Books Magazine

32. Mindship by Gerard F. Conway

Posted on the 21 May 2013 by Jimblack78
32.  Mindship by Gerard F. Conway
Writer:  Gerard F. Conway
First Publication:  1974
Some books hold a special place in your memory.  Way back in 1974, I was looking for authors to follow.  At that point I was already hooked on the Perry Rhodan series and started on my lifelong Isaac Asimov fandom.  “Mindship” was the 90th book published by DAW Books.  I had enjoyed other DAW Books such as the works by A. E. Van Vogt, D. G. Compton, Andre Norton, and E. C. Tubb.  This book stood out because of the author’s name and the Kelly Freas cover.  I was also a big fan of comic books, and still am, and remembered reading in a letter column that one of my favorite comic book writers had a new science fiction book published.  When writing science fiction, he used his full name Gerard F. Conway.  In the comic book world he was known as Gerry Conway.  One of the comics he was best known for writing was a two-part story in the Amazing Spider-Man.  The story showed the death of Gwen Stacy in part one and the death of the Green Goblin in the second.  At the time I did not know that he had his first novel published by Terry Carr in the Ace Science Fiction Special series.  In the last few years, I tracked down his first novel, “The Midnight Dancers”, but was not impressed by it.  While on vacation this summer, I decided it was time to re-read this old favorite of mine.  I have not read it since my original reading back in 1974.

The prologue of “Mindship” appeared in a different form in Terry Carr’s first Universe anthology under the name of “Cork”.  The cork is a sensitive (psychic) who reads the emotions of the ship’s crew.  The job of the cork is to smooth over negative emotions, get the crew to work together, and channel the strong emotions to the ship’s engineer.  The emotions are converted into the energy that runs the ship, hence the ships are called mindships.  Unfortunately, due to the stress they are under, the corks tend to suffer a career ending breakdown.  The main ship of this story has limped back to a base after it’s cork breaks down.  The captain finds a very young cork and recruits him.  When the ship comes into contact with a black hole, the young cork dies due to the actions of the captain.  The main story is focused on the older brother of the young cork.  Kilgarin retired from being a cork before suffering a breakdown.  He suspects that foul play was involved in his brother’s death so he takes his place.

To put it mildly, Kilgarin is not a nice person.  He is not sympathetic to his friends and will use anyone to reach his goals.  This book is a combination travelogue of the planets they visit, the mystery of what happened to his brother, and Kilgarin’s descent down darker and darker paths to get to the bottom of the mystery.  Characters die due to his neglect.  A cork is supposed to make a ship run smooth but he does more damage to the psyche of his crewmates than he should.  Through it all, Conway keeps the reader interested in his protagonist.  Kilgarin and the crew are fascinating individuals.  By the end of the book, he becomes a different person.  Some of the relationships he has damaged are broken beyond repair.  If you are looking for a book where the hero gets the girl and everything is set right, avoid this book.  Just like in the real world, things do not end the way we would like them to.  Conway makes his characters come to life.  It is easy to thing that they are based on real people.

Highly recommended.  After all these years it is still a favorite of mine.



You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING

Magazines