The world of the period from which these stories are taken, the 30’s and early 40’s, was a much different place than today. There were still places in the world that were unexplored and the planets were known from blurry view through a telescope. It was easy in such a world to imagine that Venus was covered with cloud-shrouded swamps that were the homes to giant reptilian creatures; that Mars was covered with the canals of a dying civilization, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn supported strange life forms and served as bases for space pirates.
This was the world in which Edmond Hamilton wrote his tales of adventure and wonder. His heroes could take off in their rocket ships to battle monstrous aliens with atomic pistols in the jungles of the asteroids or the swamps of Venus. Space pirates might prey on luxury liners bound for the moons of Saturn and secret cults might try to establish a gateway to another dimension, but in the end the hero would survive, and, if appropriate, get the girl.
By today’s standards, these stories may seem a little “corny”; the was science dubious at best and just plain unbelievable at worst, but the purpose was not to predict the future, but to serve as a spring board for the imagination. They were, most importantly, about the action, of which there was plenty. The best way to approach these stories is to accept them for what they are — tales of adventure and imagination — and enjoy them on that basis rather than try to over analyze them.
Edmond Hamilton was one of the leading authors of this period, and Resurrected Press is happy to be offering this collection of his works.