1954
--/ fourth place sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"The Manless Worlds"
(The Last Spaceship series)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1947
The Last Spaceship, 1949
--/ cool sf novella
--/ rare find

"Med Service" (nv)
(see as "The Mutant Weapon")

"Med Ship Man"
(Calhoun Med Service series)
© Galaxy, Oct 1963
Doctor to the Stars, 1964
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Middle of the Week After Next"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1952
rus. transl as "Na Dvenadcaty Den"
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


"Miners in the Sky" (nv)
© Avon Books, 1967
--/ third place space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


----------------------------------------------





"The Mutant Weapon" (nv)
(also as "Med Service")
(Calhoun Med Service series)
© Astounding Stories, Aug 1957
novel: Ace Double, 1959
--/ cool sf novel

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)

----------------------------------------------

"Nightmare Planet"
(The Forgotten Planet series)
© Argosy, Jun 1952
Science Fiction Plus, Jun 1953
The Forgotten Planet, 1954
--/ second place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ awesome scale


"Nobody Saw the Ship"
© Future, May 1950
Monsters and Such, 1959
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Operation Terror" (nv)
© Berkley Books, 1962
Murray Leinster Omnibus, 1968
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award

----------------------------------------------



"The Other Now"
© Galaxy, Mar 1951
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

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)

----------------------------------------------

"The Other Side Of Nowhere" (nv)
(exp. from "Spaceman")
© Analog, Mar 1964
book: Berkley, 1964
--/ third place space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Overdrive"
© Startling Stories, Jan 1953
--/ cool space sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Pariah Planet" (nv)
(also as "This World Is Taboo")
(Calhoun - Med Service)
© Amazing, Jul 1961
book : Ace Books, 1961
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award

"Pipeline to Pluto"
© Astounding, Sep 1945
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1976
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

----------------------------------------------



"The Pirates of Ersatz" (nv)
(also as "The Pirates of Zan")
© Astounding Stories, Feb 1959

"The Pirates of Zan" (nv)
(also as "The Pirates of Ersatz")
© Astounding Stories, Feb 1959
novel: Ace Double, 1959
--novel : 1959 Hugo nomination
--/ cool sf novel

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)

----------------------------------------------

"Plague"
© Astounding, Feb 1944
--/ cool sf story

"Planet Of Dread"
© Fantastic, May 1962
The Most Thrilling SF Stories, Fall 1968
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"Planet of Sand"
© Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Feb 1948
Get Off My World!, 1966
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Plants"
© Astounding, Jan 1946
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"The Power"
© Astounding, Sep 1945
Sidewise in Time, 1950
--/ cool sf story

"Propagandist"
© Astounding, Aug 1947
Znaniya - Sila, 1967

"Proxima Centauri"
© Astounding, Mar 1935
Sidewise in Time, 1950
Monsters and Such, 1959
--Pre-1940 short fiction All-Time Poll /12 (tie)
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"The Queen's Astrologer"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Oct 1949

"The Red Dust"
(The Forgotten Planet series)
© Argosy All-Story Weekly, 1921
Amazing Stories, Jan 1927
Super Science Stories, Feb 1945
The Forgotten Planet, 1954
--/ third place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Rogue Star"
(also in "Four from Planet 5")
© Twists in Time, 1960
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award

--------------------------------------



"The Runaway Skyscraper"
© Argosy, Feb 1919
Amazing, Jun 1926
Amazing, Feb 1956
Fantastic, Jan 1980
--Pre-1940 short fiction All-Time Poll /25 (tie)
--/ fourth place time sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ rare find


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)

--------------------------------------

"Sam, This Is You"
© Galaxy, May 1955
Twists in Time, 1960
--/ fourth place sf story
--/ wonder award
--/ humour award


"Sand Doom"
© Astounding, Dec 1955
Colonial Survey, 1956
The Planet Explorer, 1957
--/ cool sf story

"Scrimshaw"
© Astounding, Sep 1955
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1976
--/ cool sf story

----------------------------------------------



"Second Landing"
(Canis Venatici series)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jan 1954
Get Off My World!, 1966
--/ fourth place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


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)

----------------------------------------------

"Sidewise in Time"
© Astounding, Jun 1934
Sidewise in Time, 1950
--Pre-1940 short fiction All-Time Poll /25 (tie)
--/ fourth place time sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ idea award


"Skit-Tree Planet"
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1947
The Aliens, 1960
--/ third place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


"Solar Constant"
(see as "Critical Difference")

"Spaceman" (nv)
(exp. into "The Other Side Of Nowhere")
© Analog, Mar 1964
--/ third place space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Stopover In Space" (nv)
(also as "Checkpoint Lambda")
© Amazing, Jun 1966
A Murray Leinster Omnibus, 1968
--/ third place space sf novel
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


"Space Platform" (nv)
(Space Platform series)
© Shasta / Pocket, 1955
--/ cool space sf novel

"Space Tug" (nv)
(Space Platform series)
© Shasta / Pocket, 1953
--/ cool space sf novel

"The Strange Case of John Clingman"
© Astounding, May 1948
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1978
--/ cool sf story
--/ style award
--/ humour award


----------------------------------------------



"The Swamp Was Upside Down"
(Colonial Survey)
© Astounding, Sep 1956
Colonial Survey, 1956
The Planet Explorer, 1957
--/ cool sf story

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)

----------------------------------------------

"Symbiosis"
(as Will F. Jenkins)
© Collier's, Jun 1947
The Best of Murray Leinster, 1976
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"Tallien Three"
(also as "The Hate Disease")
(Med Service)
© Analog, Aug 1963
Doctor to the Stars, 1964
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award


"Thing from the Sky"
© The Aliens, 1960
--/ cool sf story

"Things Pass By" (nv)
© Thrilling Wonder Stories, Mar 1945
Fantastic Story, Win 1954
--/ fourth place sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ rare find


"This World Is Taboo" (nv)
(also as "Pariah Planet")
(Med Service)
© Amazing, Jul 1961
novel : Ace Books, 1961
--/ cool sf novel
--/ wonder award

"The Time To Die"
© Astounding, Jan 1947
The Best Of Murray Leinster, 1976
--/ cool sf story

"The Time Tunnel" (nv)
© 1966, Pyramid Books
--/ cool sf novel

"Twists in Time"
© Twists in Time, 1960
--/ cool sf story
--/ wonder award

"White Spot"
© Startling Stories, Sum 1955
Get Off My World!, 1966
--/ third place space sf novella
--/ wonder award
--/ adventure award
--/ style award


----------------------------------------------

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"SF&F Reading Experience" is part of "Dark Roasted Blend / Thrilling Wonder" family of sites. We try to highlight the most entertaining and rewarding science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on memorable reader experience, not necessarily general acceptance by the critics. Have fun, and delve into our extensive ratings and reviews!

Most reviews are written by Avi Abrams, unless otherwise noted. Reviews also appear on our unique historical retrospective page Wonder Timeline of Science Fiction. Feel free to submit your own review, if a particular story is not listed here.


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--/ first place :
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- novel :
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Also, there are our personal STYLE / GENRE SPECIFIC AWARDS. These reflect the story's content and the lasting impression on the reader:

--/ wonder award
sense-of-wonder, "visual intensity" and inventiveness

--/ idea award
originality of idea / concept

--/ adventure award
exhilarating plot, excitement / action

--/ style award
outstanding literary qualities, inimitable style

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touching, lasting impression, sensitivity

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Again, please feel free to leave your own review or comment under every writer's entry; also recommend us other stories you liked.