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Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga Paperback – December 6, 2011

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Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga + Ride the Star Winds (The John Grimes Saga) + To the Galactic Rim (John Grimes Saga)
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Product Details

  • Series: John Grimes Saga (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451637632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451637632
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. Bertram Chandler was an Australian SF master who filled magazines such as Astounding  with adventure and space opera extraordinaire during the 1960s and 1970s. He was a favorite of legendary editor John W. Campbell and was a merchantman seaman commanding various ships in the Australian and New Zealand navies during much of his early life—a background Chandler puts to full use in his John Grimes stories.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Star Courier." Former Federation Survey Service Commander John Grimes establishes the Far Traveler Couriers. As owner and solo operator he makes deliveries from his home base of Tiralbin to Boggarty on board his Little Sister vessel until the Shaara capture him and display him as a low level beast.

"To Keep the Ship." Little Sister remains under arrest to be auctioned to pay Grimes' fines on Pangst for taking native animals to the New Syrtis Zoo. Grimes needs money so he takes the tedious job on the Bronson Star. However, when he rescues Susie and her friends; they reciprocate by taking over the cruiser and threatening to kill him unless he cooperates.

"Matilda's Stepchildren." On the Bronson Star, Grimes transport muckraker Fenella Pruin so that she can do a story on the sex industry of Venusberg. The pair mutually detest one another though the boring voyage is made fun by fighting for top potion. Grimes ends up in the midst of a clean-up operation and meets Underpeople Shirl & Darleen

"Star Loot." After Little Sister is sold, Grimes buys Epsilon Scorpii; which he rechristens as Sister Sue. He joins the El Doradan Navy as a privateer.

The third exciting John Grimes omnibus saga (see To The Galactic Rim and First Command) reprints his adventures as a Galactic Courier. There is somewhat a sameness in tone as Grimes meets females fatales who "help" him step into the crosshairs of dangerous rogues. The best two tales are the fresh Star Courier in which Grimes starts his new career and Star Loot in which much of what is going on is deftly tied together with an exciting climax. Fans of Grimes will relish his time as a courier.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
This is the third of four reprint omnibuses of the John Grimes saga. I was reasonably taken with the first volume but found the second rather disappointing. This go round has a mixed quartet of stories. My conclusion is that Grimes is not half-bad when he's actually out in space, but once he makes planetfall the tales become a somewhat tired mix of dated sexuality, busy storylines, and an overdose of Australia. The first story, Star Courier, is not terribly well-written -- it reads more like a story outline than a fully-textured narrative. Most of the story takes place on land, where Grimes and a companion are put on show by the insectoid Shaaras. To Keep the Ship, the second story, is really more like two or three stories in one, with only the last episode -- where Grimes is trapped aboard ship with some cunning miniature beings -- being very interesting. Matilda's Stepchildren once more takes place primarily on land. A muckraking reporter charters Grimes to take her to a pleasure planet that hides a number of dark secrets. There's a lot of action, but ultimately I found it of little real interest. The book finally redeems itself somewhat with Star Loot, the closing tale, where Grimes hires on as a privateer for El Dorado. These stories are at their best, as I said, when Grimes is beyond an atmosphere and we get a glimpse of shipboard routines, stresses, and personal interactions. All in all, that last story is worth the read. The others, frankly, I can take or leave...mostly leave.
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...and I don't complain. I'm nearly halfway through this, the third volume in the Baen series, which has effectively been my long-belated introduction to Chandler's work.

I quite like the style, the characterization, the at-times laugh-out-loud dialogue, the...alright, randiness...and perhaps best, the informed meld of spacefaring with mercantile seafaring. Chandler unquestionably knew the latter.

Peaks and troughs and retreads, of course, and nothing I've read to date is the best the genre has to offer. Chandler at times pays direct homage to the "underworld" stories of Cordwainer Smith. Comparisons with one Horatio Hornblower appear rife but I don't know enough to compare. And the shorter the story the stronger I find the tale. (I agree with Mr Taggart about today's "bricks" though John Grimes' travails aren't called "saga" for nothing.) Yet the read entertains on the whole, it's so far lasted the summer long, and I plan to sail on through to journey's end.

Completists take note: The Baen series doesn't print the entire corpus of Chandler's work on Grimes. After this volume I plan to read the final three of six volumes published earlier under the mantle of the Science Fiction Book Club. (UPDATE: Chandler's novel "The Anarch Lords", which opens the fourth volume in the Baen series and ends the third volume in the SFBC series, bridges the gap.) Save for a posthumously published short story in a Jack Dann anthology the SFBC series appears complete, with the final two volumes taking Grimes and...truly, by now, his wife? "the Rim" and beyond...and back, I can only hope.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David K. Taggart on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my science fiction"phan"/mania period (circa mid-60's to mid-80's) I avoided Chander because I had a limited budget, and the Grimes stories just weren't worth it. Unhappy with the 500-word bricks that make up most modern science fiction novels, I went back to give these another try.

Still to be avoided.

Just not good enough. They hang on horrid puns, bizarre Australian-isms, and the exciting revelation that "in the future women, will be naked a lot".
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