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Henry Martyn

Henry Martyn: Book 1

L. Neil Smith

Best known for his libertarian science fiction (The Probability Broach), Smith offers a change of pace with this swashbuckling space adventure, loosely patterned in the spirit of Rafael Sabatini and C. S. Forester.

The powerful imperia-conglomerate of the 31st century spans the star systems, extorting from those under its rule. When young Arran Islay decides to live as a brigand, he declares war on "those who live by stealing property - life and liberty - from its rightful owners." Adopting the name of his murdered friend, Henry Martyn, he sets sail in search of fortune and revenge.

Other Islay family members are fully delineated and play important roles in this story, written in an evocatively archaic style reminiscent of both the classic adventure tales familiar from childhood and the space operas of 1930s pulp fiction. The author has a flair for inventive future terminology and imaginative concepts: "Legos: The architectural style was still referred to by its legendary name." Smith blends intergalactic action, heroics and derring-do into a futuristic political thriller, and the result is a delight: piracy in high space, penned with panache. - Publishers Weekly

This book was nominated for the Prometheus Award.

Bretta Martyn

Henry Martyn: Book 2

L. Neil Smith

Bretta Martyn concerns itself chiefly with the exploits of young Robretta Islay, eldest daughter to Arran Islay, Hereditary Drector of Skye - infamous throughout the Known Deep as the ship-robber "Henry Martyn" - and of Loreanna Daimler-Wilkinson Islay, late of the Monopolity of Hanover, his notorious "bride of war".

Peremptorily summoned to the political center of the universe by a new CEO of Hanover, Arran and his old comrade Phoebus Krumm are commanded to put an end to the vile "manufacture" and trade in Oplyte Warrior-Slaves, in which innocent humans are abducted and hideously transformed into short-lived, mindless killing machines.

Arran is given little choice but to take his wife and daughter with him into danger and it is here, after she is brutalized and separated from her family, that Bretta's own adventure begins, an adventure that will take her into the corrupt heart of an evil empire, toward a young woman's first stirrings of romance, and ultimately to the lost and ancient homeworld of humanity.

Bretta, Henry Martyn's daughter, is ejected from her spaceship and left for dead by her father's enemies, but the resourceful Bretta makes her way to a world of escaped slaves, where she vows revenge.

This book was nominated for the Prometheus Award.