Grimes Once Again Plies the Seas of Galactic Adventure!
If galactic space travel is going to be anything like sailing the seas, then A. Bertram Chandler has surely caught its absolute essence in his Grimes novels. After all, Chandler was a life-time merchant marine officer. If it involved the sea, Chandler had been there and done that.
He was also a friend and confidante of legendary SF editor, John W. Campbell—who famously said of Chandler: "he writes his stories in the middle of a hurricane with his typewriter lashed to his desk."
When you hear something like that, you've got to know that this is the good stuff!
Here are the tales of John Grimes' action-packed merchantman and courier years. After moving on from the Federation Survey Service, Grimes tries his hand at leading a private life, and finds he likes being his own man. The only problem is, his solid gold ship The Far Traveller has a (very stubborn and very feminine) mind of its own — and a penchant for getting Grimes into the worse sort of interplanetary pickles!
Here it is, the entire "Captain John Grimes–Far Traveller Courier"saga, all collected in one e-volume and available from Baen Books' Webscriptions (www.webscription.net). This amazing collection includes:
The Far Traveller, with short stories:
"The Long Fall"
"The Sleeping Beast"
To Keep the Ship
The Anarch Lords
The Last Amazon
The Wild Ones
The megavolume will be released September 20th, 2007, and will be available in the reader-friendly, unencrypted formats Webscriptions is known for. No need to track down the crumbling remains of dead tree—this is the alternate reality where Grime's Mannschenn Drive (the FTL device that moves a ship ahead in space while traveling astern in time) throws the Chandler novels into a digital future!
For the next three months, the complete works will go for $20. As always, we'll let the math do the selling. Okay, we will add the one rather salient detail: IT'S ELECTRONIC; NO SHIPPING FEES! Then, AFTER the three months is up, the e-volume "dissolves" and we'll offer the individual "Rim World" ebook titles for $4 each. (Still a great deal, of course!)
The Far Traveler
The Far Traveler was hardly the sort of starship to use in the study of lost space colonies. Lost colonies were likely to be desperate, eccentric, and otherwise unappreciative. And The Far Traveler was a rich woman's toy, constructed of gold, and directed by an omniscient, dictatorial and feminine computer known as Big Sister.
John Grimes had become that golden vessel's captain. A captain in name only because nobody could talk back to Big Sister or the haughty beauty who owned everything aboard. But Grimes was a man of many resources and lost space colonies were places that did not observe the civilized rules. You could be sure therefore that the man known as the Commodore Hornblower of Outer Space would be likely to come through okay—even if the ladies—mechanical and physical-never expected him to!
In his long and fabulous career as the Captain Hornblower of space, John Grimes was to experience many strange things, rising through the ranks of the Interstellar Federation from triumphs to disaster, and ultimately becoming the most famous of the Rim Runners, far out along the edge of the Milky Way.
But there was a period when Grimes fell between one cosmic empire and another, on his own, commander only of a single deep-space pinnace and looking for work.
And that was when he became a god! He thought he was just doing a mailman's job, but the price of the postage turned out to be divinity—with a lovely nude postmistress certified for a goddess!
It's a new far-space novel by A. Bertram Chandler and one of his best!
To Keep the Ship
Although this was a low point in the ever-changing space career of the legendary John Grimes, it was not without its surprising moments. Between jobs, between loyalties, Grimes was owner and pilot of a small auxiliary vessel whose principal oddity was that it was made of gold. But precious metal or not, Grimes was running errands with it.
Until he fell into the clutches of terrorists. Susie and her comrades had a Cause and it was going to take all his efforts to keep the one thing he had to have—his ship
Especially since they left the ship infested with a constantly increasing horde of mini-Susies—vicious little homunculi that looked exactly like their sexy prototype except that they were hungry, sharp-toothed, and their only Cause was to eat Grimes alive!
Matilda's Step Children
John Grimes, owner of the deep space pinnace Little Sister, could not afford to be fussy about whom he carried. But there were compensations, for if his ship had not been chartered to take Fenella Pruin, muckraking reporter, to exclusive New Venusberg he would never have been able to visit that fabulous pleasure planet.
But there was to be little pleasure in it for him. Among the visitors was a Shaara princess who owed him vengeance. The planet's authorities were after Fenella's blood to prevent her snooping. Had it not been for the boomerang throwing abilities of two sexy dancers from New Alice, the spaceman and the journalist would have been sacrificed to make a Roman holiday.
The spectator sports of the very rich and very depraved involve a high mortality rate among the players . . . .
In luck and out of luck, John Grimes was a living legend of the spaceways. He had been an officer of the service, he had been the victim of a mutiny, he had discovered lost worlds, he had served under strange masters and on strange ships, but he had never turned space pirate. Until this adventure.
How it happened was a complex story to begin with, but typical Grimes luck. How he became the terror of the star lanes developed, as usual, from his own efforts to make an honest living and other's efforts to use him for devious diversions.
This is the latest Grimes novel—a story of the loot of the stars, of how Grimes graduated from operator of a space courier ship to master of a fleet of dreaded carriers of the skull and crossbones!
Publishers Weekly declared that John Grimes is "scienc
The Anarch Lords
His wild career as a space pirate ended. Grimes faced his toughest assignment—he was "punished" by being made governor of the anarchists' own planet! John Grimes, living legend of the spaceways, had been in and out of some cosmic catastrophes but this threatened to reach his luck's ultimate breaking point!
An influx of planetary refugees had made that world a paradise of cheap labor and the original anarchist colonists had become such masters of wealth that no mere outsider could hope to dictate "law and order" to them. They had their own ideas which included slavery, treachery, and utter villainy.
Grimes' first task as governor would be simply to stay alive with a whole world plotting his murder!
The Last Amazon
Originally, Sparta was an all-male planet—an all-male population with everything that implies: babies—male babies only—produced by the so-called Birth Machine from an almost unending supply of fertilized ova brought by Sparta's founding father, a dyed-in-the-wool misogynist. But unnatural situations rarely stand the test of time, and it wasn't too long before Sparta bowed to Mother Nature.
But there was still something rather strange about Sparta when John Grimes landed there to await the arrival of his beloved ship Sister Sue. It seemed to him that among the recently transplanted women of Sparta, there was a strange movement afoot. And when the Archon was kidnapped by a group of militant women the press claimed were men, he knew he couldn't just stand by and watch!
The men advanced upon their female adversaries, clenched fists ready to deliver incapacitating blows. Shirl and Darleen stood their ground. Kronos launched what should have been a devastating swipe, that would have been one had it connected. But Shirl little more than shrugged and the fist missed her left ear by considerably more than the thickness of a coat of paint. And then she was on him, her own fists pummeling his chest and belly. He roared with rage and tried to throw his thick arms about her. She danced back and he embraced nothingness. What happened next was almost too fast for the eye to follow. She jumped straight up and drove both feet into his midsection. She and Kronos hit the sand simultaneously, she in a crouching posture, he flat on his back. He stirred feebly, made an attempt to get up and then slumped.
Meanwhile Darleen was disposing of her own adversary by more orthodox means, using fists only. It was a classical knock-out.
The Wild Ones
They called the robomaid "Clockwork Kitty" until she informed them of her right name. She was a triumph of Japan's far-future robotics industry and she was a present to John Grimes as he set out aboard Sister Sue for a voyage to the planet called New Salem.
New Salem was a colony of blue-nosed religious fanatics and Grimes knew it meant trouble. For in addition to his sexy-looking robot he had Shirl and Darleen aboard, two wild ones of kangaroo ancestry, sure to be problems. And trouble came, not merely from the fire-wielding bigots but from Grimes' old enemy, Drongo Kane.
It's the last interplanetary romp of the legendary spaceman known as science fiction's own "Captain Hornblower."
It is ironic that "Jack" Chandler dedicated this novel to his "favorite wrist watch" for he could not have known that his own time was fast running out. He died in June, 1984, shortly after mailing the manuscript of The Wild Ones to his literary agents in America, though he had apparently been in good spirits during its writing. It is therefore his very last novel, and, although some small parts of the long career of John Grimes, from ensign to commodore of the Rim Worlds, have not been filled in, it must conclude the multifold saga of that amazing career.
A. Bertram Chandler, born in 1912, paralleled that career in a terrestrial way. Starting as a merchant seaman, he rose to be captain of his own vessel plying the world's rim between Australia and New Zealand. An Australian by choice, he was considered the top SF writer of that land and was a winner of its leading SF Award, the Ditmar.