y First Command : The John Grimes Saga II selected work   novella   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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After moving on from the Terran Navy, John Grimes tries his hand at leading a private life, and finds he likes being his own man. The only problem is, his ship The Far Traveller has a (very stubborn and very feminine) mind of its own, and a penchant for getting Grimes into the worse sort of interplanetary trouble!

The second in a four-volume collection of the legendary John Grimes books published by Baen Books, this collection comprises the entire Far Traveller Courier saga.

[Source: Baen Books website]


* Contents derived from the New York (City), New York (State),
United States of America (USA),
Baen Books , 2011 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Spartan Planet, A. Bertram Chandler , 1968 single work novel science fiction

Lt Commander Grimes arrives on the forgotten planet Sparta where humans had long ago settled and have since modelled their society on the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta. Indeed, Sparta, originally an early Federation colony, has been out of touch for so long the people have forgotten they’re a colony. Over time a civilisation based on war and violence and crude pleasures has developed. It is also a planet where human beings (all men) are produced by birth machines and women are unknown.

The story is told from the perspective of Brasidus, one of the small planet's policemen. Never having laid eyes on a woman, or imagined that such strange beings exist, he and most other residents of the planet Sparta think that the female crew of Grime's ship, including Margaret Lazenby (Grime's sometimes sex partner) are deformed men, and they can’t fathom what the peculiar bumps on their chests are.

Although Grimes and his crew have the best intentions during their stay on the planet they eventually manage to turn the whole society on its head. Horrific events unfurl and truths become known, setting in motion changes that have a profound effect on the Spartan society.

(p. 1-148)
The Inheritors, A. Bertram Chandler , 1972 single work novel
'Drongo Kane never broke the law.... He was a cunning, ruthless opportunist who paid when he had to and stole when he could -- but never when there was the slightest chance of getting caught. That's what had John Grimes worried: here was Kane directly under the watchful eyes -- and guns -- of a Federation Survey vessel, openly engaging in kidnapping and trafficking in human flesh! Despite the fact that the beautiful inhabitants of this Lost Colony faced a fate worse than death, a more cautious -- or less gallant -- officer would do nothing -- secure in the knowledge that regardless of appearances there would be some loophole that placed the Law squarely on Kane's side. But Grimes, being Grimes, would have to act -- knowing full well that to "interfere with a merchantman on her lawful occasions" meant a blasted career... and knowing too that Drongo Kane never broke the law..'

(p. 149-286)
The Big Black Mark, A. Bertram Chandler , 1975 single work novella

'Commander John Grimes, Federation Survey Service, should have been happy but he was not.' Although recently promoted, much to his surprise, Grimes finds himself consigned once again to being captain of a non-war ship. It doesn't help that his new vessel, Discovery (another Census ship) is a badly neglected rust-bucket. Worse still is the crew - a bunch of malcontents comprising the worse the Survey Service has to offer.

Before long a mutinous atmosphere begins to pervade the ship, with the situation spiraling downhill after Grimes is forced to cite the leader of the ship's marines, Major 'Mad' Swinton with the court-martial offence of murdering citizens from another planet. Grime's own misgivings about the voyage also manifest themselves through snatches of memory relating to the 'Wild Colonial Boy' and the ill-fated Bounty.

When the Commander and a few of his faithful crew are eventually dispatched into space aboard a tiny escape craft, he begins to understand how Captain William Bligh must have felt. Not only about the big black mark against his service record, but also about surviving against impossible odds.

(p. 287-526)
The Far Traveller, A. Bertram Chandler , 1976 single work novella

Having resigned from the Federation Survey Service rather than face a court-martial for losing his ship in a mutiny (see The Big Black Mark), John Grimes finds himself stuck on the Planet Botany Bay and in urgent need of employment. His saviour comes in the form of the lofty Baroness Michelle d'Estang and her ship the Far Traveller. Built of gold and designed to be a rich woman's plaything the ship is piloted and run by an advanced computer known as Big Sister. And thus while Grimes might be the human Master (in so far as the ship's insurer is concerned), its Big Sister who rules the roost.

'Take one thoroughly spoiled, fabulously wealthy El Doradan baroness, one solid gold spaceyacht complete with almost human pilot-computer, one piratical space tramp captain, add the accident-prone John Grimes, late of the Federation Survey Service, stir and mix thoroughly-and the things that happen shouldn't happen to a Morrovian dog!' (1977 Hale edition).

(p. 527-724)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Baen Books , 2011 .
      Extent: 724p.
      ISBN: 143913457X, 9781439134573
    • Wake Forest, North Carolina,
      United States of America (USA),
      Baen EBooks , 2011 .
      • ebook
      • SKU: 9781439134573
Last amended 22 Apr 2013
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