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James H. Schmitz

James H. Schmitz(1911-1984)
James H. Schmitz was born in Germany of American parents and served in the USAF during the Second World War. He began writing science fiction with ‘Greenface’ for Unknown in 1943. Several of his science fiction novels and the fantasy novel below have been nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards.

The Witches of Karres: Pure fun!

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The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz

The Witches of Karres by James Schmitz is classic, old school science fantasy. Originally published in 1966, this is the story of Captain Pausert of Nikkeldepain, who rescues three young slaves on a foreign world only to find that they are actually three witches from the interdicted planet of Karres. With magical abilities to see the future, teleport objects over long distances, and destroy objects with just a whistle, these three young ladies turn Pausert’s life completely upside down. And that’s before a vatch gets involved.

A fun space-opera fantasy, The Witches of Karres is written for pure entertainment. With a cast of characters that leaps off the page as fully realized as a detailed drawing in a comic book, this is a breakneck romp across a galaxy and out the other si... Read More

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories: Humane science fiction

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The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories edited by Tom Shippey

I read Tom Shippey's other excellent collection, The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories some time ago, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out this one. Like its stablemate, The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories consists of a chronological collection of stories from a variety of authors with an introduction by the editor. I was struck by the idea of "fabril" literature, which is discussed in the introduction: a form of literature in which the "smith" is central. Certainly, a great deal of early science fiction in particular involves a clever engineer solving some sort of problem, and I'm sure many careers in engineering and the sciences have been launched in this way. I'd say that there is some tendency, though, as the genre matures, for technology to beco... Read More

More books by James H. Schmitz

Hub Universe — (1962-2001) Publisher: MEET TRIGGER ARGEE…. Half a block from the shopping center, a row of spacers on planet-leave came rollicking cheerily toward her…. Trigger shifted toward the edge of the sidewalk to let them pass. As the line swayed up on her left, there was a shadowy settling of an aircar at the curb to her right. With loud outcries of glad recognition and whoops of laughter, the line swung in about her, close. Bodies crowded against her, a hand was clapped over her mouth. Other hands held her arms. Her feet came off the ground and she had a momentary awareness of being rushed expertly forward. There was a lurching twist as the aircar shot upward. SHE’S ABOUT TO ENTER THE MYSTERY OF HER LIFE, IN “LEGACY.”

1. Legacy, The Universe against Her, A Nice Day for Screaming: And Other Tales of the Hub, The Demon Breed aka The Tuvela, The Lion Game, Universe against HerThe Demon BreedThe Lion GameThe Telzey Toy: And Other Stories1. Legacy, The Universe against Her, A Nice Day for Screaming: And Other Tales of the Hub, The Demon Breed aka The Tuvela, The Lion Game,


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsAgent of Vega and Other Stories — (1960) Publisher: Espionage and Intrigue in the Far Reaches of the Galaxy from the Creator of Telzey Amberdon and Trigger Argee. The Galaxy was not a nice neighborhood, and most would have laid bets that the Vegan Confederacy was too small and weak to survive, let along prosper. But prosper it did, to the bewilderment of observers, who didn’t know about the Vegans’ secret weapon. Once, the Galactic Empire had spanned the stars and when it crumbled and fell, star systems were isolated, some barely surviving, many becoming tyrannical feifdoms, others turning to piracy, and all of them often at war with each other. The Confederacy didn’t have huge space armadas, and millions of troops to protect itself and re-civilize its neighbors, but it did have the Zone agents. Few outside the top echelons of the Confederacy even knew that they existed, and even fewer had an inkling of how the agents time and again could appear on the spot just when a push in the right place could stop a war, topple a despot, or thwart an invasion of unfriendly aliens. Their numbers were pitifully few, and they had to patrol vast stretches of space. They were helped by their ships, bristling with hidden armament and piloted by robot brains of high intelligence. But their main weapon was that the minds of their opponents were open books to them. Not all of the Agents of Vega were human, but they were the most powerful telepaths the Galaxy had ever known…fantasy and science fiction book reviews


A Pride of Monsters — (1970) Publisher: Five superb science fiction stories. The fate of the human race hangs in the balance as men match wits with malevolent monsters of the future.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsEternal Frontier — (1973) Publisher: Earth’s colonists have divided into the Swimmers, who spend their entire lives in zero-gravity and claim to be the next step in evolution, and the planet-dwelling Walkers. The Swimmers regard those who prefer to live on the surface of a planet as little better than unevolved apes, while the Walkers are not about to say farewell to the planets they grew up on, and think the Swimmers are not advanced at all, but merely deranged. Crowell, born a Swimmer but now a Walker by choice, is caught in the middle as the two sides prepare for war. Then he discovers the true cause of the altercation: a hidden alien race trying to provoke a war of extinction.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


The Best of James H. Schmitz — (1988) Publisher: Mischief in the Spaceways (intro by Janet Kagan). Grandpa
Lion Loose…,  Just Curious, The Second Night of Summer, Novice, Balanced Ecology, The Custodians, Sour Note on Palayata, Goblin Night


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Winds of Time and Other Stories — (2008) Publisher: James Henry Schmitz (1911-1981) was an American writer born in Hamburg, Germany of American parents. He is best known for space opera and strong female characters (such as Telzey Amberdon and Trigger Argee) that didn’t fit into the damsel in distress stereotype typical of science fiction during the time he was writing. Included in this volume are “An Incident on Route 12,” “Watch the Sky,” “The Winds of Time,” and “Lion Loose.”