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In A Galaxy, Far, Far, Away …

In this segment I want to highlight authors who wrote about distant planets or places humans colonize in a far flung future, and also, encounter a myriad of aliens—some benign, others not so.

Hacking back to the Golden Age and Classics of SF, I started thinking about what authors exemplified my title: in a galaxy, far, far, away. Here’s who I came up with:

• ROBERT SILVERBERG

Bob is another of those prolific authors I was introduced to when I first read, Lord Valentine’s Castle (Bantam, 1981), which is set on the magical planet of, Majipoor. A weirdly, wondrous world populated by shapeshifters, yet settled also by humans. This book is the first in a series in which Silverberg explores a number of themes, including coexistence, destiny (or, maybe, fate) and, of course, what it means to be human.

Check out: Lord Valentine’s Castle, the Majipoor Chronicles, and Valentine Pontifex.

• JACK L. CHALKER

My first Jack Chalker book was the start of a seven book series called, Midnight At The Well of Souls (Del Rey, 1977) — where we are introduced to the Well World. Long before the books and TV series, The Expanse, Chalker was writing about an artificially constructed world by a then defunct alien race known as the Markovians. A world that was both the controller of and the gateway to 1560 other worlds created by the Markovians.

The series features the irascible Nathan Brazil, a starship captain who goes on a rescue mission only to find himself suddenly transported to the Well World. And, of course, several books of adventures in time and space!

Check out: The Saga of the Well World series (7), The Watchers at the Well World series (3), and so many more!

• GORDON R. DICKSON

is another author I am sure no one has heard of, but this Canadian/American wrote about humanity seeding the stars in the 23rd century and, in Soldier, Ask Not (Dell, 1967)—part of the Childe Cycle series—has humanity splintered into specialized groups and cultures: such as ‘Exotics’, ‘Philosophers’, ‘Mystics’ and ‘Psychologists’ and then, those who are hired and trained to protect them, the Dorsai, professional soldiers.

Rebellion, mayhem, murder, and them against us, and how one man has the power to manipulate people, and events, into happening.

Check out: Tactics of Mistake, The Spirit of Dorsai, and Lost Dorsai.

I guess this post also fulfils another ‘Blast From The Past’ of books and authors I’ve read. With more to come, soon!

4 Comments

  1. Hahaha I admire your pessimism whe you say that you are certain no one has heard about them LOL But honestly, that’s true as I don’t read many sci-fi books

    • Ha! Ha! Yeah, I’m kind of a piece of ancient history myself, these days, Sophie. And when I was a kid, the classic were SF from the 50s. Now? Anything pre-1990 is considered old! So this stuff from the late 70s-80s is now edging into classics territory. 😉

  2. Guilty of not hearing about those authors as well!
    I’m still new to the sci-fi genre though so I would not necessarily put it down to age in my case he he. Thanks for sharing those with us,

  3. I’m glad I’m helping readers find potential new authors and books to read, Vera. And also, exposing people to some authors who are less well known these days. All these authors wrote wrote about topics that are suddenly “new” or “in” with the latest batch of SF authors, who seem to think they’ve come up with a new idea or story. But, in truth, others came before them. Long before them.

    The current fad, is AIs aboard spaceship. Try Robert Heinlein or Anne McCaffrey, who both wrote about them way back when.

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