I tried sending Patti a notice that I'd like to take part in Forgotten Books Friday but I don't think we managed to connect. It's the first time in a long time I've had a chance to do anything for that. Anyway, here's an unofficial entry for Forgotten Books Friday:
Anything that I could find at our small-town library that smacked of science fiction got checked out and brought home. Thus it was I stumbled upon a little paperback called “Crashing Suns,” by Edmond Hamilton. I didn’t recognize the author’s name at the time; I was more familiar with Asimov, Clarke, Anderson, Heinlein. It didn’t matter. The cover showed a rocket-ship and a round, pink, fuzzy alien with multiple limbs pointing a blaster at an astronaut. More importantly to me, the words “Crashing Suns” and the catch phrase on the cover of “Red alert for the Interstellar Patrol” ignited my imagination. Many, many years later, I found a copy of this book in a used book store and snapped it up. It’s too brittle and worn to read again but I still cherish it.
The book contains five novella length space opera stories, the title piece, “The Star Stealers,” “Within the Nebula,” “The Comet Drivers,” and “The Cosmic Cloud.” From what I can find out, all five of the stories were published in Weird Tales between 1928 and 1930. All but the first involve the Interstellar Patrol, sort of a pre-Federation Starfleet that defends the galaxy from evil. Hamilton apparently wrote these tales in a white heat and they sometimes show it. The science is often inaccurate and the language is quite overblown with flights of fancy in many places. But, you know, I don’t care. Hamilton was clearly enjoying himself and I enjoyed right along with him. There’s passion and excitement and that can make up for a lot of technical slights. I still want to join the Interstellar Patrol. I may be 56 on the outside, but inside I’m still 12 when I hear the siren call of “Crashing Suns.”