on 8 June 2001
This book follows on from an earlier collection ("Telzey Amberdon") of short stories by the sci-fi author best known for "The witches of Karres". The stories are easy to read, and Schmidt's handling of Telepathy and other psionic disciplines helped define the genre for later authors. Many of these stories were originally published in sci-fi magazines of the day such as "Analog", accounting for the compactness and impact of his work. While I personally didn't find the stories in this collection as good as those in the previous "Telzey Amberdon" collection, it's still an excellent read for anyone with an interest in classic sci-fi.
on 27 January 2014
Dunno why they've asked me to review this again, I bought it ages ago (like 4 years!) they must have lost it. I'm sure I reviewed all the JHS stuff I bought then.
Anyway, I bought this to complete my collection of one of the all time favourite authors from my youth. James H Schmitz was one the best of the SF greats from the John W Campbell era of Astounding/Analog magazine, combining humour, adventure, and that sense of wonder that's the mark of all great SF. He wrote like top illustrator of the time Frank Kelly Freas painted. Between them they afforded me many many happy hours of entertainment half a century ago, and they're still doing it.
The " Hub-Worlds" series, of which this book is one, have somehow never dated like many SF stories do. The basic premise that any advanced race will tend to migrate inwards towards the Galactic hub where all the action is, because the stars are much closer together, is still good.( although we now Know about the black holes that live there too!).Fighting it out with other species, and the worst of our own, TNT are part of The Overgovernment's secret unofficial team of trouble shooters that keep the rest of the Federation safe.
There are books in the series with both T's in solo adventures, and others in which a variety of other equally exciting characters pop in and out of each others stories, like the ones in Schmitz's earlier " Agent of Vega", another great vintage collection.
If you want to know what the so called Golden Age of SF was all about, start collecting Schmitz now. A good starting place would be the first " Witches of Karres" story, probably his most masterful work, but you can forget the two non-Schmitz sequels,stick to the real thing.
Right now, unless you can pick up real oldie but goodie copies of his work, the main source of Schmitz re-issues is Baen books.That they brought them out again is great. That they thought any editing was necessary, wasn't. I'll leave you to find out what some of the old time authors thought of editors,(and critics!).
Synopsis: Telzey Amberdon, psi and telepath, gets into various problem scenarios, and in several she is joined by Trigger Argee - super-agent and clever problem-solver. These super-females battle it out with criminals, power-hungry psychopaths and aliens. In the final story Trigger is the main character.
Some of James H. Schmitz stories are among my all-time favourites (Witches of Karres; Demon Breed), and I generally like Telzey and Trigger too. These are not among their (or his) best, but there are still several (Ti's toys, the Symbiotes) that are good enough to lift it into the 3.5 stars bracket. But why o why does Baen put these dreadful illustrations on the cover?