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Leinster Murray (2017 Most Popular Book Lists)

1. Works of Murray Leinster (21 books
$17.70
2. First Contacts: The Essential
3. The Monster from Earth's End:
$9.99
4. Operation Terror
$9.77
5. Med Ship (Med Ship Saga)
6. City on the Moon
$4.78
7. Planets of Adventure
$8.08
8. The Runaway Skyscraper
9. The Best of Murray Leinster
 
10. The Forgotten Planet
11. The Murray Leinster Collection:
$8.97
12. Operation; Outer Space
$20.99
13. Short Works of Murray Leinster
$9.99
14. This World Is Taboo
$9.99
15. Talents, Incorporated
$78.25
16. The Pirates of Zan / The Mutant
 
17. Time Tunnel
18. Four from Planet 5
 
19. Murray Leinster. L'Autre côté
20. 5 Sci-Fi Classics

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1. Works of Murray Leinster (21 books and stories)
by Murray Leinster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-05-27)
list price: US$0.99
Asin: B003ODIUXY
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Editorial Review

*****
The Aliens
Attention Saint Patrick
The Ambulance Made Two Trips
The Leader
Long Ago, Far Away
A Matter of Importance
Operation: Outer Space
The Pirates of Ersatz
Scrimshaw
The Fifth-Dimension Tube
Invasion
The Machine That Saved the World
Morale
Operation Terror
Pariah Planet
The Runaway Skyscraper
Space Platform
Space Tug
Talents Incorporated
This World is Taboo
Sand Doom ... Read more


2. First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster
by Murray Leinster
Hardcover: 464 Pages (1998-09)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$17.70
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0915368676
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
A collection of the trend-setting stories of "the Dean of Science Fiction" which opened and explored such topics as first contact with aliens, the Internet, transfers among parallel universes, and many more. This collection contains two stories not previously published, and it contains an introduction by Hal Clement, with cover art by Hannibal King. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Leaves The Reader Wanting More
Murray Leinster was the pseudonym used by William Fitzgerald Jenkins (June 16, 1896 - June 8, 1975), though some he did publish some of these stories under his real name.One of the greats from the early days of Science Fiction, his name is not as recognizable as Heinlein, Asimov, or several others, but that is a mistake of history, more than an accurate level of achievement.Perhaps it is due to his being significantly older than those writers, and the fact that some of his earlier stories pre-date the term science-fiction itself.Some of the earliest stories about robots (called logics in one story), alternate universes or multi-verses, and time travel were in his stories, and many of them are included here.Also included are two previously unpublished stories, making this a treasure even for those who are well acquainted with his writings.

I think it is fair to say that if you haven't read "First Contact", then you really are not a fan of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, at least not yet.It is one of those stories which has been printed and reprinted in an untold number of collections and that everyone should read, at least a few times.Thus it isn't surprising that it is the story which serves as the source of the name of this collection.It was tied for 9th in the Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll for Short Fiction in 1971, and won the Retro Hugo given in 1996 for novelettes published in the year 1945.Also from 1945 was "The Ethical Equations", a short story which was nominated for a Retro Hugo the same years as "First Contact".There are earlier works as well, including Leinster's alternate universe story "Sideways In Time" which was originally published in 1934.It was tied for 25th on the Astounding/Analog All-Time Poll for Pre-1940 Short Fiction.Also included is "Proxima Centauri" from 1935, which was tied for 12th on that same poll.The last of his award winning works included is "Exploration Team", which is a novelette which won the Hugo in 1956.The artwork on the cover of the collection is taken from ideas from this story.

All in all, there are 24 stories included, and there are wonderful ones like "The Strange Case of John Kingman", "If You Was a Moklin", "Keyhole", "The Power", and "The Lonely Planet" which may not have won awards or appeared on fan polls, but are definitely worth reading nonetheless.Lastly, there are the two previously unpublished stories: "The Great Catastrophe", and "To All Fat Policemen".The first had been sold for publication, but when the publisher demanded extensive rewrites, Jenkins refused.The latter isn't science-fiction, but is definitely Leinster/Jenkins.

The weakness of this collection is not in what is included, but rather in what is left out.Where is "The Runaway Skyscraper" from 1919, which was tied with the included "Sidewise in Time" on the Astounding/Analog poll?Where is 1932's "Politics", another story which the fans remembered.Joe Rico, the editor indicates that there was considerable demand for "The Mad Planet" and Hal Clement in his introduction talks about stories like "The Incredible Invasion", "Murder in the USA", "Trog", and "Critical Difference".Mr. Rico expresses concern over including additional works with regards to the length of the book, but in some cases, the longer the better, and I think the works of Murray Leinster fits that category.

4-0 out of 5 stars classics revisited
It was a delight to read/reread Leinster's material. Much of it was familiar, from years of collecting and reading pulps, but there was some that was new to me and all of it was fun to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible SCI-FI!
These are some of the best sci-fi short stories I have read. Yes, the stories are dated, but the imagination, mystery and wonder are awesome. The Castaway is one of the finest. I recommend Forgotten Planet by Murray Leinster as well, if you can find it. Happy reading!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Murray Leinster--Essential Reading for Sci-Fi Fans
I read this in less than a week.My 'First Contact' with Murray Leinster floored me.The style of Leinster's writing is provacative;his diction, use of tone tone and image, are as advanced as any literary writer in anyfield.There isn't one weak story in this book!The stories, thoughdating as far back as the thirties, hold up as well as any modern work Ican think of.Especially interesting is 'Plague on Kryder II,' whichdescribes a disease that affects one's immune system and causes one to getdisease after disease.It was almost as if he had heard about AIDS in1964.I'm so impressed that I went right out and bought every book I couldfind by Leinster and am in the process of reading them right now.Youwont't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A golden-age master of Science Fiction returns
Murray Leinster was very hot in the world of science fiction -- several decades ago.As the years wore on, he was largely forgotten, except for one story of his, "First Contact.""First Contact" hasappeared in numerous "Best of" collections and won a"Retro-Hugo" (a Hugo handed out for work in a year when therewere no Hugos, 1946).Now you can have "First Contact" (I'm notthe only one who thinks it's the best first contact story ever.) along with23 other great (some are classic) tales from S.F.'s golden age.You'll besuprised at how well these hold up.Plus this book is a real treat.It'son acid-free paper, and it's a well-bound, solid hardcover. ... Read more


3. The Monster from Earth's End: An original gold medal novel (s832)
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 159 Pages (1959)

Asin: B0007F2LOQ
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4. Operation Terror
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 102 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B003YL36CQ
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
Operation Terror is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Murray Leinster is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Murray Leinster then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Invention That Saves The World
I was delighted to find this book back in print.I had an e-copy from The Gutenberg Project!(I guess it won't be available there much longer.)I love all of Murray Leinster's stories - they typify all that constitutes Classic Science Fiction: Frustration with Human Frailty & Limitations, Cynicism juxtaposed with Idealistic Ethics, Simplistic Romantic Love, an Individualistic Inventor/Hero who wins the girl by foiling the plot and rescuing her - this one's got it all.

Murray Leinster wrote his first stories in 1919!See The Runaway Skyscraper (Argosy Magazine, 1919).He paved the way for many other writers.His Med Ship Series laid the foundations for James White's Sector General Series.(See my List: Medical Science Fiction.)This story could have been a prequel to THE TRIGGER by Arthur C. Clarke - the "invention that saves the world" is exactly the same.

A great & fast read!

For more Inventor/Heros see my list: The Scientist/Engineer/Inventor Hero in Science Fiction. ... Read more


5. Med Ship (Med Ship Saga)
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 640 Pages (2002-07-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$9.77
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0743435559
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Med Ships, Plagues, and Planets in Distress
Editors Eric Flint and Guy Gordon have done a real service in assembling all eight of Murray Leinster's Med Service stories in a single volumn. The stories appeared in various magazines from 1957 through 1966 and used a standard plot formula. Dr. Calhoun (no first name) and his alien sidekick Murgatroyd encounter a series of situations on alien planets in which a medical problem is coupled with social or political troubles. Calhoun solves the medical problem, administers rough justice where necessary, and then moves off to another planet.

Honesty compels me to point out that this was the same formula used in an earlier science fiction medical series-- L. Ron Hubbard's Ole Doc Methuselah stories (1947-50). Hubbard's stories were crisply told, but were a bit marred by his pseudoscientific bent. Leinster's stories are a bit more rational and logical in tone, but one sometimes wishes that they had a bit of Hubbard's color and dash.

There are two Med Service novels in the omnibus. The first novel is _The Mutant Weapon_ (originally "Med Service," _ASF_, 1957). This novel has a theme that doesn't entirely mesh with the plot. The theme is that the universe provides a series of forces that prevent wrongdoing from getting out of hand; but the plot recounts how some villains come within a hair of committing planetary genocide. The second novel is _Pariah Planet_ (_Amazing_, 1961), which has an understated romance between Calhoun and a spunky heroine that leaves the reader with a mild feeling of regret that it doesn't work out at the end. Neither novel is a classic, but they are both solid, well-crafted pieces that rank among Leinster's top half-dozen novels. [For the record, my candidates for the other four novels are _The Forgotten Planet_ (1954), _The Pirates of Zan_ (1959), _The Wailing Asteroid_ (1960), and _The Duplicators_ (1964).]

The remaining six novelettes are (in order of book appearance): "Med Ship Man" (_Galaxy_, 1963), "Plague on Kryder II" (_ASF_, 1964), "Ribbon in the Sky," (_ASF_, 1957), "Tallien Three," (originally "The Hate Disease," _ASF_, 1963), "Quarantine World," (_ASF_, 1966), and "The Grandfather's War," (_ASF_, 1957). My three favorite short pieces are "The Grandfather's War," for its interesting take on the generation gap; "Ribbon in the Sky," for its theme of how chance events can both create problems and contribute to their solution; and "Tallien Three," for its metaphor of hate as a disease. "Med Ship Man," a heavy-handed satire of ruthless business practices, is easily the most obvious and weakest of all the Med Service stories.

John Clute (1972) has shrewdly noted that Murray Leinster's futuristic setting shares many of the characteristics of old-time Virginia, the author's home state. It is politically conservative, with a weak central government and a _laissez-faire_ economic system. People populating it are frequently isolated from one another. It is not a setting jostling with colorful, competing alien races and cultures. It is a bit more safe. A bit more comfortable. A bit more stable. In Leinster's universe, adventures are viewed as aberrations rather than the norm.

4-0 out of 5 stars Med ship
I'm reading an ebook edition of Med Ship and am enjoying it. It does repeat some things a bit but it really is a good book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dated collection of MEDiocre SciFi short stories
This book is basically an anthology of six novelettes and two novellas, chronicling the interstellar travels of Med Ship Man Calhoun and his alien sidekick Murgatroyd (kind of an intelligent mix between a small dog and a monkey, and who has special immune system traits), using the spaceship Aesclipus Twenty.These stories originally appeared in various SciFi magazines during the late-50s thru mid-60's.I somehow managed to get thru all the stories, and following are reviews of each of them:

** MED SHIP MAN (Novellete, 1963) - While the technology used by the bad guys is believable, the plot involves too many coincidences.The pushy businessman character who basically forces his way down to the "apparently deserted" planet is way too shallow.Calhoun obviously doesn't like ANY businessmen, supposedly because of the way the businessmen treated people and animals on the planet Texia.With the mystery of the deserted planet just beginning, almost immediately Calhoun suspects the businessmen as the bad guy.Well, the businessman ends up being from Texia, and he is involved with a scheme using cattle herding technology from Texia, to herd people on Maya away from the cities, so he can buy prime real estate dirt cheap.

** PLAGUE ON KRYDER II (Novellete, 1964) - The trusting Calhoun bumbles thru and dodges multiple attempts on his life while interfering with a pack of interstellar bandits who take advantage of planets, upon which they have unleashed plagues.

** THE MUTANT WEAPON (Novella, 1957) - A story of a biological warfare attack on a newly colonized planet.This story contains some excellent detailed descriptions of Leinster's Planetary Grid and Interstellar Drive technologies, but also contains a lot of backward technology; for example, reel-to-reel tape drives.There are some good parts that give a decent picture of the horrors of germ warfare

**+ RIBBON IN THE SKY (Novellete, 1957) - A semi-decent story, with more backwards technology (e.g. Calhoun has to manually perform photo comparisons, something a computer has been able to do long ago).The most interesting parts are related to human biological theories, based on separated human populations; and this even leads to a bit of romance.This is possibly the best story of the collection (but that isn't saying much).

** TALLIEN THREE (Novellete, 1963) - Calhoun & Murgatroyd arrive at planet to do a routine medical survey, and lo and behold, the planet is experiencing a biologically-based revolution, that ends up being masterminded by yet another mad scientist gone bad.Crummy plot in general, but the nightmarish technology causing the population to be turned into garbage-eating ghouls is unique, to say the least, and future computer technologies are described pretty well, considering this was written in 1963.

** QUARANTINE WORLD (Novellete, 1966) - A seemingly pefectly healthy world undergoes a Medical Service inspection - but things are just a bit too perfect.It turns out that another "plague" is being hidden from the rest of the Galaxy, for "evil business purposes" (Leinster is definately a socialist, if not a communist, at heart).Nothing very different about this story than the rest.

* THE GRANDFATHERS' WAR (Novellete, 1957) - A colony is forced to evacuate their younger people to another star system, when their star becomes unstable and threatens to go nova.The overworked younger people become embittered against the older generation and rebel.Oh, and of course there is great sickness brewing amongst the youngest people on the new colony... this story could have actually been good, given a Twilight Zone-like ending - but it ends up with some highly unlikely rocket heroics by Calhoun, and a sappy kiss-and-makeup ending.

** PARIAH PLANET (Novella, 1961) - Calhoun is sent to a sector neglected by the Med Service for far too long, and encounters a planet whose inhabitants are subjected to famine and rascist isolationism by another more well to do planet in a nearby solar system.This could have been one of the better stories in the book, but the persistant meddling by Calhoun in the two planets' affairs made me think that MED SHIP didn't stand for MEDical SHIP, but really stood for MEDdling SHIP.

At the time this review was written, this book was available on the Baen Online Free Library (and if it wasn't, I wouldn't have wanted to pay more than a bargain-shelf book price to read this dated collection of SciFi stories).

Murray Leinster was considered one of the pioneers of "modern" SciFi writing, and was a longtime mainstay of the genre.If nothing else, some folks might get a kick out of sampling some of his writing by reading one or two of the stories from this anthology.He does a pretty good job describing some of his more advanced technologies; for instance the Planetary landing grids, and interstellar travel mechanisms.However, his older stories didn't even foresee the use of observation satellites or spy planes which were to become common place just a few years after the stories were written (in the book rockets are launched to take photographs).And, lets face it, the stories are somewhat slow-paced/dull, and the character development does not stand up to what we expect to find in present day SciFi stories.Oh, and could we have some good-looking women, please?And finally, these stories have a strong and naïve socialist leaning (in one story all businessmen are seen as evil, and in others economic classes are virtually non-existent).

NOTE1: Some folks have complained about the incessant repetition of simple facts... the reason there is so much repetition, is because this is a collection of independent stories that were originally designed to be read separately; so, in each story he has to repeat descriptions of technologies and main character's traits (especially Murgatroyd's).The net result is that the stories get more and more repetitive and boring as you make your way thru the book.

NOTE2: The medical spaceship Aesclipus Twenty is named after the Greek/Roman God of medicine and healing Asclepius/Aesculapius.

1-0 out of 5 stars Med Ship
I found these stories to be poorly written and uninteresting.The author shows no respect for the reader's intelligence by repeating the same information throughout a story, as if we might forget.The protagonist seems to solve each problem halfway through, then we spend the rest of the story watching his predictions come true and his solutions solve the problem like clockwork.

If you're looking for good medical science fiction, seek out James White's fine "Hospital Station" series (recently reprinted) and Jody Lynn Nye's "Taylor's Ark" series.

1-0 out of 5 stars This one goes back to Borders
This book seems terribly-babyish and boring, as if it is intended for a 10yr old to read.

The worst Sci-Fi I've ever read. ... Read more


6. City on the Moon
by Murray Leinster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2008-06-07)
list price: US$9.95
Asin: B001AV0VUW
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Editorial Review

*****
Life on the moon under anything less than optimal conditions had always been a nightmare, and as Joe Kenmore and his colleague, Moreau, drove back to the City On The Moon on that day the Earth shuttle was due to land, the nearby mountain supporting critical elements of the shuttle’s landing mechanisms crumbled causing an avalanche and resulting in chaos.Optimal conditions were no where in sight that day and as Kenmore and Moreau’s investigations lead to their conclusion that explosions had been responsible for the avalanche.Now they realized that they were in a race against the clock to restore the landing beam before the shuttle had reached it’s point of no return prior to landing.Kenmore had more than strictly humanitarian reasons for wanting to prevent a mishap aboard the shuttle that day, because on this particular mission, Arlene Gray was aboard.Kenmore had been anxiously awaiting her arrival, and while in the scope of things Kenmore’s comparatively meaningless love life might hang in the balance ... Read more


7. Planets of Adventure
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 560 Pages (2003-09-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.78
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 0743471628
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
In the first novel, "The Planet Explorer", the fate of the colonies scattered across the galaxy rests with one man, who races against the looming interstellar disaster. And in "The Forgotton Planet" a ship is marooned on a planet whose ecology has gone wild. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Can you get that good, old fashioned, satisfying reading feeling? Yes you can!
Are you tired of that same old, humdrum fiction you've been reading off the bestseller rack? You know the kind I mean.

Do you like your bugs both biologically accurate, huge and man eating?

Do you like your heroes heterosexual? smart? tough? and maybe even decent?

Do you like adventure that is both fun and nerve wracking and without graphic sex and gratuitous obscenity?

Do you like your fiction peopled by women who are NOT stronger, meaner and smarter than the men?

Had enough of "modern" science fiction where the hero never gets the girl and the ending is always bad?

It doesn't have to be that way, you know...
Why not try the golden age of science fiction and get that old fashioned satisfying flavor of good writing?

Mmm, mmm, there's nothing like a good golden age reading experience! Try em and you'll soon be saying to your wife or girl friend, "Gosh, honey, I sure love golden age science fiction!"

And, folks, if you like this one, try First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster for even more of that satisfying golden age reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, with lots of interesting stories!
Murray Leinster was the pen name of American author William Fitzgerald Jenkins (1896-1975), a prodigious author of fiction and non-fiction. He is rightly considered one of the fathers of science fiction; with his story "The Runaway Skyscraper" appearing in 1919! This book was published in 2003, and is a combination of two of Jenkins' 1954 book: The Forgotten Planet, and Planets of Explorer.

The Forgotten Planet tells the tale of a world whose terraforming was interrupted, and allowed to evolve into a veritable hell of a world. When a space-liner crashes on the world, the human inhabitants have to survive in a world gone mad. This is an exciting a gripping story!

The Planet Explorer is actually a collection of nine sci-fi short stories. Each of the exciting stories takes place on a fascinating world, where a desperate crisis must be dealt with. Unlike most short story collections, all of these stories are great, not a clinker in the groups

Overall, I found this to be a great book, with lots of interesting stories to read. Mr. Jenkins was indeed a great science fiction author, whose works should be considered classics in the genre. I loved this book, and give it my highest recommendations!
... Read more


8. The Runaway Skyscraper
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 36 Pages (2010-07-24)
list price: US$8.09 -- used & new: US$8.08
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1153719819
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

*****
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / Adventure; Fiction / Westerns; Fiction / General; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Campy but fun
This is an old short story that it is impossible to take seriously, but that does not prevent it from being fun to read. ... Read more


9. The Best of Murray Leinster
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (1978-03-12)
list price: US$1.95
Isbn: 0345258002
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Leinster at His Best
Murray Leinster's best work was his short fiction, and one of the best collections of his stories is _The Best of Murray Leinster_ (1978), edited by John J. Pierce. Perhaps it would be appropriate to mention what is _not_ in the collection. Pierce limits himself to stories from 1934 to 1956 and to stories of manageable length. Therefore, stories like "Mad Planet" and "Red Dust" from the 1920s are eliminated, along with the Med Service stories (which began in 1957). Leinster's Hugo winner from 1956, "Exploration Team," isn't there, either, though another Colonial Survey story, "Critical Difference," is included.

Pierce's limitations are, on the balance, very sensible ones. Leinster wrote some very good stories before 1934 and after 1956. But it was between these these years that he wrote most of his best, most original stories. He was one of the first writers to use the notion of parallel worlds in straight science fiction ("Sidewise in Time") and one of the first to use the notion of the generation starship ("Proxima Centuri"). He wrote about computers before they were well known ("A Logic Named Joe"). And he wrote a number of stories about first contacts between humans and nonhumans ("First Contact," "The Strange Case of John Kingman," "The Lonely Planet") that became something of a trademark with him. A quick check of several "first contact" theme anthologies on my shelf reveals that most of them contain at least one of Leinster's stories. Certainly a great many science fiction story conventions used by modern writers today were pioneered and developed by Leinster.

Aside from originality of ideas, Leinster's plots are his main strength as a writer. His stories consistently set up a problem and work with carefully extrapolated logic toward a fair solution to the problem without telegraphing the ending. "Keyhole," certainly the least of the stories in this collection, is still admirably plotted. It's a story lesser writers have imitated simply for its neatness and cleverness. In a Leinster story, problems are always meant to be solved, whether it is survival in a parallel world ("Sidewise in Time"), a moral conflict ("First Contact"), or a technological problem ("A Logic Named Joe" and "Critical Difference"). Even the grim "Pipeline to Pluto" involves some ruthless protagonists who get their just desserts. Leinster is never really pessimistic.

Characterization is Leinster's greatest weakness, mainly because he usually maintains an ironic distance from his characters. To be sure, there are certain characters in these stories who are well-drawn: the autocratic and imperious Professor Minott in "Sidewise in Time"; the duty-bound captain of "Proxima Centauri"; the aloof mental patient John Kingman; and Alyx, the planetary intelligence of "The Lonely Planet". But Leinster never systematically uses a point-of-view character. He never puts you inside a character's skin, never promotes a strong identification with a character. This is a relatively mild flaw in a short story or novelette, but it is a great liability in a novel.

I don't know of any critics who are seriously arguing that Leinster is a major stylist among science fiction authors. He doesn't have the poetry of, say, Ray Bradbury, and he doesn't have the precision and clarity of Isaac Asimov. On the other hand, I don't see any reason to be overly snobbish about Leinster's style. It has always been competent and workmanlike. Its most characteristic trademark is its tone: dry, rational, logical, and ironic. There is a sense of humor that runs through Leinster's stories. It is understated in relatively straight stories (such as "First Contact" and "Critical Difference") and overt in comical pieces (such as "The Fourth-dimensional Demonstrator" and "A Logic Named Joe"), but it is always there. The style of earlier stories ("Sidewise in Time," "Proxima Centauri") is more choppy, repetitious, and rough than later stories ("First Contact," "The Ethical Equations"). Dialogue is also more effectively handled in later pieces. But that dry, ironic tone is there in all of the stories.

Leinster was at bottom a craftsman who was concerned with telling a story well. At his best, he was able to tell some original tales with just the right amount of solid thought to them so that they were _about_ something. J.J. Pierce correctly states that no single collection can do justice to the stories that Leinster wrote, but this collection is an excellent start.

4-0 out of 5 stars The best of Murray Leinster - The US edition
There are two titles claiming to be the "Best of Murray Leinster"
and this is the better of the two (The other appeared in Britain and has only three stories in common with this book).
This book is/was part of a series of "Best of's" from Ballantine and forms a good introduction into the work of Will F. Jenkins, who wrote SF under the pseudonym Murray Leinster. The stories range from as early as 1934 (The famous "Sidewise in Time", about alternate history lines parallel to ours) till 1956 ("Critical Difference") and amongst them are classics as "First Contact", ground for an idealogical flap with Soviet writer Yefremov back in 1959, and "A Logic Named Joe".
The book shows Murray Leinster at his best, being the writer of entertaining short fiction. Compared to some other writers of his period his work hardly seem dated and considering that his earliest story was sold in 1919 (!) that's quite a compliment. ... Read more


10. The Forgotten Planet
by Murray Leinster
 Hardcover: Pages (1998-06)
list price: US$18.95
Isbn: 0899683509
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
The story of an experiment gone wrong--a planet seeded with primitive bacterial, plant, and insect life forms, then forgotten until a spaceship crash-lands, stranding its crew. The crew must fight to survive in a savage nightmare world. From the Hugo Award-winning author, Murray Leinster. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The forgotten masterpiece
When my nine year old daughter saw me reading this book and she saw the front cover with a picture of a man fighting a giant spider, she exclaimed: Dad! How immature of you! Why are you reading a book about people fighting giant spiders with spears? I explained to her that thing about not judging a book by its cover. Likewise, should you not judge this book based on my brief synopsis. Hopefully my full review will give the right impression.

Synopsis:

Humankind was spreading throughout the galaxy; turning suitable but barren planets into planets fit for life and human population. A seed ship, Orana, lands on an unnamed planet and plant spores, microorganisms, plankton, and fungi. Subsequent seed ships plant fish, plant life, insects and other arthropods. However, due to a clerical error the planet is "forgotten" and the process is never finished. This allows fungi, plants, and insects to grow far beyond their normal size over centuries. The planet becomes a planet with giant mushrooms, giant insects, millipedes, and spiders, but without mammals, birds, or reptiles. The space ship Icarus crash lands on this planet filled with monsters and the crew is lost and forgotten. Through the generations the knowledge of civilization is forgotten and the descendents of the ship wrecked turn into savages. The story is about Burl and his tribe and how they begin to rediscover human knowledge in this brutal world where humans are nothing but vermin and insect feed.

About the book:

The story telling is fast paced and there is stomach churning action on basically every page. It is the type of book that is hard to put down. Even though the premise may seem childish and some of you may have frowned while reading the synopsis, the book is far from a simple minded action read. The description of the insects and the spiders and how they behave and look like is based on the author's expertise in Entomology. The clear descriptions of the arthropod world and how it would look like enlarged was fascinating. His description of how people would live and survive in such a world was also gripping and believable. Well we know that creatures with exoskeletons cannot grow to the sizes described in the book, but I thought this inconsistency was easy to swallow considering all the other quality science. The author is clearly very knowledgeable and he has great skill in realistically portraying a micro world as a macro world.

The book was also about rediscovering civilization and how this could happen. The author's descriptions of the circumstances, the events, and the feelings and thoughts of the protagonist, Burl, were believable and engaging. Rediscovering civilization is not an easy feat. There are habits, feelings, and thought patterns that have to be overcome in addition to discovery and invention. This can only happen under special circumstances with the help of people with suitable personalities.

My Recommendation:

The book seems like a childish book at first. However, this book was a nice surprise that I enjoyed reading very much. "The forgotten Planet" is a "forgotten masterpiece". I also think this book would make a good movie. I hope a movie producer will consider it one day.

4-0 out of 5 stars A metaphor for humanity's rise from savagery!
Earth was now a crowded planet and science had advanced to the point where terraforming remote barren planets for the future expansion of humanity was a possibility. "The seed ship Orana landed on this planet - which still had no name. It carefully infected it. It circled endlessly above the clouds, dribbling out a fine dust - the spores of every conceivable micro-organism which could break down rock to powder and turn that dust to soil. It was also a seeding of moulds and fungi and lichens and everything which could turn powdery primitive soil into stuff on which higher forms of life could grow. The Orana polluted the seas with plankton. Then it, too, went away." Leinster's skill as a writer combined with his background as a scientist - an entomologist to be precise - makes for a powerful prologue that will enthrall any lover of classic science fiction.

Subsequent passes in the millennia long terraforming process brought fish, plant life and insects to this rapidly evolving but still primitive nameless planet. But, at that point, computers being what computers are and galactic government administration, like every government before it always having been prone to error, the data on this planet was lost and no further seeding trips were completed - no birds, no mammals, no reptiles and certainly no humans. The insects, the plants and the fish were left to evolve in splendid isolation until, centuries later, a lost and crippled space-liner crashes and maroons a group of humans on the planet which is now as foreign to our human experience as one could possibly imagine - a cloud covered humid swampy environment with predatory spiders and dragonflies that had grown to enormous proportions!

Over the course of many, many generations, the humanity that emerged from a wrecked spaceship slowly devolves to a primitive savagery that must have resembled the earliest stages of human development - no art, no music, no religion, no superstition, no culture, no leisure, nothing but fear and the most basic instincts for eating, reproducing and surviving. It is up to Burl, the metaphorical innovator who stumbles onto the concepts of leadership, hunting, planning, weaponry and teamwork to begin the process of resurrecting his tribe from the depths of savagery to something resembling a modern civilization.

The science is superb (we can overlook the melodrama of the impossibly over-sized insects as being appropriate to the fiction of the day!). The writing is magnificent and the descriptive passages are compelling, mesmerizing, mellifluous and ... well, utterly descriptive ... you'll have no trouble picturing what Leinster is talking about, to be sure! But, frankly, as short as it is, "The Forgotten Planet" suffers from being over-long. A fix-up from three short stories, "The Forgotten Planet" would be better presented as a novella at half its actual length. The central development phase of the novel lapses into needless repetition and bogs down into something that many readers will be tempted to set aside.

Persevere! The novel is only 200 pages long and will pass quickly enough! There's lots of meat for discussion and food for thought in an ending that, in my opinion, was worth the struggle through the slower middle sections.For some readers, the deus ex machina flavour of the ending will strike a raw nerve and irritate. For this reader, I felt it was the only ending possible. (At this point, I tread the very fine line of not wanting to put any spoilers into the review) For me the value of the ending was in realizing what Leinster was portraying as 1950s civilization and how utterly at odds the ecological sensibilities of that day were with today's feelings. Frankly, I was absolutely horrified by the ending ... not in terms of its literary values but in terms of the social values that Leinster was conveying in the writing!

Does that sound cryptic? Good! Then I haven't given anything away. Read it for yourself and you be the judge. You won't be sorry.

Recommended.

Paul Weiss

4-0 out of 5 stars Life among the insects
A primitive band of humans, the descendants of the passengers on a crashed spaceliner, struggle to survive on a planet ruled by giant insects, the result of an incomplete terraforming project.Separated from his tribe, young Burl begins to think in new ways and eventually leads his people to a better life.Murray Leinster's entertaining story is lifted a notch above the pulp novel by his vivid and well-researched descriptions of insect life.These people live in a lonely, nightmarish world of mechanical brutality where there are no other living beings with whom they can find common cause.A development near the end of the novel, wherein they encounter long-lost and long-forgotten former companions, is surprisingly touching.

Part of the fun of reading old science fiction is identifying the anachronisms.In a future when humans have spread across the galaxy and are capable of faster-than-light travel, what is the reason that the "forgotten planet" was forgotten?A computer punch card fell down behind a filing cabinet!

4-0 out of 5 stars Prometheus and the Insects
The publishing history of this novel is a bit complicated. In the early 1920s, Murray Leinster wrote two stories for _Argosy_: "The Mad Planet" (June, 1920) and "The Red Dust" (April, 1921). The stories were set on a future Earth in which man has degenerated to a primitive state and in which giant insects have become the dominant life form.


There were few science fiction books in those days, but the stories were reprinted several times in magazines such as _Amazing Stories_,_Tales of Wonder_, and _Fantastic Novels_. In 1953, Leinster published a third story in the series, "Nightmare Planet," for the short-lived _Science Fiction Plus_. In 1954, he reworked the stories into a novel that was set on an alien planet that has been terraformed and (because of a lost computer card) abandoned. The humans are the ancestors of the survivors of a space liner that has crashed on the planet.


The result is a novel which has a scientific background much like science fiction novels of the 1950s, but which has the style and plot conventions of science fiction of the 1920s. Leinster was already writing smoother, more mature stories than _The Forgotten Planet_ by 1954.


The style is loaded with choppy sentences ["Smolderings became flames. Sparks became coals"(63);"Burl watched them. And then he saw motion overhead" (75}] and repetitions ["His body felt remarkably warm. It felt hot"(61);"Two slender, threadlike antennae popped out. They withdrew and popped out again"(83)].
There are cliches: "Burl's hair stood on end from sheer fright"
(89). There is almost a complete absence of dialogue.


But the novel has a number of virtues as well. The first virtue is the realism of its monsters. Leinster consulted books on insects by Jean Henri Fabre, Ralph Beebe, and Maurice Maeterlinck to describe the behavior of his insects. Leinster's choices were excellent. All three of these writers were superb nature writers who based their books on careful first-hand observation. Here is one example among many of Leinster's realism:

The grasshopper strained terribly in the grip of the wasp's six barbed legs. The wasp's flexible abdomen curved delicately. Its sting entered the jointed armor of its prey just beneath the head with all the deliberate precision of a surgeon's scalpel. A ganglion lay there; the wasp poison entered it. The grasshopper went limp. It was not dead, of course, simply paralyzed. (33)

A second virtue of the novel is the simplicity of its story. It is a retelling of the Prometheus myth-- an account of how humans rediscover lost knowlege (including how to make fire) and how they finally choose a life of dangerous independence over a life of comfortable safety. The Prometheus figure is a primitive genius named Burl,who makes an incredible number of discoveries that he passes on to his tribe. We may fleetingly say to ourselves that it is unlikely that one person could make _that_ many major discoveries in the course of a few days. But we are willing to accept this improbability for the sake of the story.


In short, while _The Forgotten Planet_ has some of the weaknesses of 1920s science fiction, it also has some of its strengths. It has held up well over time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gripping!
When man ventured out into space, he found many planets in the correct zone to support human life, but upon these planets life had never appeared. And so, a great project began to terraform these worlds by seeding them with life from earth. But, on one such planet, a clerical error resulted in the process ending before it was finished, leaving molds and fungi and insects to grow to enormous and monstrous size. Later, an interstellar space-liner crashed on this world, bringing its last addition - humans. This is the story of Burl and his tribe of humans, trying to stay alive in a world of living horror, where giant insects stand atop the food chain and men must do what they can to survive!

I must admit that when I first heard about this 1954 book, I was somewhat dubious, as the premise of the story sounds a bit outlandish. Well, I am now a believer! The author does an excellent job of building a vastly different world that is fascinating and quite horrifying. The characters are believable, and the story is absolutely gripping! I loved this book, being quite unable to put it down until I had reached the ending. I highly recommend this book to all science-fiction fans who love reading a story set in a fascinatingly different environment.
... Read more


11. The Murray Leinster Collection: 28 Novels and Short Stories (Halcyon Classics)
by Murray Leinster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-03-29)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B003FSU74I
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
This Halcyon Classics ebook collection contains twelve novels and novellas and sixteen short stories by acclaimed science fiction/mystery writer Murray Leinster (William Fitzgerald Jenkins).Leinster (1896-1975) was a mainstay of the pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, and following World War II he broadened his audience by writing for Radio, Television, and Hollywood.Among his accomplishments, Leinster is credited with popularizing the notion of parallel universes and the concept of the internet.

This ebook is DRM free and includes an active table of contents for easy navigation.

Novels and Novellas

Fifth-Dimension Tube
Long Ago, Far Away
Murder Madness
Operation Outer Space
Operation Terror
Pariah Planet
Space Platform
Space Tug
Talents, Incorporated
The Pirates of Ersatz
The Wailing Asteroid
The World is Taboo


Short Stories

Invasion
Attention Saint Patrick
Evidence
Morale
Sand Doom
Scrimshaw
The Aliens
The Ambulance Made Two Trips
The Hate Disease
The Invaders
The Leader
The Machine That Saved the World
The Mad Planet
The Runaway Skyscraper
Sam, This is You,
A Matter of Importance

... Read more


12. Operation; Outer Space
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 114 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$9.22 -- used & new: US$8.97
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1153739321
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera; Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / General; Fiction / Science Fiction / Adventure; Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera; ... Read more


13. Short Works of Murray Leinster
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 250 Pages (2008-02-25)
list price: US$20.99 -- used & new: US$20.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1437512119
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
This collection includes: Morale, Sand Doom, This World Is Taboo, and The Runaway Skyscraper ... Read more


14. This World Is Taboo
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 90 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B003YJFUY0
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
This World Is Taboo is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Murray Leinster is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Murray Leinster then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Fine Romance
_This World is Taboo_ is one of Murray Leinster's Med Service yarns. It originally appeared in _Amazing_in 1960 under the title "Pariah Planet." It received little critical attention when it first appeared, and what little it got was lukewarm. I believe that it deserves a better fate; it is one of the top half dozen novels that Leinster wrote. It has one characteristic that makes it stand out a bit from the other stories in the Med Service series: There is an understated romance between Calhoun and the heroine, and there is even a tone of regret when the heroine marries somebody else at the end. The man whom she marries is certainly not the equal of Calhoun.

I have sometimes wondered whether Leinster (who hailed from Virginia) named his hero after John C. Calhoun, the great nineteenth century statesman from South Carolina. One of Calhoun's contemporaries once described him as a "cast iron man," similar to a massive machine. The nickname stuck. Leinster's Calhoun may also seem to be something of an iron man; but in _This World is Taboo_, there is a touch of humanity that shines through like a ghost in the machine. ... Read more


15. Talents, Incorporated
by Murray Leinster
Paperback: 128 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: B0040SY2NE
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Talents, Incorporated is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Murray Leinster is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Murray Leinster then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pure SF Fun
This is a long over due hardback publication of one of Murray Leinster's most entertaining novels.Never before in hardback, this little gem is just plain fun to read. ... Read more


16. The Pirates of Zan / The Mutant Weapon (Ace Reprint Double 66525)
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 253 Pages (1970)
-- used & new: US$78.25
(price subject to change: see )
Asin: 1441665250
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
Science Fiction Ace double-book ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Doctors, Tormals, and Buccaneers
_The Mutant Weapon_ by Murray Leinster and _The Pirates of Zan_ by Murray Leinster (1959) are a pair of Ace Double Novels that represent the Dean of Science Fiction at his best. Both first saw the light of day in _Astounding_ in 1959, the former under the title of "Med Service" and the latter as "The Pirates of Ersatz." Each story attracted a certain popular reputation. _The Mutant Weapon_ was the first of Leinster's Med Service stories featuring Dr. Calhoun and his _tormal_ sidekick Murgatroyd. The second was not part of any series, but it was a Hugo nominee for that year. I like both novels, but I prefer _The Pirates of Zan_ for its slapstick humor and its sense of good cheer.

Perhaps this might be an appropriate place to make a comparison with the narrative techniques of some other science fiction storytellers. Andre Norton, Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett, Lester del Rey and Poul Anderson were masters at putting you inside the skin of a point-of-view character, usually a character with some problem at the outset of the novel. Once you identified with that character, then they would tighten up the plot by increasing the problems of that character. You would frequently stay with the story because you identified with their central characters. But most of Leinster's novels aren't like that. He doesn't make you think what his character thinks or feel what his character feels or worry about what his character is concerned about. Rather, his stories are narrated by a kind of authorial voice a little bit outside of the hero who looks upon the hero's actions and motives with a bit of wry, ironic humor. This is essentially the technique used in these two novels; and it is, I believe, something of a liability. It is legitimate enough to do with short fiction; but when you get to novel length narratives, the reader should have _some_ emotional bond with the central characters. Ironic distance doesn't do.

Still, the plots manage to compensate for this weakness somewhat. In _Weapon_, it is in the form of a medical mystery-- why does somebody want to prevent a plague from being cured?-- with the clues fairly planted. In _Pirates_ it is in the form of a delightful blend of Gilbert and Sullivan with space opera. Much of the dialogue adds to the comic effect. Overall, two pieces of good craftsmanship. I give a three star rating to the first novel and a four star rating to the second. Here is one of the better than average Ace Double entries. ... Read more


17. Time Tunnel
by Murray Leinster
 Paperback: Pages (1967-01-01)

Asin: B000NXLREM
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18. Four from Planet 5
by Murray Leinster
Mass Market Paperback: 160 Pages (1964)

Asin: B000AN3ISI
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
The strange visitors had landed. Why had they come, and what unknown terror would they bring upon our world? The radio and television stations of the world carried the short, terrifying statement: The visitors were telepaths. These children from another time, another planet, were able to read human minds. They were utterly invincible. And they were infinitely dreaded... In the Pentagon and the Kremlin, leaders were grim with the awareness that all military secrets would be exposed... The overlords of the underworld realized the children could smash their most profitable rackets... And even ordinary citizens shuddered at the prospect of their shabby sins being found out. So four small children came to be hated by the entire world. A whole civilization wanted them dead. ... Read more


19. Murray Leinster. L'Autre côté du monde : Ethe Other side of heree, traduit de l'américain par A. Audiberti
by Murray Leinster Murray Leinster
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1990-01-01)

Asin: B0044MH3UA
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

20. 5 Sci-Fi Classics
by H. Beam Piper, Tom Godwin, Mack Reynolds, Murray Leinster
Kindle Edition: Pages (2008-07-24)
list price: US$4.99
Asin: B001D6WVZ2
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

*****
5 of the best Science Fiction novels in one:

Little Fuzzy, by H. Beam Piper,
Space Prison, by Tom Godwin,
Adaptation, by Mack Reynolds,
The Cosmic Computer, by H. Beam Piper,
The Aliens, by Murray Leinster

(With a table of contents) ... Read more


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