Reviews of Alternate Orbits (1971)
Review by clong (2006-07-09)
Despite being written in the late sixties and early seventies, this collection of four John Grimes novelettes has the feeling of golden age scifi--shallow, sexist, escapist pulp. Which is not to say that such stories can't be entertaining, if you take them for what they are, but it's generally not what I am looking for in my scifi reading.
"Hall of Fame," a gimmick story about Grimes' second visit to a planet where the boundaries between fact and fiction are strangely blurred, was the weakest of the four. "Sister Ships," a maritime adventure (set on an ocean covered planet) with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure, was better. "The Man Who Sailed the Sky" was a slightly entertaining little colonial action story, in which Grimes gets drawn into a violent civil war between factions of a primitive, inferior alien race. In "The Rub" Grimes returns yet again to the strange world of the first story; the gimmick story that ensues was my favorite of the bunch.