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The Star Hyacinths   By: (1911-1981)

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The Star Hyacinths by James H. Schmitz is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that transports readers to a distant future filled with enigmas and captivating adventures. Blending elements of space exploration, alien encounters, and complex ethical dilemmas, this book envelops readers in a world that is both familiar and incredibly futuristic.

Set in the far reaches of the galaxy, the story revolves around a group of interstellar travelers who stumble upon a mysterious planet inhabited solely by vast hyacinth fields. As they delve deeper into the planet's secrets, they realize that the hyacinths possess an extraordinary power to manipulate human perceptions and memories.

What sets The Star Hyacinths apart is Schmitz's masterful storytelling ability. The narrative unfolds at a thrilling pace, constantly surprising readers with unexpected twists and turns. The author's vivid descriptions bring the alien landscapes to life, evoking a sense of awe and wonder.

Schmitz's characters are intricately crafted, each with their own distinct personality and motivations. The protagonist, Kilda, is a strong, independent woman who is thrust into a world of uncertainty, where the lines between reality and illusion blur. Her journey becomes a quest of self-discovery, as she confronts her deepest fears and grapples with the consequences of her actions.

The exploration of moral dilemmas is another highlight of this novel. As the hyacinths' powers become clearer, the characters are faced with increasingly challenging decisions. Schmitz skillfully raises questions about the ethics of altering one's memories and the implications of such power falling into the wrong hands. These philosophical undertones add depth to the story, inviting readers to reflect on their own beliefs and notions of identity.

While The Star Hyacinths is a remarkable work of science fiction, it is not without its flaws. At times, the complex terminology and extraterrestrial jargon can be overwhelming, requiring readers to closely follow the narrative to grasp the details. However, these occasional moments of confusion are overshadowed by the intriguing plot and captivating characters.

In conclusion, The Star Hyacinths is a remarkable science fiction novel that combines gripping storytelling, futuristic settings, and thought-provoking themes. James H. Schmitz's imaginative world-building and engaging narrative offer a thrilling reading experience, leaving readers pondering the boundaries of memory, identity, and morality long after the final page is turned.

First Page:



Illustrated by FINLAY

On a bleak, distant unchartered world two ships lay wrecked and a lone man stared at a star hyacinth. Its brilliance burned into his retina ... and he knew that men could easily kill and kill for that one beauty alone.

The robbery of the Dosey Asteroids Shipping Station in a remote and spottily explored section of space provided the newscasting systems of the Federation of the Hub with one of the juiciest crime stories of the season. In a manner not clearly explained, the Dosey Asteroids Company had lost six months' production of gem quality cut star hyacinths valued at nearly a hundred million credits. It lost also its Chief Lapidary and seventy eight other company employees who had been in the station dome at the time.


All these people appeared at first to have been killed by gunfire, but a study of their bodies revealed that only in a few instances had gun wounds been the actual cause of death. For the most part the wounds had been inflicted on corpses, presumably in an attempt to conceal the fact that disaster in another and unknown form had befallen the station.

The raiders left very few clues. It appeared that the attack on the station had been carried out by a single ship, and that the locks to the dome had been opened from within... Continue reading book >>

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