Reversion to YA-hood

Way back when I was in high school I read like crazy (still do). I had lots of paperbacks, including mysteries (Agatha Christie, Rex Stout), thrillers (Doc Savage) and, in hardcover, about half of the Rick Brant Science Adventure Stories. Those were “boys’ books” which tried to make real science more accessible than Tom Swift ever did. The first book was published in 1947 (complete list here) and the 23rd in 1968.

A few years ago I got a wild hair and tried to find e-book versions of all 24 of them. I downloaded Calibre and began searching. Gutenberg had eleven of them. Then I dug and dug and eventually found the other 13, including the 24th and last, published in 1989, 22 years after the 23rd book was released. Harold Goodwin, who wrote them, explained how it came about that the final book was published so many years later in his Afterword to that book: see page 183.

Anyway, once I bought a Kindle I uploaded the books from Calibre to the e-reader. A few days ago I didn’t want to read anything I had ready at hand and thought I’d try them. I read all 24 books over the space of the last three days.

They hold up pretty well, all things considered. The science is imaginative but realistic, the adventures are exciting and the characters are pretty well-defined. I doubt anyone but collectors and geezers would want to buy them now, but I note that Amazon has an 11-book collection of them in Kindle form for a price that can’t be beat: $1.99.