FFB: Space Tug by Murray Leinster

this is the 111th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Space Tug by Murray Leinster © 1953, this edition 1954, Pocket Books 1954 mass market paperback, science fiction – 2nd Joe Kenmore novel

Space TugScience fiction was an entirely different thing fifty-nine years ago, which should come as no surprise. Today this novel of early space travel, culminating with man’s first landing on the moon, is considered a YA novel, in it’s time it would have been aimed at both adult and young SF readers.

Story: After the United Nations couldn’t build and launch a “space platform” due to vetoes by certain powers, what we now call a manned satellite, the United States did it on their own. In the previous Joe Kenmore book Space Platform the building and putting into orbit was detailed. In this one, it’s now time to set up routine supply rockets to the Platform, and to protect it from the wrathful attacks of  those certain powers, who fear the U.S. will try to force it’s will upon them. Defensive rockets must be transported to the platform at once in manned rocket transports. Joe will be the pilot, with his three-man crew.

An aside: This is certainly what would be described as “hard science fiction” today. Leinster, like most of the science fiction authors at the time, leans heavily on the science aspect and there are many paragraphs devoted to it, which give the book a strong believability if read with the 1953 level of science and knowledge in mind. Developments since have completely changed our views.

Story, continued: Joe and his crew endure high G forces on take-off, have to dodge hostile rockets, make adjustments to their course – not an easy thing – and then learn to deal with free fall and working on null gravity once on the Platform. The return trip to earth is even more harrowing.

My opinion: Remember, when this was written WWII was only eight years past, and when in a scene the characters drive somewhere they’re probably in a 1953 Ford. Read this one with the time it was written in mind and I think you’ll enjoy it.

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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Friday Forgotten Book, Review, science fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to FFB: Space Tug by Murray Leinster

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Some of Leinster’s work might be dated, but he was a heck of a storyteller.

  2. Richard says:

    Bill, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  3. I’m a longtime fan and I read this one many years ago(not this edition as I remember). Way back then I had a habit of lending books out and a disturbing number of them never made it home.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Both books sound like fun.

  5. I agree with Bill. Leinster was a born storyteller. I’ve read a couple dozen of his books and have enjoyed every single one.

  6. Richard says:

    Randy, I used to do that too. I wanted to share the cool books I had and had read. I stopped doing it because if they came back, they came back damaged. One thick paperback I loaned had been accidentally dropped into a bucket of water. The woman dried it out as best she could and returned it proudly proclaiming she had “saved it”. That may have been the last book I loaned.

  7. Richard says:

    Jeff, I can’t speak to the first one, which I have yet to find, but I enjoyed this one once I adjusted my mind to the time frame. It certainly reflects the cold war thinking of the time.

  8. Richard says:

    George, he was no Heinlein or Clarke, but he was solid in every respect and I always enjoy reading his stuff. I particularly enjoyed his Med series.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I liked The Med Series too.

  10. Looks and sounds like a fun book. I’ve not read him before but he has been on my radar for awhile….although I’m getting a feeling I may have actually read a short story or two in an older anthology. At any rate, love the cover on this one and will keep a look out for it on my travels.

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