'The Aliens' Summary
His writing career took off in tandem with the huge popularity enjoyed by “pulp” fiction magazines. Initially, he wrote a variety of stories, ranging from detective fiction, romance, Westerns and adventure tales. However, when the pulps began to specialize in certain genres of writing, Leinster found his niche in Sci-Fi. He was, unlike many of the pulp writers of the day, also a talented craftsman. Most of his work is based on solid scientific principles and is extraordinarily prescient and predictive of events and devices that were to appear over the next half a century. In First Contact, he describes a “universal translator” while in another story, A Logic Named Joe, he portrays what we know as the Internet, smart-homes, communications, entertainment and data access through a system of “tanks”.
Murray Leinster wielded an exceptional influence over many other science fiction writers. Isaac Asimov was deeply indebted to him for ideas like a parallel universe and the shifting of time. Twenty five years after his death, his heirs sued Paramount Pictures for their movie title Star Trek: First Contact. They argued that the title First Contact was an infringement of the copyright they held on one of Leinster's famous stories called First Contact published in 1945.
The Aliens combines excitement, adventure, lots of Sci-Fi, a touch of romance and is extremely readable even today. It is also unique in that unlike many Sci-Fi stories of the day, it doesn't assume that any alien that encounters a human being in outer space is necessarily evil, running counter to the contemporary fear and xenophobia that gripped the United States at the time. A great weekend read!
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