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Agent of Vega & Other Stories by James H.…

Agent of Vega & Other Stories (original 1960; edition 2001)

by James H. Schmitz

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4741034,211 (3.78)None
Title:Agent of Vega & Other Stories
Authors:James H. Schmitz
Info:Baen (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, collection

Work details

Agent of Vega [collection] by James H. Schmitz (1960)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is a tough one for me. I really loved "The Witches of Karres" but I did not especially enjoy these stories. It's 60's space opera in in Schmitz's style but it was all a little rushed. Like all good SF the stories are written with the assumption that the reader will pick up the rules of "this world" as you go along. Sometimes it would be better if this author did a little more "show and tell" as not all readers are fully invested in his world. There are lots of "how thing work" sprinkled throughout the stories but if you haven't cared about the protagonist by the middle of the story it's to late to salvage it.

The best of the lot was "The Truth About Cushgar". I was less impressed with the telepath centered theme of other stories. ( )
  ikeman100 | Nov 5, 2019 |
baen ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Classic science fiction tales from the golden age. Schmitz's protagonist in several of them is unusual in being both non-human and female.
  Fledgist | Feb 22, 2011 |
I want to be a Zone Agent from Vega. Agents from Vega are the coolest law enforcement dudes ever. You can keep your lightsaber and mind tricks. I don’t want a Lawgiver and a fancy uniform. All that gimmicky stuff out of the Applied Sciences Division of Wayne Enterprises can’t hold a candle to the gear that a Zone Agent has access to.

Complete review at: The Great Gnome Press Science Fiction Odyssey, and a close-up examination of the book itself.
( )
1 vote raisey | Feb 10, 2010 |
I used to own a paperback edition of the Gnome Press book with this name. The Baen version is much longer, as the original version had only the first four stories.

Most of the stories in this book involve law enforcement/secret agent types working for the Overgovernment (the government's name actually varies from story to story, but OG is one of those names and seems like a good description). The main characters are ends-justify-the-means sorts, often with superpowers (telepathy, usually, and sometimes other advantages). On the whole, the stories read like mysteries, but rather exotic mysteries. One story's an unabashed traditional horror story, which seems a bit odd in this context.

On the whole, the book is mostly fluff; all are the sorts of tales John Campbell liked to use to fill the gaps in Astounding and Analog. A couple, though, deserve mention:

End of the Line watches some custom-bred superhumans break away from their overseers; it's rather nicely turned. And The Second Night of Summer is a delightful little encounter between a secret agent, her very young friend, and an alien race that's pretty dangerous.

Fluff, I called these. But interesting fluff. This book provides an opportunity to watch Schmitz develop his strengths, as the book spans a couple decades. (Note: Some of the copyright attributions are clearly wrong; Astounding evolved into Analog in 1960, which isn't what the page shows.)

Well-written, and fun to read.

This review has also been published on a dabbler's journal. ( )
  joeldinda | Dec 27, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James H. Schmitzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flint, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, GuyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poel, W.I. Van DerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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