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Telzey Amberdon
James H. Schmitz, edited by Eric Flint & Guy Gordon
Baen Books, 435 pages

Telzey Amberdon
James H. Schmitz
James H. Schmitz was born in Germany in 1911 of American parents. When World War I broke out, they moved back to the United States. After it ended, they returned to Germany where his father worked for an American company. James went to school in Germany, then returned to Chicago in 1930 to go to business school and finally switched to a correspondence course in journalism. With no jobs because of the Depression, he returned to Germany to work with his father's company. With Hitler marching into Austria and Czechoslovakia, he and the family moved to St. Paul, then to Los Angeles. In WWII he joined the Army Air Force for 3 years, after which he settled in the Los Angeles area. He died in 1981.

ISFDB Bibliography
Table of Contents
James H. Schmitz Catalogue
James H. Schmitz Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Peter D. Tillman

Telzey Amberdon is classic light space-opera, starring a telepathic teenage supergirl. Good stuff!

Telzey Amberdon, age 15, is a genius, a law student, and a psi supergirl who can save the Federation in a fortnight, and still make it home in time for her 16th birthday party. This is silly but engaging fluff, sort of a Nancy Drew in space -- but much better-written. It's a pleasure to see the Telzey stories back in print -- I'd forgotten the breezy assurance of Schmitz's voice. Besides six Telzey 'chapters', first published as short stories 1962-71, there are two related stories: the nasty, pulpy "Blood of Nalakia" (1953), and a nice, if routine, space-piracy thriller, "The Star Hyacinths" (1961). Plus, there's a great polychrome and foil cover (Telzey with a pride of crest cats) by Bob Eggleton.

Editor Flint has done a nice job of assembling the Telzey stories into a coherent fix-up1 and publisher Baen is to be commended for introducing a new generation of readers to the pleasures of reading Schmitz -- until this, there was only one Schmitz book still in print.2

James H. Schmitz (1911-1981) is best-remembered for his wonderful Witches of Karres (1966) and the Telzey stories, all set in a far-future Federation of the Hub. Co-editor Guy Gordon wrote a nice overview of the Hub in an afterword. Baen plans to publish three more volumes of Schmitz stories. I'm looking forward to them.

1 Flint has been criticized for editing Schmitz with too heavy a hand, but I found no evidence of this -- the true Schmitz flavour came through loud and clear, complete with mid-century anachronisms...

2 The Best of James H. Schmitz (1991) at

Copyright © 2000 by Peter D. Tillman

Pete Tillman has been reading SF for better than 40 years now. He reviews SF -- and other books -- for Usenet, "Under the Covers", Infinity-Plus, Dark Planet, and SF Site. He's a mineral exploration geologist based in Arizona. More of his reviews are posted at .

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