Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Murray Leinster: An American Original

Will F. Jenkins wrote under his given name and under the pen name of Murray Leinster. I missed the fact that Virginia had honored him by naming June 27, 2009, Murray Leinster day. I never met him in person. But Murray Leinster was my companion on many an adventure when I was a boy. He was born on June 16, 1896 a couple of years before one of my other heros, C.S. Lewis. But I met Murray Leinster long before I read C.S. Lewis. I never passed up a book by Leinster. It was a license to adventure. He and Robert Heinlein's juveniles did more than anything else to get me interested in science.

I've been laying around the house recovering from a surgery performed on June 17, 2009 with not a lot to do. So I started reacquainting myself with many of the stories that I had first read long years ago in the 1950s when I was about twelve. I remember Willy Ley and Warner von Braun's books about exploring space. They were science fact, in fact NASA would have done well to follow their blue print for the space program instead of a race to the moon with the Soviet Union. But that's water over the dam.

Leinster's science fiction was full of clever ideas most of them at least partly rooted in fact. Leinster himself was an inventor as well as a writer. So what I did is turn on my Kindle, tune to the Amazon Kindle store and downloaded pretty much all the Leinster they had. Some of my favorites were not available at the Kindle store, so I'm waiting for them to come in the Big Brown Truck that has the location of my house memorized. Leinster was a writer who wrote very entertaining stories. They were not particularly profound, although they were deeper than a twelve year old could fully appreciate. I'm having a lot of fun getting reacquainted with my old friend Murray. Will F. Jenkins died June 8, 1975. His science fiction is a little dated here and there, but it's still a romp.

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