Monday, May 19, 2008

James Shmitz's Telzey Amberdon novels

For a good time, check out James H. Schmitz's Telzey Amberdon science fiction novels. A brassy teen telepath remeniscent of Nancy Drew, Telzey is just one of those people that never stays out of trouble...especially when it comes to her college friend who is marked for murder (with clues inside the mind of the pet mastiff-like arena dog), and saving a whole earth colony from a telepathic race of intelligent space tigers.

There are also hints of a conspiracy in the Psychology Institute, the government ministry that supposedly regulate the commercial use of telepathy...but who, in reality, are a scary conspiracy out to become a thought police, who capture any rogue telepath that doesn't tow the line.

Naturally, Telzey is a person that pokes her nose into other people's business, and seems surrounded by conspiracies and murder plots. Being her friend must have a short life expectancy.

The gadgetry in the series is pure pulp and a lot of fun: flying aerocars, wristwatches. The most notable developments are the is, pretty much the Internet, a universal system of instantaneous commmunication (and this was written in the 1960s!). This may be one of the few science fiction novels that actually anticipate the internet, something that, like many other developments that changed our world, almost no science fiction novels saw coming.

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