Northwest of Earth

I bought this book from the Science Fiction Book Club recently. It is a collection of stories about a futuristic outlaw/mercenary named Northwest Smith. The stories were written in the 1930’s by C.L. Moore. While I really liked the character of Northwest Smith and his Venusian partner, and I could even suspend disbelief at the descriptions of Mars and Venus, the stories dealt too much with fantasy themes instead of science fiction ones. Of the 13 stories, I enjoyed 2-3 of them; the others dragged on with great descriptions but very little conversation or action. These stories I did not like were about mythological beasts or vampire-like creatures. I was looking for some good sci-fi writing. Of the stories I liked, one was a good time travel paradox story, one was a decent exploration story, and one, while it dealt with fantasy and magic, had some good characters to make you look past this setting.

After reading this collection, I just wish the author would have taken her characters to some better places; she was certainly a good writer, I just did not enjoy her style of long, drawn out prose instead of more character interaction and conversation. I am sorry to say this was another Sci-Fi Book Club disappointment for me.

Leave a Reply