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Agent of Vega & Other Stories    by James H. Schmitz order for
Agent of Vega & Other Stories
by James H. Schmitz
Order:  USA  Can
Baen, 2001 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

These classics by a master of science-fiction were published between 1943 and 1968. Since I remember fondly the hours of entertainment I enjoyed thanks to James Schmitz's talent and imagination, I was delighted to see that editors Eric Flint and Guy Gordon were able to bring out a new edition and thus introduce an SF master to a new generation. Mercedes Lackey's preface was also a pleasure to read. Her eloquent description of her discovery of science-fiction, and the sense of wonder it evokes, reminded me of my own similar experience.

The stories in the section 'Agent of Vega' present some unusual trouble-shooters with extraordinary autonomy, essential given the kinds of problems they are called upon to settle (from murderous pirates to alien invaders) virtually single-handed. The agents range from an irascible old pro to a supremely confident youngster. What they have in common is a toughness that refuses to yield, even to overwhelming odds. The remaining stories highlight Scmitz's versatility, and represent an interesting sampling of classic science-fiction, which has a flavour different from modern stories. You will meet a rather ruthless but beneficent secret society, some rebellious genetic supermen, a big brother who goes to considerable lengths to protect his sister, and a creepy little horror that grows and grows and grows ...

Like all good SF writers, Schmitz postulates what-if's that tickle the imagination. Thanks to Eric Flint, his other works are now available in attractive new printings. Enjoy an old master who knows how to spin an artful tale.

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