by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Blue Horizon: The Captain’s Journal, Book 1, by Ted R. Blasingame. Revised edition.
Raleigh, NC, Lulu.com, April 2014 trade paperback $18.99 (391 pages).
My clearest memory of mail-ordering the one-volume compendium of all Blue Horizon stories back in 2003 is receiving a massive “telephone book” tome that was almost too large and heavy to lift. And it was in small type, too! Now Ted Blasingame is revising and expanding the stories, and is wisely dividing them into four more-easily held volumes. He is also omitting the illustrations by Eileen Blasingame & Steve Carter that, while pretty, were amateurish and added unnecessarily to the older version.
The earlier edition, first written between 1996 and 2003 and published together in December 2003, included only 31 stories. It listed Ted Blasingame, Eileen Blasingame, and Steve Carter as co-authors. Now Ted Blasingame is the main author, with assistance by the other two. He gives a more complete history in his Introduction. Blue Horizon was an exciting fannish project of the three and their readers, starting online in 1996 and printed in 2003. It went on until 2009, but the newer stories were not printed, and everyone gradually moved on to other interests. Now, Blasingame has gone back to revise the entire series, rewriting the earlier stories and adding those from 2004 to 2009, for a new total of 45 stories.
These are the voyages of the interstellar freighter SS Blue Horizon PA1261. Book 1 contains the first 11 stories: “Drug Running”, “Unexpected Partners”, “Out of the Frying Pan” (by Steve Carter), “Vexed of Kin” (by Steve Carter), “A Little Liberation”, “Recruitment” (by Steve Carter), “Lost, Distant World”, “Dragon, Wolf & Tiger”, “Vixen’s Nightmare”, “The Blood of Aris”, and “Blue Horizon Down” (by Steve Carter). Although each story is distinct, they flow from one to the next, so the book is more like a novel than a collection of short stories.