Creator / Edmond Hamilton
Also known as The Ol' World Wrecker, for the frequency in which planets bite the big one in his works. Edmond Hamilton is the husband and sometime co-author of Leigh Brackett
, and creator, with E. E. “Doc” Smith
, of the Space Opera
. Hamilton's works overflow with mighty Star Kings, fiery princesses, heroes who are in over their heads, assorted faithful sidekicks and galaxy-destroying super weapons.
From the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s, Hamilton was a regular writer for DC Comics
, working on the Batman
, and Legion of Super-Heroes
stories. He is credited as co-creator of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, the original Kathy Kane Batwoman
, and the Batmen of All Nations.
Works by this author with their own pages include:
Other works by this author provides examples of:
- Came from the Sky: "The Accursed Galaxy" (1935) has the force field prison of an immortal Energy Being land on Earth.
- Caused the Big Bang: The Ur-Example seems to be The Accursed Galaxy (1935), where it turns out the reason the universe expands is that a race of Energy Beings once faced the disease of life spreading among the planets of the original supergalaxy, and had no choice but to spin it apart. Not quite a bang, but then, the term wasn't coined until over a decade later.
- Chemistry Can Do Anything: In The Man Who Evolved, a man who goes through accelerated evolution shows off his increased intelligence by making gold out of common chemicals.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: See The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask below. In Hamilton's 'verse the two tend to go together.
- Giant Spiders: The Vulkars of Smashing Suns have intelligent, psychic Giant Spiders as their most loyal servants.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Starwolf features Vreya, a pale-gold skinned Amazonian Beauty.
- Hopeless Suitor: The Empress Tharanya's chief scientist is an unusually mature example of this trope. He's clearly accepted that Tharanya will never love him and decided that her friendship will be enough. He's prepared to work with the protagonist, her successful suitor, once he's convinced that he genuinely loves her.
- Human Aliens / Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Everywhere. In Hamilton's works the entire universe seems to be filled with humans or humanlike creatures, only differing from Earth's humans in skin tone, build, and sometimes other features.
- Humanity Came From Space: The Haunted Stars revolves around the discovery that humanity is descended from the vast interstellar empire. A true homeworld of humanity was Ryn, the third planet of Altair. That empire was destroyed by unknown powerful alien enemies.
- Inn Between the Worlds: Featured in the short story The Inn Outside the World, which takes place in an inn where famous historical figures regulary meet.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Hamilton based at least two stories off the then-plausible idea that radiation could activate evolution. Both horribly subverted the concept of Evolutionary Levels, though in different ways—"The Man Who Evolved" proposes that evolution is cyclical, eventually returning to protoplasm, while "Devolution" says that bacteria are the highest form of life, and everything since has been a step down.
- Law of Alien Names: Hamilton kinda invented his own one - his aliens' names tend to consist of two monosyllabic parts.
- Mutants: "He That Hath Wings" features a mutant born after his mother was hit with electricity (there is a long explanation fitting firmly into the Science Marches On area). The child is born a Winged Humanoid.
- Planet Spaceship: In "Thundering Worlds", every planet in the solar system is outfitted with nuclear rockets and flown to another solar system to escape our dying sun. Along the way, they pass by some hostile aliens and give them the same idea...
- Pulp Magazine: Hamilton's first story appeared in a 1929 issue of Weird Tales, and he was regularly published in Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories, and other pulp magazines during the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
- Raised by Wolves: One story has a girl who was raised by sapient winds.
- Self-Deprecation: The short story "Wacky World" is essentially this - Hamilton mercilessly deconstructed and parodied many tropes he had used in his SF works.
- Shoe Phone: In the Starwolf books, all mercenaries have equipment that includes a radio disguised as a button, another button that can be used as a blowtorch (enough to cut a prison bar or two), and a detachable rope running along all the seams of a shirt.
- Title Requiem: A story called "Requiem" about Earth's death being made into a TV show.
- Tomato in the Mirror: In the short story "Smashing Suns", The Hero, a publishing house salesman, has trouble believing he's actually the long-lost heir of ancient Galactic Emperors.
- Transhuman Treachery: In The Man Who Evolved, the title character invents a machine that accelerates his evolution. In the first two stages, he is still somewhat decent in behavior. In the third stage, he states he intends to take over Earth and use it as a laboratory. The protagonist stops him by convincing him to evolve further. It works; the next stage is beyond such desires.
- Unbuilt Trope: "He That Hath Wings" (1938) is one of the first stories to feature mutants. The protagonist is a Winged Humanoid. He never uses his power to help people or to hurt them, he has his wings amputated once his fiancee demands it, and once they grow back, he flies himself to death.
- Waking Up at the Morgue: A short story about a man who woke up in his family crypt, after being considered dead. He walked around the city, listened to what people really thought of him — and decided to go back into his coffin.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Empress Tharanya of Sun Smasher.