Edmond Hamilton, one of Space Opera’s fathers and almost certainly an influence on Douglas Adams

Last-of-the-Star-Kings2-CopyI must admit I started on Hamilton because he was married to Leigh Brackett, one of my all time heroes.

My first thought on reading him was, “Oh good, he wasn’t bad at all. That must have been nice for her.”

(Imagine a relationship where both were writers, but one was an embarrassment? Phew.)

I read on because he’s pretty mind-blowing — Hubble fan fiction with the Galaxy as the star, deep history and deeper space.

Something in his exuberant world building reminded me of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, odd because Douglas Adams always claimed to have never read beyond page 10 of any mainstream Science Fiction work. Imagine my glee when I found parallels in the text of HHGTG and Edmond Hamilton’s opus!

This gave me two rather good blog entries on Edmond Hamilton, one calling out the late great author, the other more or less excusing him and revelling in his connection to the tradition:

I haven’t been this excited by discovering a vintage writer since Harold Lamb, so I started cramming my Kindle with Hamilton, reading as much of his work as I could. Since he wrote solidly for 40 years, it took a long time to even read a significant proportion. Finally, I felt braced enough to write up what I had found so far:

There are a lot of writers I wish I had discovered earlier, and Hamilton is now firmly on this list.


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