Vintage Treasures: The Vizier’s Second Daughter by Robert F. Young

Vintage Treasures: The Vizier’s Second Daughter by Robert F. Young

The Vizier's Second Daughter-smallI don’t know much about Robert F. Young. His first short story, “The Black Deep Thou Wingest,” appeared in Startling Stories in 1953; it was followed by roughly 140 more in Astounding Science Fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, Science Fiction Stories, IF, Fantastic Universe, The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, and many other places. His story “Little Dog Gone,” from the February 1964 issue of Worlds of Tomorrow, was nominated for a Hugo Award.

His first novel, La Quete de la Sainte Grille (1975), was written in French; it was released only in France and has never appeared in the U.S. He only wrote four novels in English, including Starfinder (1980), The Last Yggdrasill (1982), and Eridahn (1983). His last, The Vizier’s Second Daughter (1985), was a time traveling science fantasy romp, featuring genies, Ali Baba, and the kid sister of Sheherazade. It looks like a great place to start my education in the the work of Robert F. Young.

They sent him into the past to kidnap and bring back Sheherazade, the famous narrator of the Thousand and One Nights. But when he had grabbed a lovely lady out of the Sultan’s harem and scooted away on his “magic carpet” time machine he discovered that he had muffed it — for she was the Vizier’s second daughter — Sheherazade’s kid sister!

He thought he could rectify the mistake before going back to the 21st Century — but it was already to late. Because the ifrits were on his trail, Ali Baba had jumped aboard, and the enchanted Castle of Brass awaited his arrival with ghoulish glee.

It’s a wonderful romp through time and legend with the kid sister pulling marvels out of her hair faster than you could pull the cork on a djinn bottle!

Robert F. Young died in June 1986, at the age of 71; he continued writing right until his death. The Vizier’s Second Daughter was published by DAW in February 1985. It is 203 pages, priced at $2.50 in paperback; the cover is by Sanjulian. It has never been reprinted and there is no digital edition.

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Brian Aldiss was a Robert Young booster, and a good way to get aquainted with Young is through the anthologies that Aldiss edited in the 70’s – Space Opera, Perilous Planets, Evil Earths, etc. Aldiss often included a Young story or two in them. They’re the only things of his I’ve ever read, but they’re quite good.


This is the second time I’ve come across a post on this book in the last couple of months. It sounds like fun. I’ll have to track a copy down.

Sarah Avery

Maybe Wildside Press can work its usual wonders and get this guy into e-book form. The Robert Young estate is probably not overwhelmed with offers.

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