THE PASSING OF KU SUI [THE INTERPLANETARY ADVENTURES OF SPACE HAWK #4]by Harry Bates
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The Climactic Yarn in the Legendary Science Fiction Series from the Golden Days of the Pulps! Even Space Hawk stands aghast as Ku Sui's dreams of Empire seem within the archfiend's grasp. Before Hawk Carse, during the Hugo Gernsback/Amazing Stories era of science fiction, the typical story involved reams of scientific exposition by a group of friends, one of whom invented a space ship, as they then a trip to another planet, a tour of that world's futuristic technology, a revolt or warfare of some kind involving imaginative weaponry, and sometimes a princess in need of rescue, with each invention and incident explained at length. When editor Harry Bates founded Astounding Stories of Super Science, the magazine that would eclipse Amazing Stories, and all other science fiction magazines, for the next two decades, he created Hawk Carse, the Space Hawk, as a model of the streamlined, action-oriented science fiction he envisioned writers producing for the magazine, with the scientific explanations worked in briefly into the narrative flow, rather than dominating it. Space Hawk was an immediate hit with readers, and it is easy to see why, for the interplanetary adventure never stops in this short novel that launched the series. Although Bates meant his portrayal of the pilot of Carse's space ship as an African-American to be revolutionary at a time when most minorities played only menial roles or were villains in pulp magazine fiction, the effect is marred today by stereotyped aspects to the man's character and the unfortunate choice of the name "Friday." Such was Bates' range as an author that hardly a decade later, he would pen a series groundbreaking "thought variant" stories for Astounding, including "Farewell to the Master," which became the films "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
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