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Henry Martyn Mass Market Paperback – August, 1991

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Henry Martyn Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for his libertarian science fiction ( The Probability Broach ), Smith offers a change of pace with this swashbuckling space adventure, loosely patterned in the spirit of Rafael Sabatini and C. S. Forester. The powerful imperia-conglomerate of the 31st century spans the star systems, extorting from those under its rule. When young Arran Islay decides to live as a brigand, he declares war on "those who live by stealing property--life and liberty--from its rightful owners." Adopting the name of his murdered friend, Henry Martyn, he sets sail in search of fortune and revenge. Other Islay family members are fully delineated and play important roles in this story, written in an evocatively archaic style reminiscent of both the classic adventure tales familiar from childhood and the space operas of 1930s pulp fiction. The author has a flair for inventive future terminology and imaginative concepts: " Legos : The architectural style was still referred to by its legendary name." Smith blends intergalactic action, heroics and derring-do into a futuristic political thriller, and the result is a delight: piracy in high space, penned with panache.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812505506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812505504
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,662,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for Wrestling-like literature, turn elsewhere. This is a wide-sweeping adventure which is vastly entertaining on several levels. Mr. Smith has managed to create a universe which seems far-removed from our own, but which turns out to be amazingly similar at it's core. An inspiring story about a young lad who loses his home and family, but creates a life which inspires others. Like many of Mr. Smith's novels, this one has masterful character development and creates dramatic visual images. Would make an excellent film.
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Format: Hardcover
A slow, slow start as befitting the swashbuckling influences that Smith cites in his dedication. But once it gets going the action builds to a fun and satisfying ending. Archaic language that takes a while to muddle through will be charming to some, offputting to others. Also be prepared for some scenes that are shocking in the description of their violence.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose there may be hundreds or thousands of books written about space pirates, but L. Neil Smith always does a great job, and Henry Martyn in particular is a great book. The character development is good and most of the book is taken up in describing the setting and how the pirate came to be.

I found this book to be very gripping but not extremely fast paced. I've read science fiction all my life and this one falls in line while still being unique. The universe is Earth's distant future, and it is done very well. He didn't shy away from the dark truths of humanity.

I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked his North American Confederacy much more than the 'Droom novels, though this one is not at all bad. You could write the same novel as a Horatio Hornblower story, and it would not suffer much.

I guess the politics/boardroom backstabbing generates more talk than action, not to my taste.
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Format: Hardcover
I was quite looking forward to this "star-spanning, swashbuckling, epic adventure" which hinted at being a lovely combination of space opera and Rafael Sabatini. Unfortunately it's not much more than a tepid tale of betrayal and revenge with hardly any swashbuckling and little action. Too many tongue-twisting names, titles, and unnecessary tweaking of everyday words to make them more alien to the reader. Blah. Read "Captain Blood" instead.
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