Back when I was starting as a science fiction reader – as to say, in the late ’70s – I chanced upon an article in a magazine that basically quartered and killed E.C. Tubb and his Dumarest series. Cheap, repetitive, boring, bad bad bad. Oh, well, I took note and moved on – it’s not like there wasnt other stuff to read, right?
Fast forward to 2017 and the announcement that a TV series was in the works based on the Dumarest novels. Back then, a friend dropped on me the whole 33-books series, telling me it was a good opportunity for me to brush up on the plot before the series hit our screens.
The series never happened, I never read the books.
Then, this morning, two things happened.
First, I found that fated article again (I was putting some order in an old box) and I realized who’s the author – to wit one I wouldn’t trust to tell me the time of day.
Second, a contact on Facebook launched his own Dumarest Challenge – he’s planning to read all 33 books in the next six months.
And I thought… why not?
For the uninitiated, the Dumarest Saga (aka Dumarest of Terra) series is a 33-book space opera adventure series that British writer E.C. Tubb wrote between 1967 and his death in 2010. The series features the titular Earl Dumarest, a space adventurer looking for the fabled planet from which the humans came – yeah, you guessed it, it’s Earth – in a pretty colorful and pulpy galaxy filled with dangers, strange conspiracies and beautiful women.
Light entertainment, a perfect summer read, and a good way to alternate the more complex/demanding books I am reading.
So here I am, with a cunning plan – read a Dumarest novel every weekend over the next three months, which should bring me about halfway through the series. Should I decide to go on, I will blog about the books, because hey, that’s a neat idea too.
We start with The Winds of Gath, that’s 240 pages long and runs like a Japanese bullet train. Halfway into it, it’s pretty fun in an old-fashioned, unsophisticated way.
And as I looked for details for this post, I realized I after all did read some E.C. Tubb books – in a big fat omnibus of his Captain Kennedy space thrillers, a series he wrote under the alias of Gregory Kern, and that for some mysterious reason were published in Italy as Captain Ken – why not keep the Kennedy name on the cover? It’s a mystery.
Only four of the 13 Captain Kennedy novels were published in my country – and I found them fun Captain Future rip-offs, maybe a little naive in points.
So, here we meet again.
On to Gath.
I’ll keep you posted.