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The Witches of Karres (1966)

de James H. Schmitz

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Sèrie: Karres (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,0141915,021 (3.99)83
Captain Pausert, master of the old pirate-chaser Venture has finally found his niche. Unlucky in love and unsuccessful in business on his home planet, he seems to have a knack for selling job-lot cargoes around the fringes of the Empire. In fact, he¿s so far ahead of the game that he even finds time for the occasional heroic act. Like rescuing three poor child-slaves from their abusive masters. And then discovers he¿s broke again, wanted by the authorities and at odds with the most malevolent force in all of space. For Pausert hasn¿t rescued any ordinary put-upon juvenile slaves but three of the legendary witches of Karres complete with awesome psi powers...… (més)
  1. 00
    Four from Planet 5 de Murray Leinster (infiniteletters)
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    McLendon's Syndrome de Robert A. Frezza (Helcura)
    Helcura: A similar hapless male hero but in a totally different venue.
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The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz is a science fiction novel about a young space ship captain who rescues three sisters who were being held as slaves. He then finds himself getting involved in one wild adventure after another as he comes into contact with alien invaders, space pirates and his own magical powers.

The three little girls are witches from the planet of Karres, after returning them to their home, the captain’s adventures continue and one of the witches accompanies him. It’s quickly apparent that she is the brains of the operation, despite being only 10 years old. They are able to induce the powerful Sheewash Drive that can instantly transport their ship to a different location, but this is also what is attracting the attention of others, all of whom want to have this magical technology for themselves. As they travel through the dangerous space wilderness of Chaladoor they encounter many page-turning challenges.

The Witches of Karres was originally published in novel form in 1965, this edition has been slightly edited to remove certain dated references but it is still full of action, adventure and humor. This isn’t a book with a deep message or philosophy, it is simply a good old fashioned space opera that doesn’t take itself or it’s science too seriously. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 27, 2019 |
A book for older children I enjoyed back in the day (i.e. the 60’s), first discovered in the library and later with my own Ace paperback. Revisited on Kindle and still good kid-friendly fun, though at my age the pulp fiction elements stand out a bit more. Now reads like a prototype of PG rated movies like Star Wars (before it got dark) or Guardians of the Galaxy, although unlike the movies it is of course blessedly unselfconscious. Although it takes place in a sci-fi universe, it’s more akin to fantasy – definitely not hard SF. Even discounting the “Sheewash drive,” trips from one planetary system to another take about as long as a cross country trip in an RV. However, the SF background allows Schmitz to avoid the Renaissance fair/Tolkien elements of fantasy that can be off putting to adults.
It’s amusing that coffee and cigarettes are still part of the morning ritual 300,000 or more years from now, when earth is now a dimly remembered legend. Probably re-engineered to bring out the klatha power.
Maybe today some might detect a hint of pedophilia – there seems to be an expectation that Goth will marry Captain Pausart when she “comes of age.” Schmitz is probably aware of this; after all, the Captain’s initial dilemma regarding Maleen has to do with the legal and social ramifications of returning to his home planet of Nikkeldepain “with a pretty girl-slave,” where human trafficking is outlawed. Some of the narrative construction could be read as a workaround to the potential sexualizing of the witches. Although under age pubescent Maleen (14 yrs) initiates the Captain (played by Colin Hanks?) into the Karres community, she is moved offstage early on and assigned a fiancé. Middle sister Goth (prepubescent, about 9?) takes over for much of the book. This could potentially be even more problematic, but any implicit sexuality is deflected to the mature charms of the nefarious ship chandler Sunnat of Uldune and the gun totin’ Empire agent Hulik do Eldel (Goth is unconscious when she shows her stuff). Not that there isn’t resistance the other way; it’s Goth who punishes Sunnat, and one of her talents is the ability to shape shift into a mature female. On the other hand, if the Witches universe can ignore Einstein, it can ignore Freud as well.
I love Schmitz’s Dickens-like ability to coin memorable words and names for his universe: I still remember grazeem – it would make a fine call to order when the president is announced -- relling (has a kind of Madeline L’Engle echo) -- Laes Yango and his Sheem Robot, Megair Cannibals, the Leewit. Of course Goth didn’t have the association in 1966 with the term for a certain morose attitude associated with kids today; when she’s awake she’s bright eyed and bushy tailed even if she looks like a weasel. ( )
1 vota featherbear | Feb 17, 2017 |
This reprint of the 1966 classic is a thoroughly enjoyable and hard to put down book. When Captain Pausert of Nikkeldepain rescues three children from slavery, he has no idea what he is getting himself into, nor does he realize they are witches from the proscribed and mysterious planet of Karres. All of the major characters in this novel are very engaging and the adventure Schmitz crafts for them is as fresh today as the best of any current books in this genre. Read this book! ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Schmitz, James H.autor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Alexander, PaulAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Briemen, Reindert vanAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dillon, DianeAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dillon, LeoAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Miller, KurtAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Velez, WalterAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zinggeler;, JeffAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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This book is dedicated to a very good little witch named SYLVIA ANN THOMAS.
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It was around the hub of the evening on the planet of Porlumma when Captain Pausert, commercial traveler from the Republic of Nikkeldepain, met the first of the witches of Karres.
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"...and there you can stay without food or drink until the Holy Man comes in the morning!" he continued immediately, in the taut voice of a man who has gone through hysteria and is sane again. The captain realized he was addressing the Leewit.

"Your other Holy Man didn't stay very long!" the diminuitive creature piped, also ignoring the captain. Apparently she had not yet discovered Maleen behind him.

"This is a stronger denomination - much stronger!" the store owner replied, in a shaking voice but with a sort of relish. "He'll exorcise you all right, you little demon!"
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Captain Pausert, master of the old pirate-chaser Venture has finally found his niche. Unlucky in love and unsuccessful in business on his home planet, he seems to have a knack for selling job-lot cargoes around the fringes of the Empire. In fact, he¿s so far ahead of the game that he even finds time for the occasional heroic act. Like rescuing three poor child-slaves from their abusive masters. And then discovers he¿s broke again, wanted by the authorities and at odds with the most malevolent force in all of space. For Pausert hasn¿t rescued any ordinary put-upon juvenile slaves but three of the legendary witches of Karres complete with awesome psi powers...

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