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.
The work of this author provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Shorr Kan. In fact he is so affable he's brought back for the sequel as an ally.
- Anti-Hero: Shorr Kan again, after his Heel–Face Turn.
- Brain in a Jar: Simon Wright in the Captain Future series.
- Costume Porn: Averted. Hamilton's Star Kings, Princesses and heroes wear simple, comfortable jacket and trouser suits, rarely accessorized with a flowing cloak or flashy jewelry.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: See The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask below. In Hamilton's 'verse the two tend to go together.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: For some unexplained reason the ruler of the Star Kingdom of Fomalhaut uses the title 'Princess' rather than 'Queen'.
- Feudal Future: the title The Star Kings says it.
- Giant Spiders: Captain Future encounters some on some of the Solar System's planets.
- The Vulkars of Smashing Suns have intelliegent, psychic Giant Spiders as their most loyal servants.
- 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.
- 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.
- Orwellian Retcon: In the original ending of Star Kings, the hero returned to his own time and body, and his love followed him some time later by swapping bodies with an incurably comatose girl. Once Hamilton wrote the sequel, that changed to her contacting him telepathically and saying they are working on a way to transport him into her time physically. For some reason, however, some recent printings still include the original ending.
- 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.
- Scenery Porn: Ditto. The silver seas and crystal cliffs of Throon are an especially plangent example.
- Self-Deprecation: The short story "Wacky World" is essentially this - Hamilton mercilessly deconstructed and parodied many tropes he had used in his SF works.
- Shining City: Every galaxy spanning empire has one or more.
- Super Hero: Captain Future is quite a textbook example.
- 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.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Lianna of Fomalhaut and the Empress Tharanya for two.