Author Topic: Old SF classic by Williamson and Gunn back in print  (Read 213 times)  

Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Old SF classic by Williamson and Gunn back in print
« on: November 12, 2014, 07:27:23 pm »

Star Bridge, by Jack Williamson and James E. Gunn. Released Tuesday, it was on my eReaderIQ list for several years. First published in 1951, it is a collaboration between two of the most distinguished authors of the time. It's very much still anchored in the pulp tradition of the late forties and early fifties. A mercenary on a mission that ends up pitting him against a powerful elite that includes a beautiful woman (of course). Still, I found it to be an interesting work to read again after all these years. I still liked it, despite it being unfashionable by today's standards. Not much in the way of characterization, very plot/idea driven, a very fifties attitude toward women characters (the male characters aren't all that much better). It does, however contain two of the most memorable characters I've come across in SF: Oliver Wu and his diamond-eating one-eyed parrot named Lil. I would have liked to see more books with Wu and Lil, but none were forthcoming.

This edition contained an afterword that explains why there are two authors credited. Jack Williamson had written the first fifty or so pages and had a rough outline, then got a case of writer's block. After not making any progress for a while, he asked his friend James Gunn to take over and finish the book. After Gunn finished, Williamson revised it to be more in his voice (I guess). It still reads as more of a Gunn novel than a Williamson one, though.

This is only one of a dozen old favorites I have on my notify list. I'm glad to say that it lived up to my expectation and memories as a semi-cheesy space opera from the end of the pulp era of SF.

 Good fun. How could it not be with a diamond-eating one-eyed parrot?  Fun is something sorely lacking in just about all 'modern' SF.


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