Will Murray's Pulp Classics #12
The Three Planeteers Audiobook
by Edmond Hamilton
Liner Notes by Will Murray
During the Golden Age of Science Fiction, one writer towered over all others. The legendary Edmond Hamilton was the pulp pioneer who took over where Jules Verne and H. G. Wells left off. Hamilton wrote on a scale that dwarfed anything that had come before. Where other writer’s imaginations saw only expeditions to the Moon and Mars, Hamilton envisioned a future filled with an interplanetary police force, space pirates and fearsome weapons capable of destroying whole planets. Among readers of his early fiction in magazines ranging from Amazing Stories to Weird Tales, this penchant for galaxy-spanning space opera soon earned him the nickname of “World-Wrecker” Hamilton.
Although NASA has all but debunked the possibility of humanoid life on Mars and Venus—not to mention the frigid, inhospitable outer planets—21st century readers still thrill to Hamilton’s infectiously enthusiastic yarns, which influenced both Star Trek and Star Wars.
One of the most intriguing is The Three Planeteers, which ran in the January, 1940 issue of Startling Stories. Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ classic adventure tale, The Three Musketeers, Hamilton’s reinterpretation of the concept brings together an Earthman, John Thorn, allied a pair of friendly aliens, Sual Av of Venus and hulking Mercurian, Gunner Welk, who are out to stop a sinister despot from shifting the balance of power from the peace-loving Alliance of Inner Planets to the planet-hungry League of Cold Worlds. When the resourceful trio are branded interplanetary outlaws, their only hope is to ally themselves with the renegade Companions of Space, led by the bewitching pirate princess, Lana Cain.
This swashbuckling space opera was the type of pulp Hamilton did best, and set the stage for his legendary Captain Future series, also from the publisher of Startling Stories. In that series, as in The Three Planeteers, Hamilton postulated a future Solar System inhabited by distinct races of aliens, each with their own characteristics and cultures. Against this backdrop, the non-stop action races from the inner worlds to the outer regions, with atom-pistols and ray-blasters frying combatants on both sides.
Here’s Hamilton’s preface to this classic tale:
Instead of talking about myself, I’d like to talk a little about The Three Planeteers. A very common supposition in science fiction seems to be that when interplanetary travel is finally achieved, and there are populations of colonizing Earthmen on the other worlds, they will all be ruled by the same government and law, and that war and strife will be forgotten. Now, I never could see that as inevitable. In fact, it always seemed more reasonable to me to suppose that every world would have its own government. And here’s why: Just think of what an effect distance has right here on Earth. Englishmen migrate to America, and a century or so later they find they just can’t get along with the parent country any more, and declare their independence. The same thing happens to the Spaniards who colonized South and Central America. It’s happening right now to South Africa and Australia.
Now, if that is true right now on Earth, surely it will be even more true in the future in the Solar System! Think of yourself, a few hundred years from now, on Mars. Your father was born on Mars, and your grandfather. You know that several generations back one of your ancestors came here from Earth, but you don’t feel any loyalty to Earth. Mars is your world. And yet here you are, with a government on Earth making the laws by which you live. Those Earth people don’t know Martian conditions, and don’t know what is or is not practical out here on your world. What would you do, in a situation like that? If precedent or history mean anything, ten to one you’d shine up your trusty atom-gun and go out with a lot of your fellow Martians to win your independence from Earth. And the chances are that you’d win it.
And in the centuries that followed, your descendants would be more and more true Martians, wouldn’t they? They’d be modified by generations of life in a new environment. Free people of the different worlds, all of the same Earth stock, would grow more and more unlike each other. If they couldn’t settle their differences they’d go to war. That’s the speculative background of The Three Planeteers. But it isn’t any history of the future. It’s a story. I hope it’s a good story.
Joey D’Auria voices The Three Planeteers’ stellar cast of heroes and despicable space pirates. This is vintage space opera at its most arresting and audacious!
Chapter 1: Comrades of Peril
Chapter 2: Cold-World Menace
Chapter 3: Into the Zone
Chapter 4: Pirate Princess
Chapter 5: Secret Enemy
Chapter 6: The Trap
Chapter 7: Shadow of the League
Chapter 8: Out of the Past
Chapter 9: Imprisoned Planeteers
Chapter 10: Under Saturn's Rings
Chapter 11: Secret Police
Chapter 12: Citadel of Fear
Chapter 13: Dictator of Worlds
Chapter 14: Under the Psychophones
Chapter 15: Through the Tempest
Chapter 16: Forbidden World
Chapter 17: In the Shining Waste
Chapter 18: Damned Souls of Erebus
Chapter 19: Cheerly's Cunning
Chapter 20: At Uranus' Orbit
Chapter 21: The Fight on the Moon
Chapter 22: Blaine's Weapon
Chapter 23: Epilogue
“Edmond Hamilton wrote the wildest space opera of this or any other century! Three Planeteers forever!”
Will Murray is the Series Producer for Will Murray's Pulp Classics line of Pulp Audiobooks and Pulp eBooks. Will is the author of over 50 novels in popular series ranging from "The Destroyer" to "Mars Attacks". Collaborating posthumously with the legendary Lester Dent, he has written to date ten Doc Savage novels, with Desert Demons and Horror in Gold now available. For National Public Radio, Murray adapted The Thousand-Headed Man for The Adventures of Doc Savage in 1985, and recently edited "Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent" for Moonstone Books. He is versed in all things pulp.
“I had a blast with all the futuristic fun! I loved all the devious devices of the 23rd century still using rheostats and vacuum tubes!”
Joey D'Auria is a popular Hollywood voice over actor whose work includes characters for animated cartoons, video games and looping. However, he is best known to Chicago audiences as WGN-TV's Bozo the Clown from 1984 to 2001. During these years, Mr. D'Auria also worked in stage productions and in TV and radio commercials. Returning to Hollywood in 2002 he was the voice for Commissioner Spinklestarber for the anime series Daigunder. In Great Britain, in 2003 he was the principal writer and show coordinator on Star Trek The Experence for See Entertainment in Hyde Park, London.
After that project, Joey worked as head writer and occasional voice talent for Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures on PBS. He also supplied assorted voices for Universal/Imagine's Curious George The Movie, and as the voice of General Alister Azimuth for Insomniac Games, Ratchet & Clank Future - A Crack in Time. You will be able to hear him in the new animated film, War of the Worlds: Goliath for Tripod Entertainment.