Captain Future was a pulp series of science fiction novels that started in 1940, mostly written by Edmond Hamilton. The stories, featuring Curtis Newton, aka Captain Future, aka The Wizard of Science were classic space opera with a pulp hero twist – Captain Future was sort of Doc Savage in space, complete with a team of quirky helpers and all that.
Now, for us here in Italy, and for my generation, Captain Future is a special thing, not much because of the novels – only a few were translated, and quickly disappeared – bu t because in the early ’80s the Toei Animation series was distributed in my country, a part of the “Japanese anime invasion”. To me it was a special treat, because I knew Hamilton, having read a few of his novels, and I had often heard mentioned the character but never been able to track down the books. Back then I was in my early teens and I loved Golden Age authors like Hamilton and Williamson, and so I really enjoyed the series (and to this day, I still like the jazz-based original soundtrack by Yuji Ohno, the same guy that did the Lupin III soundtrack).
It was therefore with a lot of expectations that I (finally) got myself a copy of Allen Steele’s 2017 novel Avengers of the Moon, that is presented as the first volume in an authorized reboot of the old Hamilton novels, written by noted hard SF author Allen Steele.
Expectations, I had, and also a few doubts – why reboot the old stories?