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Deep Space Scavengers, Pirates, and a Space Witch: Rich Horton on Great Science Fiction Adventures

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Science Fiction Adventures December 1956 Science Fiction Adventures January 1958-small Science Fiction Adventures June 1958-small

Over at his personal blog Strange at Ecbatan, Rich Horton takes a look at the 1963 anthology Great Science Fiction Adventures, which collects three novellas and a novelette, all from the late-50s magazine Science Fiction Adventures. The stories are:

“The Starcombers” by Edmond Hamilton (December 1956, above left; cover by Emsh)
“Hunt the Space-Witch!” by Robert Silverberg (as Ivar Jorgenson; January 1958, above middle; cover by John Schoenherr)
“The Man from the Big Dark” by John Brunner (June 1958, above right; cover by Emsh)
“The World Otalmi Made” by Harry Harrison (June 1958, above right; cover by Emsh)

Coincidentally, the January 1958 issue also includes the novella “One Against Herculum,” by Jerry Sohl, which was eventually included in Ace Double #D-381 in 1959, paired with Secret of the Lost Race by Andre Norton (which we covered here.)

Not too surprisingly, of the stories in the anthology, Rich prefers the Brunner.

Here’s part of his review:

The best of these stories is Brunner’s “The Man From the Big Dark”… It’s one of three pieces set in the same loose galactic future, eventually collected in the book Interstellar Empire… This story opens with a pirate’s starship coming to the planet Klareth, just this side of the “Big Dark.” The pirate disappears before the authorities find a murdered girl on his ship. We then follow the pirate, Terak, who, we learn, is out for revenge against the man really response for the girl’s murder, his former boss, Aldur. He is trying to find Janlo, who has been leading the local effort to suppress a rebellion. Terak ships on a ship captained by a beautiful woman, and soon finds himself entranced by her and her world … but still wanting revenge on Aldur, who has plans to take over this world. Nowhere does this story surprise, and in the end it doesn’t make too much sense, but it’s effectively told and I like it.

And here’s the front and back cover (click for bigger versions).

Great Science Fiction Adventures-small Great Science Fiction Adventures-back-small

Read Rich’s complete review here.

Great Science Fiction Adventures was edited by Larry T. Shaw and published by Lancer Books in 1963. It is 173 pages, priced at 75 cents. The cover is by Emsh.

See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.

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