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The Rim of Space on Audio

Blackstone Audio have release The Rim of Space on Audio as part of A Galaxy Trilogy VOL. 4

A Bertram ChandlerA (Arthur) Bertram Chandler was born in Aldershot, England in 1912, Chandler sailed the world in every-thing from tramp steamers to troop transports before emigrating to Australia in 1956. Here he commanded merchant vessels under the Australian and New Zealand Flags up to his retirement in 1974.

Up until his death in 1984 he published over 40 science fiction novels and over 200 works of short fiction writing as A Bertram Chandler, George Whitley or Andrew Dunstan. Many of the novels had a nautical theme, with the plot moved from the seas of earth to the ships of space in the future. Many of the stories revolved around the character of John Grimes some times referred to as “Hornblower of Space”. While most stories are set in the future, they also have a distinctly “Australian” theme with places and stories relating back to Australia today.

Chandler was the last master of the aircraft carrier Melbourne. Law required it to have a master aboard for the months while it was laid up and waiting to be towed off to Asia to be broken up for scrap, so in a sense he really was briefly the master of the Australian navy's former flagship. Apparently he had his typewriter aboard, and worked on his novels!

Chandler received four Australian SF "Ditmar" Achievement Awards for his novels. Nearly all of his novels were published in the USA. Two of his short stories 'The Cage' and 'Giant Killer’ are regarded as some of the best SF stories written in the 1950's. He was also very popular in Japan winning the prestigious SEIUN SHO, the premier Science Fiction award. The Japanese editions have some of the best covers of any of the published editions.

Baen Books

Baen Books have released four John Grimes anthologies To the Galactic Rim: The John Grimes Saga, First Command: The John Grimes Saga II, Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga III and Ride the Star Winds: The John Grimes Saga IV. These are available as both eBooks and Trade Paperbacks

Prologue Books

Prologue Books have reprinted 8 Novels as eBooks, including the hard to find Glory Planet, now available for the second time since the initial Hard Cover publication. The published novels include Frontier of The Dark, Kelly Country, The Bitter Pill, The Sea Beasts, The Alternate Martians, Glory Planet, The Coils of Time and The Hamelin Plague

Audio Books

There are now 31 Novels available as audio books, including all the John Grimes Novels.  These are all available from audible.com.

Tales From Super-Science Fiction

The short story I'll take over (originally published as by George Whitely) has been published in the anthology Tales from Super-Science Fiction edited by Robert Silverberg.


Philosophical Gas This letter was published in Philosophical Gas (July 1975).

Please note change of address. We bought the home unit as an investment but it is, pro term, my working premises.

(13 April 1975) You’ve seen my old workroom, with one wall of bookcases. That room is now the dining room. The bookcases, repainted to match the decor, were moved to the large living-room. The entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, complete with year books, atlas and dictionaries, was taken to the home unit, also a few shelves of Chandler. (Most of the books by this author and the magazines containing his short stories were in duplicate, so quite a lot remains in the house.) Then I had the job of restowing the books in the repainted cases. I finished up with the tool shed half filled with the overflow. It’s a mystery. From now on call me Clancy! (If you call me Clem, okay.))

I retired from the service of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand on 28 March. I was back on their payroll on 4 April. I’ve got a ship, but no crew. Taking turns with another retired Master, I’m in charge of one of our vessels laid up at a small shipyard in Balmain until such time as employment is found for her or she is sold. Most portable items of equipment have been landed to the Company’ s stores, including, unfortunately, the ship’s office typewriter, and my own machine, although allegedly portable, is too damned heavy to lug back and forth each day with my overnight bag of dagwoods, thermos bottles, milk, fruit and reading matter. The ship being dead, I have no cooks to cook my meals and no stewards to make my bed. Apart from that, the job’s ideal for an introvert such as myself. And I sorely miss a typewriter. When I’m home I have no time, until things settle down, to do any writing.

When I reviewed THE DANGEROUS DESPERADOES I wandered off on to an evaluation of my own peculiar psychology. I’ve been doing some more evaluating. It all reminds me of a Thurber title - ‘Leave your mind alone’... Perhaps I should do just that. Anyhow, I’m in an odd situation. Every second night I am the only person aboard a ship I know quite well. She was my first Australian flag command. Do I sing myself to sleep each night with ‘Goodbye, old ship of mine’? Frankly, no. And that’s odd, because there is, I well know, a broad streak of ham in my make-up. But this is just a job, bringing in money at a time when it’s very welcome. There’s no sentimentality.

All in all, I think that I shall be able to make the transition from shipmaster to literary gent with surprising ease. One reason perhaps is that same streak of ham. As a Master I was something of a Walter Mitty. I loved the glamorous part of the job. But I was never really interested in the sordid financial details, and the even more sordid industrial wranglings never appealed to me. Or, come to that, to any Master. (Recommended reading on this subject is Monsarrat’s A FAIR

(13 May:) I am still getting telephone calls from my publishers in Tokyo. Invariably they ring when I’m out. Then Susan assures them that I shall be in the following evening and a time, 1730ish, is arranged. Then I have to stay at home and wait and wait until Tokyo comes through, at about 2100.

The latest call was about illustrations, again, this time for ‘To prime the pump’. They want me to supply a map bf El Dorado! There was one amusing example of the troubles Sat afflict the translator - and the translatee. You may recall that in ‘To prime the pump’ there is a tussle with a fearsome underwater beastie called a ‘rock ogre’. I mentioned that it was actually native to Australis but had been introduced to the waters of El Dorado because it was good eating. The translator got Australis confused with Australia and thought that the rock ogre was something infesting our own Barrier Reef...

(16 May:) My translator asked rue if Commodore Grimes is a descendant of one John Grimes who was one of Hornblower’s shipmates in HORNBLOWER AND THE HOTSPUR. Mphm? I’ve always thought of Grimes as being descended from Hornblower himself, just as Tarzan is descended from Mowgli and that horrible Golden Amazon (the Ziff-Davis incarnation) from Tarzan, and Sexton Blake from Sherlock Holmes, and Modesty Blaise from James Bond, &c &c and &c. The question got me thinking. As soon as l can get hold of a copy of the Hornblower story I’ll try to work something out. Could Hornblower’s John Grimes have had a wife, or a sister? Or did Hornblower unknowingly abandon some trusting maiden to her fate, and did that John Grimes marry her just in time to save the child from being born a bastard?

Now I’d better get on with a job of work that I’ve been putting off - the construction of a chart of El Dorado...