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The Witches Of Karres by James H. Schmitz Review

Title: The Witches Of Karres

Author: James H. Schmitz

First published January 1, 1966

352 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780441894505 (ISBN10: 044189450X)

Rating: 4.16


Captain Pausert is no ordinary space explorer. He’s a master trader with a keen eye for a good deal.

When he rescues three child slaves, he thinks he’s doing a good deed. Little does he know that these three girls are witches of Karres with amazing psychic abilities.

As Pausert and his crew journey through the galaxy, they discover that the witches’ powers are more valuable than they ever could have imagined. But they soon realize that with great power comes great danger, as they find themselves embroiled in a battle for control of the universe.

The Witches Of Karres is a thrilling space adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

About the Author

James Henry Schmitz was a talented American writer born in Hamburg, Germany to American parents. Although he spent two years in business school in Chicago, he lived in Germany until 1938, departing before the outbreak of World War II in Europe.

During the war, Schmitz worked as an aerial photographer for the United States Army Air Corps in the Pacific. Following the war, he and his brother-in-law established a trailer manufacturing business which they later dissolved in 1949.

Schmitz gained recognition for his space operas and his portrayal of strong female characters like Telzey Amberdon and Trigger Argee, who defied the typical “damsel in distress” stereotype of science fiction during his time. His first published story, “Greenface,” appeared in August 1943 in Unknown magazine.

Most of his works are part of the “Hub” series, while his most famous novel, The Witches of Karres, is not. The book follows the story of juvenile “witches” possessing genuine psi-powers and their quest for freedom from slavery.

The novel was nominated for a Hugo Award.

In recent years, Baen Books has republished Schmitz’s novels and short stories, having acquired the rights to his estate for $6500. Some of the works have been edited, with Eric Flint adding notes.

Baen Books also published new stories based on the Karres universe.

Schmitz passed away in 1981 due to congestive lung failure after spending five weeks in a hospital in Los Angeles. He was survived by his wife, Betty Mae Chapman Schmitz.

Editoral Review

The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz is a classic science fiction novel first published in 1966.

Schmitz was a prolific writer of science fiction and fantasy during the Golden Age of science fiction, and The Witches of Karres was one of his most popular works. The book has been praised for its imaginative world-building, engaging plot, and memorable characters.

The story takes place in a distant corner of the galaxy, where humans have colonized many planets and developed advanced technology, including faster-than-light travel. The central character is Captain Pausert, a merchant trader who stumbles upon three young girls with supernatural powers on the planet of Karres.

The girls are witches, and they are being pursued by dangerous enemies who want to control their powers. Pausert takes the girls under his wing and sets off on a series of exciting adventures across the galaxy, skillfully evading danger and outwitting his foes.

The Witches of Karres is a thrilling adventure story that combines elements of science fiction and fantasy. It is a fast-paced and entertaining read, filled with action, humor, and suspense.

Schmitz creates a rich and vivid imaginary world, populated by a wide variety of alien creatures and infused with a sense of wonder and curiosity. The strength of the book lies in its characters.

Captain Pausert is a likable and resourceful hero, driven by a strong sense of duty and compassion. The three Karres witches, named Goth, Maleen, and the Leewit, are feisty and resilient, each with their unique talents and personalities.

The interactions between these characters are at the heart of the book, driving the plot forward and providing humor and depth. However, the book is not without its flaws.

The plot can be a bit convoluted at times, with too many twists and turns that may confuse some readers. Also, the world-building can be a bit inconsistent, with some elements feeling underdeveloped or implausible.

Finally, the book may feel a bit dated to some readers, with some of the gender and racial stereotypes of the time being present in the writing. Despite these limitations, The Witches of Karres is a fun and engaging read, perfect for fans of science fiction and fantasy.

It is a classic example of the genre, filled with adventure and imagination. The book has influenced many other works of science fiction over the years and remains a beloved classic to this day.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend The Witches of Karres to anyone looking for a thrilling and entertaining science fiction adventure. It is a well-crafted and imaginative book that will transport you to a strange and exciting new world.

While not perfect, it is a classic of the genre, and its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. I give it four out of five stars.