The two novels in the Resurrected Press publication, Operation Terror, were written at the height of the Cold War. Murray Leinster has managed to capture the paranoia of that period perfectly. Not only was there the perceived threat of ever larger arsenals of atomic weapons poised to obliterate civilization, there was a distrust of governments which intruded ever deeper into the lives of their citizens, yet who acted behind a veil of secrecy. Of course, in retrospect, some of this distrust was justified. Secret experiments were conducted without the consent of the participants. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone isn’t out to get you.
This time was also the height of the flying saucer panic. Beginning with the first sightings in the late 40’s by the end of the 50’s many people were convinced that little green men were about to land, or had already done so only to have the fact concealed by the government. The movies of this period only served to fan the hysteria. But along with the fear, there was also the hope that aliens from space might provide the wisdom for mankind to find a way out of the nuclear conundrum.
These, then, are the themes that Leinster works with in this pair of novels from the late 50’s and early 60’s. But while doing so, he doesn’t avoid giving us a couple of good stories with plenty of action. Of course, by the time Operation Terror and Long Ago, Far Away (also known as Four from Planet 5) were written, Leinster had been writing science fiction for over four decades.
About the Author
Murray Leinster was the pen name William Fitzgerald Jenkins (1896-1975), which he used for most of his science fiction. The exception was when he had more than one story in a magazine issue at which time he would use Will F. Jenkins for one of them. His first science fiction story was The Runaway Skyscraper which appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy. He continued to write numerous stories and novels into the 60’s. Among his best known stories are First Contact, Sidewise in Time, A Logic Named Joe and Exploration Team. In addition to science fiction he wrote a number of mysteries and westerns. He also wrote novelizations for a number of television series in the 60’s.
More from Editor's Notes - Science Fiction .
- James H. Schmitz Resurrected: Selected Stories of James H. Schmitz - Editor's Notes
- Adventures In The Fifth-Dimension: Includes The Fifth-Dimension Catapult and The Fifth Dimension Tube - Editor's Notes
- Operation Terror - Editor's Notes
- H. B. Fyfe Resurrected: The Works of Horace Brown Fyfe - Editor's Notes
- Philip K. Dick Resurrected: The Early Works of Philip K. Dick - Editor's Notes