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Title: David Starr, Space Ranger
Series: Lucky Starr #1
Author: Isaac Asimov
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Scan
David Starr, youngest member of the Galactic Science Council, has been sent to Mars to find out why people on Earth are being poisoned with Martian food. Going undercover as a farmboy, Starr meets various characters and comes across the idea that Mars might have native Martians living in caves underground.
Starr investigates, meets the Martians, who have moved beyond the physical and into the purely mental plane of existence and gets a special mask from them that disguises him, gives him a personal force field and allows him to create the personna, The Space Ranger.
Starr solves the mystery and the legend of the Space Ranger is born. The book ends with him picking up a sidekick and waiting for another adventure.
Oh my goodness. This was so much fun. Short and zippy and chockful of that 1950’s American Attitude. In Space!
These Lucky Starr books were originally written in the 50’s or 60’s and then re-released in the 70’s. Asimov wrote a new intro for the re-release where he apologizes for scientific inaccuracies since a lot more knowledge had been discovered between releases. One, it was funny to read about the advances made in 20 years from almost 50 years later and two, it did credit to Asimov that he was willing to admit his stories weren’t accurate. If more authors would be that humble, that would be good for all of us.
This was a mix of science fiction, mystery and western all rolled into one. It reminded me of the radio dramas that I’ve heard before. If this had been written today, I’d say this would fall into caricature or even satirization, but Asimov was fully serious. It works. It is written to entertain and it does that admirably.
I think the rest of the series I’ll be better able to judge if this is decent quality or not. This one has that “new but nostalgia” factor for sure.