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Edmond Hamilton

(1904 – 1977)
Edmond Moore Hamilton was a popular author of science fiction stories and novels throughout 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. He was the Golden Age writer who worked on Batman, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and many sci-fi books. He was married to Leigh Brackett.
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The Star Kings: Kan!!!!!!!

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The Star Kings by Edmond Hamilton

Up until recently, my only familiarity with Ohio-born Edmond Hamilton had been via his short stories, and mainly through the exceptionally fine 1977 collection The Best of Edmond Hamilton. And indeed, who could ever forget such sci-fi tales as “The Man Who Evolved,” “Thundering Worlds,” “What’s It Like Out There?” and “Requiem”; such a charming fantasy as “He That Hath Wings”; and such well-done pieces of horror as “The Monster-God of Mamurth” (Hamilton’s first published story, which appeared in the 8/26 issue of Weird Tales when he was only 21) and the masterpiece “The Man Who Returned”? But Hamilton was also, of course, one of the originators of Golden Age space opera, with dozens such novellas and serials to his credit; indeed, his Captain Future tales would ... Read More

Return to the Stars: In H’Harn’s way

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Return to the Stars by Edmond Hamilton

For those readers who thrilled to the exploits of 20th century Earthman John Gordon in the futuristic galaxy of 202,115, in Edmond Hamilton’s first novel, The Star Kings (1949), the wait to find out just what might happen next would prove to be a long one. Ultimately, though, their patience was rewarded with Hamilton’s much-belated sequel, Return to the Stars (1969). Unlike the original novel, which was released all at once and comprised the entire 9/47 issue of Amazing Stories magazine, the sequel was what is known as a fix-up novel, having as its provenance four separate stories that Hamilton skillfully cobbled together into one cohesive... Read More

City At World’s End: Going Vegan

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City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton

Written near the dawn of the Cold War era and soon after mankind first became aware of the fearful possibilities of the atom bomb, City at World’s End yet remains both highly readable and grippingly entertaining today, more than 65 years after its initial appearance. Edmond Hamilton’s book initially as a “complete novel” in the July 1950 issue of the pulp magazine Starling Stories, was released in hardcover the following year, and, in ’53, appeared again in the pages of Galaxy. (Personally, I just finished reading the 35-cent Crest Giant paperback from 1957.) Hamilton, who was already 46 when he wrote this tale, had been a published author since 1926, and already had countless hundreds of short stories, novellas and n... Read More

Doomstar: Hamilton goes out like a pro

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Doomstar by Edmond Hamilton

As I have mentioned elsewhere, sci-fi pulpmaster Edmond Hamilton, during the early decades of his career, destroyed so many planets in his stories that he managed to acquire for himself the nickname “World Wrecker.” But in his final novel, Doomstar, the destruction of a mere planet seemed to be small potatoes for the Ohio-born author, and nothing less than the death — or, in this case, the poisoning — of a solar body would suffice! Doomstar was initially released as a 50-cent Belmont paperback in January 1966, almost 40 years after Hamilton’s first story had appeared in Weird Tales magazine. (I was fortunate enough to acquire the 1969 Belmont paperback, also with a cover price of 50 cents.) Hamilton was 62 when he... Read More

Science Fiction Super Pack #1: A generally above-average anthology

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Science Fiction Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine

Like the companion fantasy volume, Science Fiction Super Pack #1, edited by Warren Lapine, only has one story I didn't think was good, and it's a piece of Lovecraft fanfiction. H.P. Lovecraft's overwrought prose doesn't do much for me even when Lovecraft himself writes it, and much less so when it's attempted by imitators. And Lovecraft's stories at least have something frightening that happens in them; these two stories (in this volume and the other) only have visions of aspects of the Mythos and crazy people ranting, which isn't scary or interesting. Everything else was good, occasionally even amazing.

Again like the fantasy volume, it more ... Read More