get the question most people read reviews to
get an answer to out of the way right off the
Is this book worth reading?
The answer is a (slightly) qualified "Yes".
Chandler made no secret that the John Grimes
stories were basically space-opera sea stories
set in a far future. He began writing the
stories, as near as i can figure out, in 1961,
with "Chance Encounter", reprinted in this
volume. His style reflects the SF of the era -
solid, workmanlike prose with occasional
whimsical touches. If that sounds like
something you'd like, then have fun.
Personally, i like the Grimes stories.
The interesting thing is that Chandler didn't
write the stories in chronological order; he
skips around in Grimes' career. But as he
wrote, he came up with new ideas, which he
then incorporated in all stories he wrote in
Thus, we have stories late in Grimes' career
where the only faster-than-light communication
is "psionic radio", using trained telepaths
with "psionic amplifiers" - the brains of
dogs, described by non Psionic Radio officers
as "Dog's brains in aspic" ... and stories set
earlier in Grimes' career (but written later)
in which interstellar communications use the
FTL "Carlotti radio".
Stories late in Grimes' life in which ships
take off using "reaction drive" (rockets) ...
and stories earlier in his life, written
later, where takeoffs and landings are
accomplished by "inertial drive", a bit of
handwavium that is apparently some form of
And so on.
Doesn't detract from the fun, just a bit