Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bleg answered

A guy named Michael answered my bleg ..
I remember the book. The name RIP Foster, Assignment in Space. If I remember the name RIP was a compilation of the initials of the chap's first three names.
A minute's googling reveals that it's by a fellow named Harold Goodwin, in public domain and available via Project Guttenberg.

So how does my memory hold up? Not too shabby, I think. The space Marines are called Planeteers and are a mix of Seabees, Force Recon and SEALs. The top-kick character was one of 17 pure-blooded Hawaiians. Spacemen are nicknamed 'Rocky'. The bad guys are Connies; why the author didn't call them 'Commies' is a mystery - were they going to sue?

Their mission? Nab an asteroid of pure thorium and ride it back to earth while fending off acquisitive Connies. All the bits I remembered are there.

Does the work read as if it was written by a guy who knew his science, the service and life from a grunts point of view? It does ..
He talked about his early days as a reporter for a news service and his adventures during World War II as a combat correspondent in the Marine Corps.

Goodwin's specialty was "Joe Blow" stories, articles about individual Marines that appeared in hometown newspapers back in the States. He also produced major feature stories on the war for magazines such as Argosy and Coronet. The humor, camaraderie and struggle he chronicled would germinate and grow into the imaginative exploits of Rip and his platoon of space Marines.

He followed up his service in the Marines with a job in civil defense, science advisor to USIA and six years at NASA.

Not too shabby. Thanks for the book and thanks for not dumbing your writing down, Mr. Goodwin.
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