A Logic Named Joe
by Murray Leinster

Review by
Robert Wilfred Franson
edited by Eric Flint & Guy Gordon
introduction by Barry Malzberg
Baen, New York; 2004

600 pages

June 2006


A Logic Named Joe is a wonder-filled omnibus collection of Murray Leinster, not least because it includes The Pirates of Zan, one of my lifelong favorite novels — the perfect space-pirate novel. Altogether there are three novels and three short pieces, first published from 1935 to 1964; one of the novels is fantasy, all the other entries are science fiction:

  • "A Logic Named Joe"
  • "Dear Charles"
  • Gateway to Elsewhere  (Journey to Barkut)
  • The Duplicators  ("Lord of the Uffts")
  • "The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator"
  • The Pirates of Zan  (The Pirates of Ersatz)

This is a rather different cross-section of Murray Leinster's work than in other recent big collections of Leinster: First Contacts (from NESFA), or Planets of Adventure (from Baen), or the series collection Med Ship (from Baen). All of these collections are very worth reading, but for an introduction to Leinster, I think I'd advise starting with this book, A Logic Named Joe. Except for The Duplicators which is late-written and rather a filler, the stories herein all are excellent and unusual.

Baen does their usual thoughtful service of providing the stories' publishing history, with original magazine dates and alternate titles. Few publishers bother with this, or strive to get it correct. (We leave aside those who falsely trumpet "first time in paperback" and similar mispackaging.)

A worthwhile and distinctive assortment: innovative, thoughtful, and funny — often at the same time. I highly recommend it.


© 2006 Robert Wilfred Franson

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