Athis is the 168th in my series of seldom read or forgotten books
Planets of Adventure by Murray Leinster, Baen Books October 2003 mass market paperback, science fiction
When reading Astounding Science Fiction (starting in about sixth or seventh grade, I think), I especially loved the stories by Murray Leinster. I could count on a great story, action, a little insight into human nature as it applied to science fictional situations; just solid entertainment. One of my favorite stories was in the March 1956 issue: “Exploration Team”. That story won a Hugo Award. It was the cover story, and the artwork by Ed Emshwiller caught my imagination immediately. It’s remained one of my favorite ASF covers to this day.
Murray Leinster was the pseudonym of William Fitzgerald Jenkins. Jenkins wrote and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays; mystery, alternate history, adventure but is best known for his science fiction under the Leinster name.
When I spotted this Baen collection recently, I had to buy it. Both of the “novels” here are really sets of short stories tied together by a central theme, “fix-ups” as they are sometimes called. But as I found when reading them years ago, the stories can be read singly and enjoyed without needing The Bigger Picture.
This paperback (some or all of the contents may be found in various ebooks or ebook bundles, if you prefer) is packed with terrific stories, the kind of thing that made me love science fiction when I first started reading it, and the stuff I still love to this day. If you haven’t read anything by Leinster, or if it’s been a long time, go ahead and treat yourself. This is fun stuff.
As George Kelley sometimes says, this makes me want to drop everything and read this book.
Leinster holds up well for me, too. Still very entertaining.
Good choice. I like those Baen collections too and I’ve enjoyed the Leinster stories I’ve read.
Rick, after reading your review of Murrary Leinster’s PLANETS OF ADVENTURE I want to drop everything and reread these wonderful stories! Great stuff!
I like Leinster. I’ve read quite a bit of his stuff but still have more to read. His original SF is always solidly built.
Bill, good stuff stays good. This is the kind of thing I read when I ought to be reading something more “literary”.
Jeff, I also picked up a couple of the Leinster ebook packs.
George, I thought you’d come back with something like that. Good job. Sometimes a person just has to read something that’s fun without demanding a lot of analysis or deep thinking. I liked these when I first read them and I still do.
Charles, your right about the fiction being solid. There is probably some of his stuff I haven’t read, and I should find it.
Leinster had the cover story of the first issue of ASTOUNDING SF that I ever purchased. I think it was the February 1959 issue, the title being “The Pirates of Ersatz.” I’m fairly sure that the cover art was by Kelly Freas. Strange how little turning points in your life like this stick with you forever, isn’t it?
And no, it doesn’t really matter if I got any of the details wrong. I’m not sure I want to know!
Steve, I had that issue, and you have it right, title, artist and it was a good story, too.
By the way, I was just talking to Dave Lewis about your post today and the discussion of Bolan, Carter and who wrote what. He says the original Executioner stories are his favorite. Also by the way, Left Coast Crime, here in Portland, is next weekend. Too bad you’ll not be joining us.
My son has just moved to LA. I’m hoping that someday I can time a visit when there’s a LCC convention going on, or one of Tom Lesser’s shows. Maybe next year.
Richard, I’m not familiar with Murray Leinster and his stories but I take pleasure in reading stories from many vintage sf magazines. I may have sampled stories from Astounding Science Fiction too.
Steve, and wouldn’t you know next year LCC is in Phoenix, then 2017 is Hawaii.
Prashant, you may have. I suggest you try to find an old issue with a Leinster story or pick up one of these paperbacks.