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G. C. Edmondson (1922–1995)

Autor(a) de The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream

25+ Works 672 Membros 6 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) full name José Mario Garry Ordoñez Edmondson y Cotton. Also wrote as Kelly P. Gast, J. B. Masterson, and Jack Logan.

Image credit: worldswithoutend.com


Obras por G. C. Edmondson

The Aluminum Man (1975) 64 exemplares
Cunningham Equations (1986) 60 exemplares
To Sail the Century Sea (1981) 59 exemplares
The Man Who Corrupted Earth (1980) 58 exemplares
Blue Face (1971) 58 exemplares
The Black Magician (1986) 41 exemplares
Maximum Effort (1987) 26 exemplares
Die A.N.D.E.R.E.N (1974) 16 exemplares
The Takeover (1984) 9 exemplares
Blessed Are the Meek (2010) 8 exemplares
Stranger than You Think (1965) 6 exemplares
Wann erobern wir die Welt (1976) 5 exemplares
One Plus One Equals Eleven (1973) 4 exemplares
Paddy (1979) 3 exemplares
Am Morgen einer anderen Zeit (1989) 2 exemplares
The last stage from Opal (1978) 2 exemplares
Murder at Magpie Flats (1978) 2 exemplares
Ringer 1 exemplar
Dil dies hard (1975) 1 exemplar
Murphy's trail (1976) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

13 Great Stories of Science Fiction (1960) — Contribuidor — 256 exemplares
Death's Head Rebellion (1990) — Contribuidor — 171 exemplares
The Crash of Empire (Imperial Stars, Book 3) (1989) — Contribuidor — 92 exemplares
The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 7th Series (1958) — Contribuidor — 84 exemplares
Stellar #5: Science-Fiction Stories (1980) — Contribuidor — 55 exemplares
Science Fiction Oddities (1966) — Autor — 43 exemplares
Under South American Skies (1993) — Contribuidor — 35 exemplares
Science Fiction Stories May 1957 (1957) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Edmondson y Cotton, José Mario Garry Ordoñez
Outros nomes
Gast, Kelly P.
Logan, Jake
Masterson, J. B.
Cleve, John (shared name)
Edmondson, Garry Cotton
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Rachauchitlan, Tabasco, Mexico
Local de falecimento
San Diego, California, USA
US Marine Corps (WWII)
Nota de desambiguação
full name José Mario Garry Ordoñez Edmondson y Cotton. Also wrote as Kelly P. Gast, J. B. Masterson, and Jack Logan.



I once saw some quote to the effect that a period is best understood by its second-tier artists. I.e., great is timeless but the next level is informative. If that's so, SF of the 1970s was really at sea. It seems like every other lesser known book from that period I read is bizarre in multiple ways. Case in point: G C Edmonson's T.H.E.M.. The premise is unconvincing at best -- in the recent past, a huge fleet of alien ships was seen approaching Earth, other aliens show up and convince Earth to join an alliance on a major counter-offensive. That's prologue to the main story following Art, an ex-college student who fell into a life of smuggling on the Mediterranean, and his boss Jort. The novel opens with them mining ice in space, watching the Alliance get wiped out, ramming one of the invaders with their ship, gleefully killing 100s of unarmed human-looking aliens on board with pickaxes, defeating the fleet, then going to the homeworld for a "rape" -- the book's term -- where plenty of sex with super hot bosomy aliens await, and finally heading back to Earth for an even less convincing conclusion. Common to these novels of the 1970s is lack of any concern for plausibility, social Darwinist views so half-baked as to be almost raw, and dollops of sex as promulgated by Playboy. The only slightly redeeming quality is a diverse cast of characters that would fit in well in the Fast and Furious.

Not recommended except for historians of SF.
… (mais)
1 vote
ChrisRiesbeck | Dec 7, 2023 |
I grew up reading science fiction: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke.. & the not exactly SF but related (at least in my opinion) Ray Bradbury. I even belonged to a science fiction book club that delivered such shockers as Heinlein's "Farnham's Freehold". I now consider Heinlein to be as much an incest promoter as a SF writer - but that's another story. Heinlein was important to me as the author of "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" - an encouragement to the DIY attitude if there ever was one!

"The Man Who Corrupted Earth" reminds me of something that I read by Samuel Delaney in wch he remarked that one of the reasons why he got into SF was b/c he'd read a Heinlein novel in wch it was only revealed in passing that the hero was black - & that over halfway thru the story. I interpret this as meaning that in SF, at least, a future can be imagined in wch the idiotic dividing of people into 'races' that're pitted against each other may be no more. Good riddance!

As I entered my teens & became more aware of literature in general, I temporarily rejected Sci-Fi as too trashy. It might not've been until 10 or 15 yrs later that I began to rediscover it thru writers that I thought were truly great & not as shallow as I'd come to feel Heinlein was.

It was in this phase that I discovered that writers that were to become the standard bearers of SF excellence for me, the ones who addressed issues that I cd relate to & did it w/ sufficiently writerly style: Philip K. Dick, J. G. Ballard, Samuel Delaney, Stanislav Lem, & the Strugatsky Brothers. Alas, though, I quickly read almost everything I cd find by all of these & was hungry for other writers that cd make as strong an impression.

Along came James Tiptree (Alice Sheldon), Michel Jeury, Vladimir Savchenko, & Ursula K. LeGuin. Unfortunately, I've only found one bk each so far by Jeury & Savchenko; & I've read all the Tiptree that I know of. Fortunately there's still plenty of LeGuin to go thru - but I find her somewhat hit or miss.

Later still came along the cyberpunks: William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, John Shirley. I still read them from time to time but find Gibson, in particular, to be little more than a one trick pony whose writing hasn't lived up to the promise of "Neuromancer".

Then a trip to Australia turned me onto Greg Egan, Damien Broderick, & Greg Bear. Somewhere along the way I found Rudy Rucker, Pamela Sargent, Joan Slonczewski & many, many others. But how many of these cd provide the stimulation that Dick, Ballard, Delaney, Lem & the Strugatskys had? Alas, not many. But each had something to offer.

& in the many, many more there were people like James Gunn & G. C. Edmondson. Now, I don't consider either of these guys to be 'great writers' - but, still, there's plenty there to hold my interest.

"The Man Who Corrupted Earth" is the 5th novel I've read by Edmondson & not one of my favorites of his. In the author's bio to his "Blue Face" from 1971, Edmondson is described as "by profession a special projects engineer for the United States Navy, or, as he prefers to call himself, "a creative blacksmith."" Now, given that in 1971 I was a draft resister against the Vietnam War & governments in general, this is hardly a promising bio for me. Nonetheless, it's not like I haven't had friends in the military. Fuck, I was even friends w/ a retired Air Force officer who was an anarchist!

It seems that there's a thread that runs thru Edmondson's novels in wch oppressed peoples turn the tables & create a more just society. & this, of course, appeals to me. Plus he has characters like "Blaise Cunningham" who "was a Nobel-Prize winner, the world's foremost expert in artificial intelligence and one of the best computer programmers alive. He was also a falling-down drunk whose only friends were an intelligent computer, a good woman, a bad scientist,and a frisky puppy named Dobie" - from the back cover blurb of Edmondson & C. M. Kotlan's "The Cunningham Equations". In other words, he has dysfunctional & alienated characters that I can identify w/.

In "The Man.." he has a duo of entrepreneurs, Gus Dampier & Albert, who are champions of a version of 'free enterprise' that Edmondson extolls the virtues of. The bad guys? Well, Ralph Nadar, by proxy, gets more than his fair share of kicks in the ass & this is one aspect of the novel that gets problematic for me. Edmondson, perhaps as a Navy-type guy, really seems to believe in these entrepreneurs who, as far as I can tell, often do more harm than good, & thinks they shd proceed on their 'heroic' paths unhampered by anyone. Well, I don't completely disagree but this particular can of worms is too complicated for the purposes of this review.

ANYWAY, Albert, Dampier's partner, is black & poses as Dampier's chauffeur - mainly to camouflage himself in a racist society so that he can function at a more subtle level. The other main black character is "Army" who ends up as an astronaut for Albert & Damier's asteroid belt enterprise. His 2 cohort astronauts are a woman & a man of Arabic descent. Dampier & Albert team up w/ Mansour, the Arabic father of "Jeff", the other male astronaut.

W/o getting into too many spoilers here, the entrepreneurs, after attempts on their lives & attempted government interference & such-like, succeed in their enterprise AND in leveraging some unexpected justice-oriented influence on the political arena.

So why do I only give this 3 stars? After all, I think I've made it seem somewhat interesting. It's the writing.. there's just something too crude about it for me. Sure, it's written to be easy reading, for the plot to be conventionally engaging (although it does get pretty disconnected at times).. but writers like Dick just pull that style off so much better somehow.
… (mais)
tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
This is, apparently, the sequel to "The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream" - wch I haven't read but I suspect I wd've enjoyed this more if I had. I don't think I've enjoyed any of Edmondson's solo bks as much as the 2 I've read that he coauthored w/ C. M. Kotlan ("The Cunningham Equations" & "The Black Magician") so maybe I shd seek out more by Kotlan to read.

"To Sail the Century Sea" has its time travel centered story as an excuse to make the plot somewhat hodge-podged & I reckon it works but I still didn't find it that compelling. It was kindof like alotof subplots flying around w/o their being a deep enuf central narrative. W/o resorting to spoilers I can at least say that the ending was sufficiently satisfactory & probably wd've been much more so if I'd read the 1st bk.

My perception of Edmondson is gradually deteriorating to the point where he's beginning to seem to be a hack(ish) writer like Barrington J. Bayley. I'll read more.. but I'm not likely to recommend his bks to anyone.
… (mais)
tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
review of
G. C. Edmondson's Stranger Than You Think / The Ship That Sailed The Time Stream
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 3, 2014

Yes, once again, even tho this review is of a bk of only minor importance to me, it's "too long" (is that like oolong tEA?) so you have to go here: https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/383353-the-ship-that-hurt-when-it-peed-in-t... to read the full review.

This Ace Double has the 8th & 9th bks I've read by Edmondson so far. I've reviewed 3 of these previously: The Man Who Corrupted Earth (reviewed Jan 24, 2010 here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7635738-the-man-who-corrupted-earth ), To Sail the Century Sea (reviewed Apr 12, 2010 here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3033582-to-sail-the-century-sea ), & G.C. Edmondson & C.M. Kotlan's Maximum Effort (reviewed May 10, 2012 here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9721174-maximum-effort ). I suspect I liked the unreviewed bks better b/c the ones I reviewed are not so enthusiastically described.

To Sail the Century Sea is the sequel to The Ship That Sailed The Time Stream, wch I've just now read, & in my review of sd sequel I wrote: "This is, apparently, the sequel to "The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream" - wch I haven't read but I suspect I wd've enjoyed this more if I had." &, yeah, I think I was right. I enjoyed The Ship.. &, silly tho it is (silly ≠ 'bad'), & it establishes the context that I apparently missed somewhat in the sequel.

In my review of The Man Who Corrupted Earth I wrote: "In the author's bio to his "Blue Face" from 1971, Edmondson is described as "by profession a special projects engineer for the United States Navy, or, as he prefers to call himself, "a creative blacksmith."" Now, given that in 1971 I was a draft resister against the Vietnam War & governments in general, this is hardly a promising bio for me. Nonetheless, it's not like I haven't had friends in the military. Fuck, I was even friends w/ a retired Air Force officer who was an anarchist!"

Edmondson's navy career seems to shine thru, at least stereotypically, in his writing. His characters are bawdy, the seamen are rough'n'ready, boisterous, drunken, whore-mongers. Even tho I'm against capitalism's intrusion into basic human needs &, therefore, essentially against prostitution, certainly against sex slavery, I find Edmondson's fictional world robust & refreshingly blatant - so I'll give it that much.

Stranger Than You Think is a series of 7 stories, not quite interrelated enuf to be chapters of a novel but too interrelated to be read as completely separate short stories either. At least 3 running jokes unify the stories: the narrator's religious friend generally referred to as "my mad friend", a time traveler, the having of multiple wives, & the wives' ongoing discussion of the latest "botch look". Any feminist reading these will most likely not be pleased: the women characters are presented almost entirely as very peripheral sex objects indeed. In short, this is "man's man" writing, not for yrs truly exactly but maybe for military men (w/ a sense of humor) of his time.

The "mad friend":

"The gentlemen retired to another room and discussed the role of the Church in Mexican history. This was interesting for Sr. Galindo was a Mason, while my mad friend was an apologist of such brilliance that I suspected he might one day follow the path of Giordano Bruno." - pp 26-27

I wasn't really sure what to make of this given the Freemasons are considered, at least by the Catholics, to be heretics & Giordano Bruno was put in prison, tortured &, after 8 years, burned publicly at the stake as a heretic by the Catholics. SO?! What's Edmondson saying here?

""Back to the subject," my mad friend said. "In spite of Dogma and Eve, serpents are relatively unintelligent. As villains they're even less plausible than bugeyed monsters. What d'you think of Sauerbraten?" he continued with his usual change of subject.

""Then why? More logical taht the fruit be offered by a politician. I'll bet the serpent's a Hebrew symbol of evil because some polytheistic neighbor worshipped his rat-trapping house snake. Sauerbraten's fair but the Wiener Schnitzel's better."" - p 30

Later, the "mad friend"'s non-heretical religiousity seems confirmed:

"He climbed to his feet and helped me up. "Better get to the car before daylight," he said. We began trotting. A half hour later we collapsed in a dry arroyo and he was pecking at it again. "God would never permit such a thing," he complained. - pp 56-57

""Search me. My job is just keeping the radar going so we can center over the hole." I sipped beer and tried to answer his question. "We ought to break through any day. Maybe it'll tell us how the earth was created."

""It's all in Genesis," my mad friend, and I made a ritual gesture of exorcism." - p 78

The narrator, implied to be the author himself, is having none of it: "The mail carrier nodded and spat the taste of tizwin toward the plaza where men danced in eternal penance for having slept when the Romans came to arrest their Saviour." - p 61

Sarcasm, anyone? These stories having been written in the late '50s & early '60s, Edmondson seems to have changed his religious tune somewhat by the time of the 1987 Maximum Effort - I quote my review of that:

"This bk was probably more Gothic than it was SF - although there is a 'cosmic' element to it. All in all, I found it to be a desperate mix of "worm brains" (weirdness) government nastiness (National Security Council bad guy turned into computer network memory storage device as punishment) , perhaps most importantly of all, RELIGION. Yes, religion. Much of the action takes place in a church that's a refuge for the worm brains. & there's an Indian Medicine Man too to add to the cultural mix."

These stories all take place in Mexico. To quote from Edmondson's bio in his novel Blue Face:

"Born in Washington State, he resides in San Diego, California, with his wife (herself a Yaqui) and his children.

"He has made a life-time hobby of languages, the study of the cultures of Mexico and Lower California, travelling, and writing."

As a side-note, the word "travelling" is underlined in red by the text program I'm writing this in - wch means that these days (2014) "travelling" is 'correctly' spelled "traveling". Blue Face was published in 1971, the yr I graduated (just barely) from high school. Back in those days the 'correct' spelling of "traveling" was "travelling". Try explaining that to a younger person & see if they believe you.

Anyway, Blue Face is described on its back cover w/ this opening sentence: "When Nash Taber found the alien living among the Yaqui Indians he was certain that this was the sensational discovery that would end his search for the badly-needed bolster to his sagging academic reputation." & in the bio that begins the flip-side of this bk, The Ship That Sailed The Time Stream, Admondson's described in the last paragraph thusly:

"He reads Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German and Latin. Makes a stab at Greek, can ask for a drink in Yiddish and several Slavic languages. Could read Siwash and Chinook if anyone wrote them. At present learning Yaqui so he can converse with his more conservative in-laws."

& THIS is one of things that makes Edmondson interesting for me: he definitely has an internationalist lust-for-life-&-learning. As a navy man, he can probably identify somewhat w/ his time-traveler character as a 'man-of-the-world' taken a step further than just geographically.

"The Byzantine looked about with exaggerated caution, "Who said I had a time machine?"

""You did, winter before last."

"The Byzantine looked at us suspiciously.

""You were eating pancakes in the only decent steak house in Nogales," I reminded.

""And as I recalled," my mad friend contributed, "you were going to be 40 about now. There was conjecture as to whether you'd make it."

"The Byzantine showed teeth in a dazzling renewal of confidence. "Things have changed," he said. "I may live several more years."" - p 43

A time traveler coming from a time w/ a short life expectancy who keeps showing up looking dramatically differently coincidentally to the narrator & his "mad friend".

"The Byzantine had a way of popping up just as we were getting comfortable. No one had ever learned more of his past than he cared to divulge. These usually conflicting stories centered about a time machine and his birthdate some 500 years in a nonexistent future. I had seen him once as mate on a seagoing ferry, once as a Mexican army officer, once as an alleged Secret Service man. "What," I asked, "Are you up to now?"

""In archaic Sephardic Spanish he said, "I conduct a tour."" - pp 77-78

Coincidentally for me, I read the 1st story the day before Thanksgiving, 2014, &, Lo & Behold!, the story ends like this:

""In 1960 I shall be dead," the major said to no one in particular.

"As we walked toward the car our wives still discussed the botch look in that fall's styles. Suddenly mine turned. "I don't believe they're ever going to put it out," she said, pointing at the firemen who now looked very tired.

"And suddenly, the chill Thanksgiving wind seemed colder." - p 14

Is that time travel or what? Or is my disrupting the order of these quotes time travel? Whatever. Is the "Byzantine" really a time traveler?

""Why not take the time machine along and save a trip back?" I wondered.

""The power comes from a connection in a basement workshop in a New Rome suburb which will never exist. Moving it might pull the plug."" - p 48

So there we have the wives & the "botch look". In this case "wives" might just mean the 2 women who're married to the 2 men. Nothing unusual about that. But Edmondson has some fun w/ it:

"Some one collapsed in the table's single empty chair. I glanced up and recognized one of my mad friend's wives. "I thought you didn't bring any," I exclaimed.

"Ignoring me, he whipped the warrant from his pocket and proclaimed, "I arrest you in the name of the people of Speedtrap, Arizona."

""Does that mean we have to go home?" his wife asked.

""Probably take another couple of weeks to arrange passage," my mad friend answered.

""Is she the embezzling treasurer?" But the Byzantine was talking again." - p 49

"The trip had been one undiluted disaster. First, the transmission had exploded. Then my agent had phoned at the last minute and stuck me with this fool's errand. About that time the only wives on friendly terms with us had decided they'd had enough Mexican desert to last the rest of their lives. In another month, this town be uninhabitable. Already, the mirages were carrying parasols." - p 57

As for the "botch look"?:

"She favored us with a grin and took our wives in tow toward the kitchen where they could supervise a young tortillera and discuss the new botch look which none dared as yet to wear." - p 22

"Backseat discussion of whether the new botch look could be worn with open-toed sandals continued without interruption." - p 29

"Accompanying him was a rather attractive Mexican girl, wearing what I guessed was the new botch look." - p 40

"I wanted to question the newly arrived wife but she was deep in a discussion of the other wife's new botch look." - p 49

"Wives abruptly ceased discussing whether haystack hair went with the new botch look. "Did somebody say diamonds?" - p 77

Even tho this is the earliest work I've read by Edmondson I find it the most inspired in terms of writer's technique. Maybe his publishers browbeat that out of him later. If one can choose to ignore the sexism of this whole multiple-wife / wives-are-only-interested-in-fashion-&-diamonds stuff & appreciate the writerly humor of referring to something w/o ever describing it then that botch material can be quite funny.

More importantly, perhaps, is the way he plunges right into the story & then feels free to carom around w/in multiple narratives. Here's the beginning to "FROM CARIBOU TO CARRY NATION":

""Reincarnation and transmigration/From caribou to Carry Nation," my mad friend strophed.

"A llama spat, scoring a hit on my No. 3 boy. A wife performed prophylaxy and we returned to the subject. "I don't care if St. Catherine was a Buddhist," my mad friend said, "the whole idea's in direct opposition to the doctrine of free will."" - p 15

& from there I'll jump to the punchline of a different story:

""Let me put it this way: If you dumped a weather station on an unknown planet and got a normal reading for several days, then a sudden drop to 60˚ below for six months, then in a matter of minutes the temperature climbed into a range that melted your transmitter, wouldn't you decide that planet wasn't worth invading?"" - p 28

& then let's be even more anarchistic:

"They began a political discussion in Catalán.

""This seems to be a Spanish Republican hangout," I said nervously.

""It is," my mad friend admitted.

""Shades of McCarthy!" I exclaimed. "I'll be investigated!"" - p 40

Edmondson is funny:

"I raised my eyebrows but did not manage to cover my bald spot." - p 60

But back to those multiple narratives:

""Later that night I woke and rolled a cigarette. It was that time of year when Woman Who Plants Squash is high in the sky. While I watched, the tip of her digging stick flared for just an instant, then suddenly the star was much tinier."

""Were any novas recorded in 1926?"

""Search me," my friend said, "I thought they lasted for days or months."

""I had seen falling stars," the mail carrier continued. "But this was the first time I had seen a fixed star change. I turned to see the all white man also sitting on his blanket. "Two minutes early," he grunted."" - p 64

Well.. wait! That's not an example of multiple narratives as I intended it! It's an example of the ways something can be described in multiple cultures. Or something. Sheesh! Pay attn, review. Er. &, as far as I can tell, there's no punchline to the last of these stories, "Drilling the Mohole." (p 87)

NOW TURN YR COMPUTER UPSIDE-DOWN: The Ship That Sailed The Time Stream:

"G. C. EDMONDSON: José Mario Garry Ordoñez Edmondson y Cotton was born of Manx parentage in Stevens County, Washington, in a log cabin and weaned on maple syrup in 1922. Other sources insist on a birthdate at least fifteen years prior and a probably Scots origin from a family established some four generations in Livingstone, Guatemala. The Scots is probably a euphemism for some other Celtic breed since the one unpurchased birth certificate hints at Belfast.

"After cluttering up his mind for a year at the University of Southern California, Edmondson returned to his older and less fraudulent profession of smithing. A marginal man, he is one of the few remaining who can skin mule or missile." - p 2

I don't recall ever thinking about this before:

"The Alice was an 89-foot yawl, engaged in very secret work which involved countermeasures against enemy submarines. Since the Alice could move without thumpings or engine noises, she was well suited for this kind of work." - p 5

The next time I'm trying to avoid detection by sonar I think I'll just walk on water. But then I'll know that there aren't any enemy submarines underneath me b/c the water will only be 1/8" deep.

"Holy Appropriation! The more he thought about it the more possible it seemed. Dr. Krom must be right after all: the Alice was the first ship to ever disappear in time. She was the first ship to ever have a screwy coil set at just the proper angle, with just the proper radius and spacing inside a properly evacuated bell jar—and at just the moment when a bolt of lightening had come along to power the apparatus." - p 42

Hilarious! Why Dr. Krom & I were just talking the other day about the significance to this thing of the hows & whys I left the last 2 sentences off of that paragraph! Relevantly, we were talking about it over one stein of hootch.

"Joe thought a moment. "There was a Jew in our land whose name was—" In the search for words he unthinkingly translated a proper name into its roots. "One Stone spent a lifetime studying the nature of God. Before he died he left us the Unified Field Theory. It proved that everything was controlled by the same law and that there can be no exception to the Law. I believed this man."" - p 58
… (mais)
tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |



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