The Star-Stealers: The Complete Tales of The Interstellar Patrol, The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Two

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9781893887336: The Star-Stealers: The Complete Tales of The Interstellar Patrol, The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Two

Nearly a century before the racks of mass-market books were flooded with media tie-ins for franchises such as Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. (and ten years before E.E. "Doc" Smith created the Lensmen), Edmond Hamilton pioneered and popularized the concept of a galactic peacekeeping force. Hamilton's first crack at the concept in "Crashing Suns" has his band of heroes confined to the solar system as the "Interplanetary Patrol" With "The Star Stealers," Hamilton takes his notion of a stellar police force to the distant cosmic shores as the "Interstellar Patrol." Many of these stories were reprinted in the 1960s from Ace Books as two beautiful paperbacks: Crashing Suns and Outside the Universe. This volume collects ALL of the stories of the Patrol . . . plus continues the program to collect all the prose work of Edmond Hamilton with two additional novels, "The Other Side of the Moon" and "The Hidden World." The American master of modern Space Opera, Walter Jon Williams (author of Implied Spaces, and the three volume saga, Dread Empire's Fall) provides the introduction. Table of Contents Introduction by Walter Jon Williams "Crashing Suns" (Weird Tales, Aug, Sep 28) "The Star-Stealers" (Weird Tales, Feb 29) "Within the Nebula" (Weird Tales, May 29) "Outside the Universe" (Weird Tales, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct 29) "The Comet-Drivers" (Weird Tales, Feb 30) "The Sun People" (Weird Tales. May 30) "The Cosmic Cloud" (Weird Tales, Nov 30) "Corsairs of the Cosmos" (Weird Tales, Apr 34) "The Hidden World" (Science Wonder Quarterly, Fll 29) "The Other Side of the Moon" (Amazing Stories Quarterly, Fll 29)

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About the Author:

EDMOND HAMILTON (October 21, 1904 - February 1, 1977) A popular author of science fiction stories and novels during the mid-twentieth century. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, he was raised there and in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania. Something of a child prodigy, he graduated high school and started college (Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania) at the age of 14 but washed out at 17. His career as a science fiction writer began with the publication of the story, "The Monster God of Mamurth," which appeared in the August 1926 issue of the classic magazine of alternative fiction, Weird Tales. Hamilton quickly became a central member of the remarkable group of Weird Tales writers assembled by editor Farnsworth Wright, that included H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Hamilton would publish 79 works of fiction in Weird Tales between 1926 and 1948, making him one of the most prolific of the magazine's contributors (only Seabury Quinn and August Derleth appeared more frequently). Hamilton became a friend and associate of several Weird Tales veterans, including E. Hoffmann Price and Otis Adelbert Kline; most notably, he struck up a 40-year friendship with close contemporary Jack Williamson, as Williamson records in his 1984 autobiography Wonder's Child. In the late 1930s Weird Tales printed several striking fantasy tales by Hamilton, most notably "He That Hath Wings" (July 1938), one of his most popular and frequently-reprinted pieces. Through the late 1920s and early '30s Hamilton wrote for all of the SF pulp magazines then publishing, and contributed horror-thriller stories to various other magazines as well. He was very popular as an author of space opera, a sub-genre he created along with E.E. "Doc" Smith. His story "The Island of Unreason" (Wonder Stories, May 1933) won the first Jules Verne Prize as the best SF story of the year (this was the first SF prize awarded by the votes of fans, a precursor of the later Hugo Awards). In the later 1930s, in response to the economic strictures of the Great Depression, he also wrote detective and crime stories. In the 1940s, Hamilton was the primary force behind the "Captain Future" franchise, an SF pulp designed for juvenile readers that won him many fans, but diminished his reputation in later years when science fiction moved away from its space-opera roots. Hamilton was always associated with an extravagant, romantic, high-adventure style of SF, perhaps best represented by his 1947 novel The Star Kings. As the SF field grew more sophisticated, his brand of extreme adventure seemed ever more quaint, corny, and dated. In 1946 Hamilton began writing for DC Comics, specializing in stories for their characters Superman and Batman. One of his best known Superman stories was "Superman Under the Red Sun" which appeared in Action Comics #300 in 1963 and which has numerous elements in common with his novel City At World's End (1951). He wrote other works for DC Comics, including the short-lived science fiction series Chris KL-99 (in Strange Adventures), which was loosely based on his Captain Future character. He retired from comics in 1966. On December 31, 1946, Hamilton married fellow science fiction author and screen writer Leigh Brackett. Afterward he would produce some of his best work, including his novels The Star of Life (1947), The Valley of Creation (1948), City at World's End, and The Haunted Stars (1960). In this more mature phase of his career, Hamilton moved away from the romantic and fantastic elements of his earlier fiction to create some unsentimental and realistic stories, such as "What's It Like Out There?" (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec. 1952), his single most frequently-reprinted and anthologized work. adapted from the Wikipedia entry on Edmond Hamilton

Review:

If you grew up reading science fiction in the Twenties, Thirties, Forties or Fifties the name Edmond Hamilton was a revered one. A pioneer in creating the kind of far-flung galaxy smashing action-packed sf that fan boys of every age hounded their newstands for...Hamilton survived all the changes common to any genre. The reason was simple. He was not only a superb storyteller, he was also an innovator. Many of the sf action tropes we take for granted today (hello there Star Wars) came from Hamilton's typewriter early in the last century. Along with his wife Leigh Brackett Hamilton virtually created galaxies and universes that kept writers fed for decades. Volume One The Metal Giants and Others are stories collected from Weird Tales and introduced by Robert Weinberg; Volume Two The Star-Stealers also come from Weird Tales and includes the complete tales of The Interstellar Patrol with an introduction by Walter Jon Watkins; the third volume is Volume One of Hamilton's Captain Future stories, introduced by Richard A. Lupoff. Haffner Press has published these in inordinately hefty and beautiful editions. Short of having every single word you've ever written collected in leather bound editions...this has to be the kind of tribute only a handful of writers (of any kind) ever receive. One of the most fascinating elements of Hamilton's literary history is the award-winning short story he wrote in the late Thirties. He called it "What's It Like Out There?" It was a somber realistic story about men who'd been to space and come back. Nothing like it had ever been published. Hamilton decided to hang on to it. Not until the early Fifties did he decide that the field was ready for it. While he had previously been known for action fiction he was now heralded as a writer of sensitivity and serious themes. The novels he wrote after this reflected this newly revealed side of his talent. But why listen to me. Check out the Haffner Press webiste for yourself. --Ed Gorman, author of THE MIDNIGHT ROOM and TICKET TO RIDE

This volume contains all of Hamilton's Interstellar Patrol tales, plus two others (The Hidden World and The Other Side of the Moon) not in the series. As Walter Jon Williams shows in the introduction, and a number of commentators point out in the letters reproduced in the Appendix, these are pretty formulaic stories: a impending doom is discovered, a desperate mission is sent out to save the universe, the mission is overcome by the evil alien menace and at the last moment...Earth/the Federation/the Galaxy is saved. Until the next story. O.K., O.K., they are formulaic. They could be punched out with a cookie cutter. The characters are one-dimensional to the point where you forget the names (why bother, they are the same in each story...same character, that is). But... But...Hamilton's enthusiasm gets to you. You are carried on by the stories. And, on occasion, the prose overcomes the pulp. Whether it is describing the emptiness between the stars (in language that Alastair Reynolds echoes) or his spaceships that could be sailing vessels or steam vessels (echoes of which today can be found in David Weber's Honor Harrington stories or David Drake's Leary of the RCN stories), the occasional heroic moment, the occasional flash of a writer working under deadlines, poor rates and the need to write, write, write, or find work in Depression-era America...now and again you find the diamonds in the rough. The book ends with an extensive Appendix made up of illustrations from the original magazine appearances or reprints or paperback originals, plus a number of letters about Hamilton's stories (that appeared in those magazines...think flame wars are an invention of the internet...wait until you hear from a young Henry Kuttner, a young Don Wollheim, a young Margaret St. Clair, a young Forrest J. Ackerman...) and finally several letters from the editor accepting various stories (particularly amusing are why the second-in-command in The Star-Stealers went from male to female and some comments on the competition). Fun stuff. --Fred Kiesche, theeternalgoldenbraid.blogspot.com

"The Star Stealers - The Complete Tales of the Interstellar Patrol" Volume Two of the Collected Edmond Hamilton from the wonderful folks at Haffner Press! 750+ pages of classic space opera from the 1920s through the 1950s, from one of the writers who actually created space opera. Hamilton was known alternately as "The World Saver" or "The World Wrecker," based upon the number of times he destroyed or nearly destroyed the Earth in his stories. He invented the concept of the spacesuit. He wrote good science fic tion from the 1920s through the 1970s. He married Leigh Brackett, an even better writer who wrote many first-rate space operas herself, and also wrote the screenplays for many classic films: "The Big Sleep" - "Hatari!" - "Rio Bravo" - "The Empire Strikes Back." Hamilton also created another concept still in wide use today: the idea of an interstellar, multi-species organization dedicated to keeping the peace and protecting the Galaxy. So...before the Triplanetary Patrol, before the Galactic Patrol, before the Lensmen, before Captain Future and the Futuremen (also largely written by Hamilton), before the Green Lanterns, before the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet, before the StarGate Command, there was The Interstellar Patrol of Edmond Hamilton. Apparently, Hamilton created the idea while walking home one sub-zero evening in Pittsburgh, looking up at the stars, wondering who and what was out there, and concluded that just as here, you'd need some kind of interstellar police force to keep the peace. And science fiction writers have loved the idea ever since. I've read some of the book's stories already -- "The Star Stealers," wherein aliens from without are attacking our solar system and plan to steal our sun to replace their own dying sun. "Crashing Suns," in which a star on collision course with our sun must be diverted. "Outside the Universe" -- invaders from the Andromeda Galaxy intend to conquer our Milky Way Galaxy. Corny, creaky, sometimes bizarre -- but Hamilton was an imaginative, good writer, and this is where science fiction was born and I love it. Can't wait to pick up more of the books in this set. (Haffner intends to reprint ALL of Hamilton's fiction -- Cthulhu bless 'em!!!!) --David Gustafson, davidcapeguy.livejournal.com/233697.html

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