Has anyone read "The Star Kings" by Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett ?

matt-browne-sfw

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It's a fantastic classic sci-fi book and seems almost forgotten. A while ago one could only get the novel from used bookstores. Now it's back in print and also available at Amazon. There's also a sequel but it doesn't come close in my opinion...

Any fans of this author around?
 

iansales

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Leigh Brackett is an excellent writer. I'm a big fan of her stories set on Mars - Peple of the Talisman, The Secret of Sinharat, Sea-Kings of Mars, etc. Edmond Hamilton I'm not so fond of. I read one of his early pieces in The Space Opera Renaissance, and it was terrible. I've also read his Starwolf trilogy, but it wasn't memorable.
 

Vladimir

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This is the first time I hear that Leigh Brackett has co-authored "Star Kings". I am pretty positive it was just Edmond Hamilton (at least the original one and its awful sequel).
It is a pity this classic scifi pulp does not have the attention it deserves nowadays.
 

dask

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THE STAR KINGS was the first sf novel I read over 40 years ago and ever since EH has been one of my favorite authors. For what it's worth, my avatar is that copy.
 

J Riff

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I think Starwolf trilogy is great but can't remember Star Kings. It's bound to be decent adventure.
 

Vladimir

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THE STAR KINGS was the first sf novel I read over 40 years ago and ever since EH has been one of my favorite authors. For what it's worth, my avatar is that copy.
And it is an awesome cover, too. I've used it a couple of days ago for the article on "Star Kings" in my blog and thought I wouldn't see it elsewhere :)

I've recently bought "Star Kings" on e-book on Amazon. There are (a few) very annoying typos, but they kept the original ending (still makes me go: "ooohhh" after all these years) and it's like 2$. Please, people, just read it!
 

J-Sun

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I think Starwolf trilogy is great...
I agree. It's a really clean, tough series - much lower key than The Star Kings, but really enjoyable. But I also love The Star Kings and am apparently in the minority in finding the sequel pretty impressive - it's not equal to its original but, maybe because I wasn't expecting anything good from a book of stories tacked on to a novel separated by 25 years, it was better than I expected. I also like Battle for the Stars and City at World's End. Strangely, while he has some good individual stories, I like his stories less overall - The Best of Edmond Hamilton and What's It Like Out There and Other Stories are not great collections, overall, to me - though not bad, either.

And I finally, finally, got Crashing Suns and Outside the Universe recently after having looked for them for years. Except for a few individual stories, I've basically only read from his 40s-60s stuff, while these (the Interstellar Patrol stories) are his big thing from the 30s. I look forward to reading them soon. (I want to right away, but I'm systematically working on the unread pile and, if I stick to it, they don't come up right away.)

Brackett is also very good but, unlike Kuttner and Moore, they never really collaborated, except on a Stark and the Star Kings crossover story. And apparently Hamilton revised (or maybe just "prepared") some of Brackett's stuff for book publication, like the first Stark duo. At least, that's how I understand it, though I could be wrong.
 

Metryq

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I've recently bought "Star Kings" on e-book on Amazon. There are (a few) very annoying typos, but they kept the original ending (still makes me go: "ooohhh" after all these years) and it's like 2$. Please, people, just read it!
I fixed a number of "very annoying" typos in the copy I picked up from Page Turner, and I submitted the corrected copy back to the distributor. I'm not sure if they're the rights holder, or just a small bookstore. From the sketchy feedback I received, I don't know if the corrected manuscript was put in circulation. (Probably not.) As noted in another thread, I also created a new book cover to replace the incredibly bland one sold through Page Turner (and Amazon). The art doesn't have the feel of the old pulps, but it stands out very well as a thumbnail on an ebook screen.


I had not read the original ending until I bought the ebook version. The sequel really doesn't add anything to the adventure, or do anything novel. So I find myself preferring the original ending. Now if Hollywood could learn that lesson...
 

Vladimir

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That's a cool design, and definitely way better than what comes with the e-book. However, I have to say, nothing beats the old pulps... I'll never know if that's nostalgia or they are really that great :)

"Return to the Stars" is not *so* bad, and if you like Edmond Hamilton, definitely worth reading, but I agree it simply adds nothing. Besides it ruins such a great ending.

One other thing... isn't Shorr Kann one of the greatest villains ever?
 

Metryq

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Shorr Kan was a fantastic bad guy, and I can imagine him having a voice like Shere Khan. Many actors prefer playing the bad guy because such characters are more dimensional and leave lots of room for improvisation, while the good guy must be more restrained and live by a code. That's how I imagined Shorr Kan—as an actor who liked playing the bad guy because it gave him more latitude. If a movie were made, he'd be the trickiest one to cast. Although I wouldn't mind seeing Murn!
 

dask

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I think Starwolf trilogy is great.
I agree wholeheartedly.

And I finally, finally, got Crashing Suns and Outside the Universe recently after having looked for them for years. Except for a few individual stories, I've basically only read from his 40s-60s stuff, while these (the Interstellar Patrol stories) are his big thing from the 30s. I look forward to reading them soon. (I want to right away, but I'm systematically working on the unread pile and, if I stick to it, they don't come up right away.)


I don't want to give anything away but the first and last story were my favorites. Some stories are from the late 20s also.

That's a cool design, and definitely way better than what comes with the e-book. However, I have to say, nothing beats the old pulps... I'll never know if that's nostalgia or they are really that great :)

"Return to the Stars" is not *so* bad, and if you like Edmond Hamilton, definitely worth reading, but I agree it simply adds nothing. Besides it ruins such a great ending.
No, it's not nostalgia. They really are that good.



The first part as it appeared here was better than I expected for a sequel and ended on a very high note for me. Haven't read the paperback yet though.
 
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J-Sun

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Some stories are from the late 20s also.
Yep - now that I look at it again carefully, maybe even the bulk of the wordage is. But I round off, anyway. 30s=1926-1938, and the 40s start in 1939. :)

The first part as it appeared here was better than I expected for a sequel and ended of a very high note for me. Haven't read the paperback yet though.
Do you happen to know the names and dates of all the stuff that went into the sequel? I know it's "some stuff published in the mid-60s in Cele Lalli's magazines" but that's it, and I can't find any good info from the usual suspects.
 

dask

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The above Amazing is the Sept. 1964 issue. I think "The Shores Of Infinity" is another installment but don't know which issue it's in offhand. I've got it and will seek it out later in the week (I've got a fairly good idea where it is). Not sure what the others are.
 

dask

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Do you happen to know the names and dates of all the stuff that went into the sequel? I know it's "some stuff published in the mid-60s in Cele Lalli's magazines" but that's it, and I can't find any good info from the usual suspects.
Kingdom Of The Stars --- Amazing, September 1964
The Shores Of Infinity --- Amazing, April 1965
The Broken Stars --- Fantastic, December 1968
The Horror From The Magellanic --- Amazing, May 1969

There may be more, I may even have more, but this is all I'm aware of. Embarrassingly I haven't read the sequel but when I do I think I'll read it in magazine form along with all the other stories in each issue, most of which have probably never been reprinted. New sf. Cool!
 

J-Sun

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Cool - thank you very much! If I had the magazines (I'm not jealous, nope, not me, not a bit) I'd read it that way, too. :)

-- Oh yeah - I forgot to comment on the cover pictures - your The Star Kings is different from (better than) mine. I have the same edition as this one. But that is the Crashing Suns I have (in virtually mint condition although, annoyingly, my Outside the Universe is pretty trashed). And that magazine cover is great.
 
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J-Sun

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PAPERBACK LIBRARY EDITION
First Printing: August, 1967
Second Printing: November, 1970
So it could be right on the nose but I figure they kept the cover art of the first printing, so still close. When's yours?
 

dask

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So it could be right on the nose but I figure they kept the cover art of the first printing, so still close. When's yours?
August 1967. I also have a November 1981 Warner Books paperback with blah cover. The more I look at yours the more I like it. (Not as much as mine, though.:D)
By the way, since I've been talking about a book I don't intend to read I thought I'd post it since I already have it stored at Photobucket.


Pretty cool considering it has a Steranko cover.
 
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