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The Book of Skaith Volume 1: The Ginger Star…

The Book of Skaith Volume 1: The Ginger Star (Planet Stories Library) (original 1974; edition 2008)

by Leigh Brackett (Author), Ben Bova (Introduction)

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315755,987 (3.47)25
Eric John Stark, Outlaw of Mars, travels beyond the solar system forexciting science fantasy adventures on the planet of Skaith, a lawless sphere atthe edge of the known universe. Raised as a savage on the hostile planet ofMercury and honed into a fearless warrior in the low canals of the Red Planet,Stark is one of science fiction's greatest adventurers and is Leigh Brackett'smost famous character. In The Ginger Star, Simon Ashton, Stark's fosterfather, has been kidnapped by the Lords Protector, and only Stark can rescuehim!… (more)
Title:The Book of Skaith Volume 1: The Ginger Star (Planet Stories Library)
Authors:Leigh Brackett (Author)
Other authors:Ben Bova (Introduction)
Info:Paizo Publishing, LLC. (2008), Paperback, 220 pages
Collections:Your library, Appendix N, Planet Stories
Tags:sf, pulp, fantasy, Appendix N, Planet Stories, sword & planet, Skaith

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The Ginger Star by Leigh Brackett (1974)


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A planetary fantasy, Brackett’s first after a ten-year hiatus, published in the mid-1970s but really belonging to an earlier decade. Our hero, Eric John Stark, lands on the planet Skaith to seek his mentor Ashton, who has disappeared; he himself was raised by primitives on Mercury before Ashton rescued him and educated him in the ways of humans. (His name on Mercury was N’Chaka, which is suggestive.) On his quest northwards he runs into one well-written peril after another, aided sometimes by Gerrith, daughter of Gerrith, whose vision is that he will destroy the regime of the Lords Protector. (Guess what happens at the end?)

Brackett’s earlier stuff (or at least what I have read for Retro-Hugo purposes) was better, but this is still not bad if pulpy, and frankly much better than the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels which inspired it. But it’s curiously out of place in 1974; The Dispossessed, published the same year, a planetary romance much more in tune with the times, won both the Hugo and the Nebula, and I think most people would agree that the voters got it right. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 23, 2018 |
Another in the stack of old SciFi I picked up. Despite how I might feel about the plot & how she deals with women characters, Brackett is a good writer.
Adventure story: Eric goes to rescue an old friend on a faraway planet when the government is unable to intervene. At the end, the Lords Protector tell him "And what do you serve? The littleness of one man. For one man, you set our world in turmoil." This is a world where many slave to satisfy the wants of a few, so Eric's answer is "He too is only a symbol...The symbol of reality." ( )
  juniperSun | May 12, 2017 |
John Eric Stark whom I last encountered on Mars has found himself on the edge of the known universe, on a planet fallen from a higher level of civilization to a setting where the remains of the former tech have come to be regarded as magical manifestations. He's looking for his foster father, who disappeared in these parts, and the adventure begins to play itself out. I find it very redolent of Burrough's Barsoom, but it is adequate entertainment. ( )
1 vote DinadansFriend | Jan 2, 2014 |
Eric John Stark was born in a mining colony on Mercury. When his parents and the rest of the humans died in an accident, he was taken in and raised by the native inhabitants of the planet. Later more humans came and killed all the "savage beasts" and took Stark as a curiosity. He was caged and humiliated until being rescued and taught English and human ways by Simon Ashton. Now Ashton, a representative of the interplanetary alliance, has disappeared on a little-known planet called Skaith and Stark will do whatever it takes to find him. Brackett is like a combination of Burroughs and Bradbury -- this is inventive, classic science fiction with an exciting action/adventure bent. Highly recommended.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-ginger-star-by-leigh-brackett-1974.htm... ] ( )
  kristykay22 | Jan 21, 2013 |
For a review of the whole Skaith trilogy, see [The Reavers of Skaith] ( )
  sibylline | Jan 6, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leigh Brackettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, BobMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Stark got his final view of Pax from the tender,going out to the spaceport moon, and that was the best view he had had of it.
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