Poke the Publisher: Lucky Starr

I think I was a kid the first time I picked up a Lucky Starr book; I know it was "Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus", because the book entranced me from the beginning. The science fiction Sherlock Holmes format captivated me, and I was delighted at the mystery beneath the beautiful Venusian oceans filled with its gigantic jellyfish and tiny little sea frogs.

At the time, the book was being republished under Asimov's name instead of his original Lucky Starr pseudonym Paul French, and I remember being old enough to enjoy Asimov's author notes at the beginning of the novel, as he explained how science at the time of publication had genuinely believed we might find oceans on Venus, but that science had marched on since then and we now knew that really wasn't the case. Rather than be embarrassed that his novel was now a bit out-of-touch with current scientific thought, it struck me as quite sensible that the point become a learning opportunity for the reader; I respected his straightforward tone and the sense that, even as a child, I wasn't being talked down to by this author.

The Lucky Starr novels are dated, but delightful, and most follow a very Sherlock Holmes esque feel. David "Lucky" Starr is the Renaissance man of space, dedicated to solving riddles and puzzles that most men cannot; his stout Martian friend Bigman Jones provides the loyalty and muscle of Watson, as well as the all important denseness so that Lucky can explain his deductions to the reader. The space opera feel is quite delightful, and though I understand the books were some of Asimov's earliest, they are still my favorites and I will frequently bring my tattered paperbacks out for a nostalgic trip on a rainy day.

Amazon link to the omnibus here.


Remember: Readers who post in the comments that they've poked the publisher via any or all of these links will be mentioned in a subsequent "Poke the Publisher" entry, which is a level of fame that will open doors at least as easily as infinite wealth, extravagant beauty, and perpetual immortality.

Also remember: By poking the publisher, you are not indicating that YOU are waiting to buy this book in e-Book format, but rather that your dear friend Ana is waiting to buy this book in e-Book format to review, dissect, deconstruct, and otherwise desecrate for your reading pleasure. And buy it I shall, just as soon as it comes available in the U.S. of A.

Credit for last week's Poke the Publisher feature must go to Brin Bellway, Liz Kales, Gelliebean, Cupcakedoll, and Dav. Each one of these delightful people are smarter than Sherlock Holmes and David Starr combined, and each of them are also significantly better violinists.

5 comments:

Gelliebean said...

Poking accomplished!  I've always loved Asimov's Black Widower mysteries, but I'd never heard of this series before. 

(and I'd love to be a violinist - sadly, I can only dabble at piano.)

Loquat said...

Nothing against Lucky Starr, but Kate Beaton has something to say about the idea that Watson's job is to be dense.

Redwood Rhiadra said...

Ooh, good choice! Poked, poked!

Amaryllis said...

Oh my goodness. I haven't thought of Lucky Starr in forty years.

Poked.

Brin Bellway said...

I've read lots of Asimov, but never any Lucky Starr. Probably should, but I have a very long reading list at the moment. Maybe someday.

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