John Grimes
A. Bertram Chandler

A. Bertram Chandler's John Grimes had a long and storied career in space. Starting out in the Federation Survey Service, Grimes rose through the ranks to achieve the rank of Captain before his fall from grace at the hands of mutineers. Subsequently he commanded traders and tramps, eventually starting his own shipping company, Far Traveller Couriers with his solid-gold space pinnace Little Sister. Brought back into the Survey Service as an undercover operative, he was able to clean up problems no Survey Service officer could be allowed to get involved with.

Chandler picks up Grimes's career in the Rim Worlds, where has become a Commodore in the Rim Worlds Navy and the Port Captain of Port Forlorn, chief port of the Rim Worlds Alliance. Something like 25 years has passed since the previous adventures; one assumes Chandler intended to fill in that gap at some point, but never got around to it before his untimely death in 1984. These tales of strange events on the Rim possess a weird vibe that's sure to tingle the Sense of Wonder of many a jaded SF reader.

Presented below in chronological order are ALL the Grimes adventures published during Chandler's lifetime. Most have been collected in book form, but you will find almost a dozen short stories, novelettes and novellas published in SF digests that have never appeared between the covers of a book. Many of these tales are as good or better than anything reprinted in books. It is unclear why these pieces were never collected. Perhaps Chandler never got around to organizing them as proper books before his death. The Science Fiction Book Club series of John Grimes omnibuses incorporated most of these "lost" stories into the Grimes chronology for the first time.

I'd organized the stories into three sections: Grimes adventures in the Survey Service, comprising the books The Road to the Rim through The Big Black Mark. The next sub series finds Grimes scrambling to make a living as a tramp ship captain and courier, all the while executing covert operations for the Survey Service (not even aware of his status as an undercover operative until late in the sequence!) This period comprises the books from The Far Traveller through The Wild Ones. These two sequences take Grimes from a youth of 19 or 20 years into his early forties. Next we find an extended gap in the chronology. When Chandler resumes Grimes's story, at least 20 to 25 years have passed. Grimes has emigrated to the Rim Worlds, married, raised a family and been widowed or divorced. The final sequence finds Grimes a Commodore in the Rim Worlds Navy, commander of the survey ship Faraway Quest and Port Captain of Port Forlorn, the primary port in the Rim Worlds. The final sequence of tales begins with Into the Alternate Universe and ends with a duology consisting of The Dark Dimensions and The Way Back. At this point Grimes is in his middle to late seventies, and Faraway Quest has been lost, marooned on Earth circa 3500 BCE It is a fitting and proper place to end Grimes's career; he certainly deserves to retire and enjoy some peace and quiet with Sonya, his wife.

I've interspersed notes and observations in the timeline. Please feel free to e-mail me with questions, observations and corrections.

The Road to the Rim
Ace H-29, 1967/10, 60, 117pp, pb, cover by Jerome Podwil
"The Road to the Rim - Part 1" If, 1967/04
"The Road to the Rim - Part 2" If, 1967/05
Ensign John Grimes' first space posting.

To Prime the Pump
Curtis 07116, 1971, 75, 157pp, pb, cover by Unknown
Lt. JG Grimes is about 20.

The Hard Way Up
Ace 31755, 1972/10, 95, 162pp, pb, cover by Kelly Freas
"With Good Intentions"
Lt. John Grimes meddles in the development of the natives of Delta Sextans IV.
"The Subtracter" Galaxy, 1969/08 (as"The Minus Effect")
Lt. John Grimes takes command of Adder, his first command. Grimes thwarts the attempted murder of Miss Madigan by one of Adder's passengers.
"The Tin Messiah" Galaxy, 1969/10 (as "The Soul Machine")
Mr. Adam, a robot, attempts mutiny but is thwarted by Adder's electronic brain.
"The Sleeping Beauty" Galaxy, 1970/02
Grimes transports a hibernating Shaara Princess. When she awakens, her telepathic compulsions nearly destroy Adder and her crew.
"The Wandering Buoy" Analog, 1970/09
Adder encounters a space artifact of the Old Ones.
"The Mountain Movers" Galaxy, 1971/03
Grimes vacations on New Alice and is involved in the reactivation of an ancient derelict spacecraft.
"What You Know" Galaxy, 1971/01
Grimes is promoted to Lt. Commander and off Adder.

The Broken Cycle
London: Robert Hale, 1975/02, 2.10, 157pp, hc, cover by Unknown
DAW UE1496, 1979/10, $1.75, 156pp, pb, cover by Richard Hescox
Lt. Cmdr Grimes is between assignments; assists Una Freeman in the attempted recovery of Delta Geminorum.

False Fatherland
Sydney: Horwitz PB374, 1968, A65, 161pp, pb, cover by Unknown
Dell 8174, 1969/04, 50, 156pp, pb, cover by John Berkey (as Spartan Planet)
"Spartan Planet - Part 1" Fantastic, 1968/03
"Spartan Planet - Part 2" Fantastic, 1968/05
Lt. Cmdr. Grimes recently commands Seeker. Short time after The Broken Cycle. Discovery of Lost Colony of New Sparta.

The Inheritors
Ace 37062, 1972/06, 95, 129pp, pb, cover by Unknown
Some time after False Fatherland. Discovery of Lost Colony of Morrowvia. Grimes tangles with Drongo Kane for the first time. Lt. Cmdr. Grimes promoted and reassigned at conclusion.

The Big Black Mark
DAW UY1157, 1975/02, $1.25, 221pp, pb, cover by Kelly Freas
Cmdr. Grimes takes command of the Discovery. Immediately after The Inheritors. Discovery of Lost Colony of Botany Bay. Crew mutinies. Grimes remains on Botany Bay.

The Far Traveller
London: Robert Hale, 1977/12, 3.75 188pp, hc, cover by Graham Tucker
DAW UW1444, 1979/02, $1.50, 174pp, pb, cover by Don Maitz (as The Far Traveler)
"The Far Traveller" Analog, 1976/08
Grimes still on Botany Bay; assumes command of Far Traveller.
"The Long Fall" Amazing, 1977/07

"The Sleeping Beast" Amazing, 1978/01
Big Sister destroys Far Traveller.
"Journey's End" Amazing, 1979/02
Grimes awarded pinnace Little Sister in lieu of wages.

Star Courier
DAW UY1292, 1977/03, $1.25 142pp, pb, cover by Ray Feibush
London: Robert Hale, 1977/10, 3.60 192pp, hc, cover by Unknown
Far Traveller Couriers established. Grimes first job with Little Sister, transporting a shipment of mail from Tiralbin to Boggarty in the company of Postmistress Tamara.

To Keep the Ship
London: Robert Hale, 1978/06, 3.75 160pp, hc, cover by Helen Hale
DAW UE1385, 1978/06, $1.75, 175pp, pb, cover by H.R. Van Dongen
Some time after Star Courier. Grimes takes a job as caretaker of cruiser Bronson Star. It is subsequently hijacked by Susie and her cohorts, who seek to return the monarchy to planet Dunlevin.

Matilda's Stepchildren
London: Robert Hale, 1979/08, 4.35 208pp, hc, cover by Helen Hale
DAW UE1845, 1983/07, $2.50, 173pp, pb, cover by Ken W. Kelly
"Excerpts from Matilda's Stepchildren" Alien Worlds, Melbourne: Paul Collins, 1979
Immediately after To Keep the Ship; some 20 years after To Prime the Pump. Grimes is about 40. Grimes becomes involved in cleaning up the sex industry on planet Venusberg and meets Underpeople Shirl & Darleen.

Star Loot
DAW UE1564, 1980/09, $1.75, 223pp, pb, cover by Attila Hejja
London: Robert Hale, 1981/10, 6.25, 175pp, hc, cover by Jim Cambridge
Some time after Matilda's Stepchildren; Little Sister is sold at the beginning. Grimes purchases Epsilon Scorpii, renames her Sister Sue (she will later be renamed Faraway Quest). Grimes meets Billy Williams and Magda Granadu. Grimes Survey Service commission secretly reactivated and he becomes a Captain in the Reserves. Grimes son: Graf Ferdinand von Stoltzberg. Travels to El Dorado & becomes a Privateer in the El Doradan Navy under Commodore Baron Drongo Kane. Agatha Prinn, of Agatha's Ark.

The Anarch Lords
DAW UE1653, 1981/09, $2.25 208pp, pb, cover by David B. Mattingly
Immediately after Star Loot; Williams takes temporary command of Sister Sue when Rear Admiral Damien revokes Grimes's Pilot's Certificate and convinces him to accept appointment as governor of planet Liberia, a planet populated by misfit anarchists. Grimes learns that Adm. Damien is a member of PAT (People Against Tyranny) and has been manipulating Grimes's career as far back as The Inheritors, to use Grimes as an unknowing operative, furthering the goals of PAT. Airship Fat Susie. Su Lin. Agatha Prinn, of Agatha's Ark.

The Last Amazon
DAW UE1936, 1984/06, $2.50 156pp, pb, cover by Richard Hescox
Immediately after The Anarch Lords. Grimes has a new, Liberian Pilot's Certificate. He leaves Liberia in the hands of new governor, Frank Delamere, and books passage to New Sparta on Rim Wayfarer, under Capt. Gunning, where he will be met by Sister Sue in a few weeks. On Sparta, he runs into Maggie Lazenby, who is his Intelligence Service 'handler' and they begin investigating the political situation on Sparta. Fenella Pruin, Shirl and Darleen soon appear. When Archon Brasidus is kidnapped by his wife Ellena in a coup attempt, Grimes and his team launch a covert investigation/rescue attempt.

The Wild Ones
Melbourne: Paul Collins, 1984/10, A$5.95, 205pp, pb, cover by GASPP
DAW UE2031, 1985/04, $2.95, 253pp, pb, cover by Ken W. Kelly
4 5 months after The Last Amazon. Grimes has made 1 round trips between Sparta and Earth. After spending three weeks with his parents (and Shirl & Darleen), Admiral Damien sends Grimes to investigate New Salem, a planet of religious fanatics. Grimes and his team (Shirl, Darleen and Seiko) discover that the silkies, harvested on New Salem for fur, are intelligent. Grimes provokes an incident, and things get out of hand; he and his team are almost burned at the stake before Seiko, a robot, rescues them. Seiko remains behind to represent the Silkies. The New Salemites will be relocated.

There is an extended gap in the chronology at this point. Grimes apparently married, had children, raised them to adulthood, was divorced or widowed, moved out to the Rim Worlds, became a Commodore in the Rim Worlds Navy, and eventually Port Captain of Port Forlorn, all before meeting Sonya Verrill in Into the Alternate Universe and starting a series of adventures that would take him from his early '60's to his late'70's.

Chandler left behind a few hints as to what he planned to do about documenting the roughly 20-year gap in the chronology. The first edition of The Wild Ones included excerpts from letters to his editors sent shortly before his death, discussing plans for the next Grimes novel, apparently to be titled The Faraway Quest. According to Chandler:

"Faraway Quest will be the Sister Sue's new name after Grimes sells her to the Rim Worlds navy for use as a survey ship. She plays a prominent part in all the late Grimes Period novels.

"The planets of the Rim Confederacy are Lorn, Faraway, Ultimo and Thule. To the Galactic East are the worlds of the Eastern Circuit - Tharn, Mellise, Grollor and Stree, which in the late Grimes Period are opened up to trade by Commodore Grimes, Rim World Naval Reserve. To the Galactic West are some antimatter planetary systems which neither I nor Grimes have done anything much about yet.

"A character who will make a reappearance in The Faraway Quest is Captain Craven, who was master of Delta Orionis (Delia O'Ryan) in the early Grimes novel The Road to the Rim. He is now Admiral Craven of the Rim Worlds Navy, married to Jane Pentecost, who was Purser of Delta Orionis and who initiated the young and innocent Grimes into the joys of sex in free fall. Another female character who will bob up again is Fat Susie - from To Keep the Ship - who now owns and operates Susie's Bar and Grill in Port Forlorn, on Lorn. (She had a body sculpture job that made her practically a double of Grimes' one true love, Maggie Lazenby, but since becoming owner/manager of a hash-house has put on weight again.)

"I haven't decided yet whether or not the obnoxious Fenella Pruin is to be given the opportunity to shove her tits into everything.

"A while back, at a WorldCon in Brighton (England) I was on a panel which dealt with The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Series Writing. One pleasure is re-using various characters, even after a long absence from the stage. One pitfall is a certain lack of consistency. For example, in the first Rim Worlds novels, (which I now refer to as Late Period Grimes) my starships had Reaction Drive (rockets) and the Space-Time-twisting Mannschenn Drive. Now, in Middle Period Grimes, they have Inertial Drive, sometimes auxiliary Reaction Drive and - of course - Mannschenn Drive.

"Sonya Verrill, whom Grimes eventually marries, started life as a small, cuddly blonde. Then she became a large blonde and, finally, a redhead. But I was able to explain those changes away.

"Should any Grimes fan take me to task over these discrepancies I just shrug and say that out on the Galactic Rim things are very iffy and if you fart really hard you're liable to blow yourself on to an Alternate Time Track."

The next six stories consist of reminiscences by Grimes from some point during his command Faraway Quest, while the ship was laid up for repairs. All the stories take place before Grimes emigrated to the Rim, but it's impossible to determine with certainty when Grimes did the telling. I've placed them at this point in the chronology, which is about the earliest Grimes could've been telling these tales, but it could easily have been much later.

"Grimes at Glenrowan"
Asimov's, 1978/03/04
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Lt. JG Grimes, on leave from Aries on Earth, travels back in time to become entangled in the arrest & capture of Aussie bandit Ned Kelly.

"Grimes and the Great Race"
Asimov's, 1980/04
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Lt. Grimes commands Adder, visits Darban and participates in a balloon race.

"Grimes Among the Gourmets"
Other Worlds, Melbourne: Paul Collins, 1978
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Lt. Cmdr Grimes commands Seeker, visits Werrississia, a planet of aesthetes. A drunken geologist bungs things up for the Federation.

"Grimes and the Odd Gods"
Fantasy & Science Fiction 1983/06
Frontier Worlds, Melbourne: Paul Collins, 1983
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Capt. Grimes commands Little Sister, conveys missionary Bishop Agatha Lewis to Stagatha to convert the sun-worshipping 'heathen' natives.

"Grimes and the Jail Birds"
Fantasy & Science Fiction, 1984/05
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Capt. Grimes of Little Sister visits Helmskirk's penal asteroid Sheol. Meets political prisoner Evangeline and helps her escape. Sharp, unflattering commentary on the religio-political situation in the USA in the early '80's. Sadly, the situation has grown far worse in the decades since.

"Grimes and the Gaijin Daimyo"
Dreaming Again, HarperVoyager Australia, 2008/08
Dreaming Again, HarperCollins EOS, 2008/09
Commodore John Grimes Reminisces: Capt. Grimes of Sister Sue is in Yokohama spaceport on Earth, picking up a cargo of sake and soy sauce for Mikasa Base, when Yoshi Namakura, Sister Sue's Chief Mannschen Drive Engineer, contrives to send herself into the past, where she changes Earth's history. Grimes follows her into the past to undo the damage, with tragic results.
In the process of recounting this adventure, Grimes provides a history of Faraway Quest to journalist Kitty Kelly. Originally christened Epsilon Scorpii by the Interstellar Transport Commission, she was purchased by Grimes as the flagship of Far Traveller Couriers and renamed Sister Sue. Grimes eventually sold her to Rim Runners, who first name her Rim Scorpion, before giving her a final name: Faraway Quest.

Lost for three and a half decades, the rediscovery and publication of what is very likely Chandler's last unpublished John Grimes tale wounld never have happened if not for the efforts of Chandler fans David Kelleher, Steve Davidson and Evan Ladouceur. Paul Collins, who had published a number of Chandler's stories in Australian anthologies in the '70's and '80's, purchased "Grimes and the Gaijin Daimyo" in the early '80's, but never got around to publishing it. It lay forgotten in Collins's files until Kelleher, Davidson and Ladouceur began emailing questions about Chandler. Collins unearthed the story, and, after working through the legalities, submittied it for publication in Jack Dann's 2008 anthology of Australian SF and Fantasy, Dreaming Again (the follow-up to Dann's celebrated anthology Dreaming Down-Under)

The following story, "Chance Encounter", was the first of Chandler's Rim Worlds stories to see print, and his first tale involving John Grimes. It could almost serve as a prologue to Catch the Star Winds. Or more accurately, Star Winds should be seen as a sequel to "Chance Encounter". In any event, there are some minor inconsistencies between "Chance Encounter" and later Rim Worlds and John Grimes tales; so minor that retconning the tale into the chronology presents no major difficulties. My advice would be to ignore inconsistencies and enjoy the story.

"Chance Encounter"
New Worlds 81, 1959/03
A Survey Service crew brings Epsilon Pavonis to Faraway, where Rim Runners (under Chief Superintendent Capt. Grimes) takes possession. Grimes offers Ken Wilberforce and P.R.O. Peter Morris positions manning the old ship, renamed Faraway Quest, on a survey mission along the Galactic Rim. Eventually they encounter the Listra, a Lowanni trading ship, under Capt. Sanara of the Dain Worlds. Morris is convinced Erin, the female P.R.O of the Listra, is the girl of his dreams, and Grimes sends him out in a ship's boat to make the first physical contact and exchange of gifts with her, with explosive results. This is the discovery of the Antimmatter Worlds. (Star Loot indicates that Epsilon Scorpii/Sister Sue will become Faraway Quest. Is this an alternate Grimes?)

Catch the Star Winds
Lancer 74-553, 1969/06, 75, 222pp, pb, cover by Kelly Freas
"The Winds of If" Amazing 1963/09
Flying Cloud (the first lightjammer) is commissioned, under Capt. Ralph Listowel. Commodore John Grimes cameos. A number of years after "Chance Encounter". First successful means of contact with Antimatter Worlds discovered.

This might be a good place to take a side excursion into the Rim Worlds Sequence, which consists of tales taking place on the Rim, but not directly involving John Grimes. "Chance Encounter" and Catch the Star Winds are pivotal in both sequences, so you'll find them there as well.

Into The Alternate Universe
Ace M-107, 1964/12, 45, 128pp, pb, cover by Valigursky
Ace 11451, 1972/11, 95, 128pp, pb, cover by Unknown
Commodore John Grimes of the Rimworld Navy, and Commander Sonya Verrill of the Survey Service take the Faraway Quest on a mission to explore some of the Alternative Time Tracks accessible out on the Rim.
Their first attempted crossover drops Faraway Quest into a crack between universes; a formless void where they run across a derelict ship from Earth's 20th century. Next, they come upon a sleeper ship from the First Expansion (launched in 2005). They revive the ship's captain, and manage to send the ship back to the universe, but Faraway Quest is shunted to a parallel universe. Using one of the frozen colonists retrieved from the sleeper ship before its departure as a psionic amplifier, Psionic Radio Operator Mayhew is able to return Faraway Quest to her own universe, just as Grimes and Sonya realize they're in love.

Contraband from Otherspace
Ace G-609, 1967/01, 50, 104pp, pb, cover by Kelly Freas
"Edge of Night - Part 1" If, 1966/09
"Edge of Night - Part 2" If, 1966/10
A short time after Into the Alternate Universe. Grimes has resigned from Rim Runners and the Rim Worlds Naval Reserve.
An unidentified ship flies toward the Lorn sun. Grimes and Sonya take the tender Rim Malemute in pursuit and rescue. The ship's crew are all dead, but logs reveal they were escaping slaves, humans held by an alien race in an alternate universe. Grimes had the alien ship repaired, renames it Freedom, and mounts an expedition to the alternate universe to free the enslaved humans.

The Rim Gods
Ace 72400, 1969/02, 60, 142pp, pb, cover by John Schoenherr
"The Rim Gods" If,1968/04
While Sonya tours the galaxy, Grimes accompanies Piety, under Rector William Smith, to Kinsolving's Planet. Smith, a Neo-Calvinist religious zealot, has come to the rim in search of a "new revelation," accompanied by Clarisse Lane, the great granddaughter of Raul from "Wet Paint" (see The Rim Worlds Sequence). Once on Kinsolving's Planet, Clarisse is able to call up the gods of the Greek pantheon, rather than the wrathful Jehovah Smith had hoped to conjure up. The Greek gods take a dim view of the Neo-Calvinists activities.
"The Bird-Brained Navigator" If, 1968/06
Grimes travels to Tharn to straighten out problems on Capt. Dingwall's Rim Griffon. Second Officer and Navigator Missenden, a Latter-Day Fascist from Waldegren, refuses to ship out with Dingwall. Grimes swaps him with the Second on Rim Dragon, but instead of reporting to his posting, Missenden goes AWOL, provoking an interstellar incident when he becomes involved with Tharnese dissidents. Grimes runs him down, and uses one bird-brained navigator to apprehend another. Before Grimes can return home, he is called to Mellise.
"The Tin Fishes" If, 1968/12
The natives of Mellise are convinced Grimes can save their aquaculture economy from a new predator destroying their pearl-producing bivalves. Grimes discovers that the giant starfish are artificial, part of a plot by Trans-Galactic Clippers to wreck Mellise's economy, allowing TGC to take over and develop the watery world into a profitable resort planet.
"Last Dreamer" If, 1968/08
Grimes is en route back to Lorn as a passenger on Rim Jaguar, when the ship's mass proximity indicator picks up an enormous mass an uncharted planet! Grimes takes a boat to investigate. Extreme silliness ensues, as Grimes becomes involved in a mental projection form the passengers of a Waverley Royal Mail liner that has been trapped in stasis for 10 years by a malfunctioning Mannschenn drive.

Alternate Orbits
Ace 13783, 1971/05, 75, 136pp, pb, cover by Karel Thole
"Hall of Fame" Galaxy, 1969/07 (as "The Kinsolving's Planet Irregulars")
With Sonya back from her tour, Grimes recommissions Faraway Quest for a full survey of Kinsolving's Planet. The crew explores for several weeks, finding nothing nothing significant (despite Grimes's and Sonya's sensation of unease). Finally, Grimes asks Clarisse to repeat her summoning (see "The Rim Gods"). This time she conjures up the devil, who places Grimes under arrest and takes hi to a realm inhabited by fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Lord Greystoke and other members of the Wold Newton Family. Grimes, with the assistance of Jeeves, escapes to the cabin of a 20th century shipmaster and writer, a certain Captain Chandler. In this adventure, Grimes learns he is a fictional character, and likely a member of the Wold Newton family.
"The Sister Ships" Galaxy, 1971/09
Grimes and Sonya are on Aquarius, where Grimes commands ocean-going ship Sonya Winneck. He's doing research for a history of Aquarius he has been asked to write. Aquarius is a former Lost Colony, from the Second Expansion.
Aquarian ships are being fitted with the Purcell Navigator, and the Naval Authority is distressed that nobody can seem to explain how the autopilot system works. The PN on Sonya Winneck goes haywire, and it's up to Grimes and Sonya to figure out why.
"The Man Who Sailed the Sky"
Grimes and Sonya hitch a ride on the Survey Service ship Star Pioneer, under Commander John Farrell, servicing Carlotti beacons on a route through the New Australian Planets (Glebe, Parramatta, Wyong and Esquel).
On Esquel, the king has been deposed and Farrell is ordered to convey him and his retainers to a suitable planet. Complications ensue; before they can even depart, Grimes, Sonya and Farrell are kidnapped and taken aboard an airship. Grimes incapacitates his captors and pilots the ship to safety.
"The Rub" Galaxy, 1970/04
After dropping the Esquelian party on Tallis, it is discovered Star Pioneer's farm has been contaminated with a virus. They set down on Kinsolving's Planet to resupply. Sonya and Grimes investigate the Temple of the Principle, constructed by worshippers of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The altar is a tesseract of black stone, which sucks Grimes into a dreary alternate reality where he never left the Survey Service, commands a backwater base on Zetland, has never met Sonya, and is hopelessly miserable. Grimes eventually figures out what's going on, and returns to his proper time and place.

The Gateway to Never
Ace 37062, 1972/06, 95, 129pp, pb, cover by Unknown
Josiah Billinghurst, Lorn's Chief Collector of Customs, enlists Grimes's aid in rooting out the drug traffic to the Rim Worlds. Grimes starts on Ultimo, where a Rim Runners officer has been arrested for hijacking his ship while under the influence of Dreamweed.
The trail next leads him to Eblis, where Ian and Sally Clavering are making a fortune running their resort (see "Forbidden Planet"). Grimes believes Clavering is involved in the trade. Grimes "accidentally" disables his own ship, Rim Malemute, in order to stay. He eventually convinces Clavering to quit running Dreamweed, but Clavering's supplier, Drongo Kane, isn't going to let Clavering (or Grimes) off the hook without a fight.

"The Dutchman"
Galaxy, 1972/11
Commodore John Grimes at Port Forlorn. Some years after Catch the Star Winds, lightjammers have experienced near-misses with unidentified objects on the Lorn-Llanith run. Grimes ships out on lightjammer Pamir; Ralph Listowel commanding. A Rim Ghost warns them away from the energy eaters. Rev. Madam Swithin. 90 days objective/three weeks subjective from Lorn to Llanith.

"The Last Hunt"
Galaxy, 1973/03
Commodore John Grimes at Port Forlorn. Approx. 2 months after "The Dutchman". The energy eaters have been all but exterminated. Capt. Haab of the New Bedford wants to capture the last one, nicknamed Moebius Dick.

"On the Account"
Galaxy, 1973/05
Commodore John Grimes at Port Forlorn. A couple of weeks after "The Last Hunt". Lightjammers Sea Witch and Lord of the Isles on the Lorn-Llanith Run have vanished. Grimes accompanies Listowel on the Pamir to investigate. Waldegrenese pirates are to blame. When the strange conditions of .9999c travel render laser cannons useless, Grimes & Listowel improvise artillery. The pirate ship is destroyed, and Pamir is badly damaged.

"Rim Change"
Galaxy, 1975/08
Capt. George Rule of Dog Star Lines Basset calls at Port Forlorn. Commodore Grimes hires Basset and leads another expedition to Kinsolving's Planet, hunting ghosts. Psi's Ken and Clarisse Mayhew find a portal to another dimension and go through, where they make contact with an alien intelligence. They are retrieved by Rule and Grimes, who barely escape when they attempt to retrieve other organic remains from the portal.

"Doggy in the Window"
Amazing, 1978/11
Grimes and his crew attempt to use a remote-controlled toy balloon to retrieve material form the alien portal. The crew is still marooned on Kinsolving's at the end of this story, indicating the possible existence of an unpublished conclusion to this tale.

The Dark Dimensions
Ace 13783, 1971/05, 75, 117pp, pb, cover by Kelly Freas
At the behest of Admiral Krantz, Grimes takes a hand-picked crew to explore the Outsider ship (see The Ship from Outside) At the Outsider, it seems numerous time tracks converge, and Grimes meets ex-Empress Irene (from Chandler's Empress of Outer Space and sequels) commanding Wanderer, Captain Sir Dominic Flandry of the Imperial Navy (from the series by Poul Anderson) commanding Vindictive, Adler from the Dutchy of Waldegren, and an alternate Grimes commanding another Faraway Quest, with his wife Maggie Lazenby.
"Our" Grimes has his ship hijacked by a mutinous crewman, who plans to deliver her to Waldegren. With the help of Flandry, Irene and the other Grimes, the ship is retaken. During the heat of battle an errant shot strikes the Outsider ship, and all combatants but "our" Faraway Quest are sent elsewhere (perhaps back to their own continua).
Grimes continues his mission and takes a boarding party over to the Outsider. The mutineers escape and retake the ship, then come over to the Outsider and attack Grimes's party. The Outsider reacts by flinging both attackers and attacked to the dawn of prehistory on Kinsolving's Planet, and it is up to Clarisse Mayhew to work her magic once again and bring Faraway Quest to them.

The Way Back
London: Robert Hale, 1976/02, 2.90 149pp, hc, cover by Unknown
DAW UW1352, 1978/01, $1.50, 175pp, pb, cover by John Berkey
Grimes has his ship back, but he and his crew are trapped in the unimaginable past. They set course for Earth, like migratory birds heading "home". They stop off on Mars, to the tremendous annoyance of the Martians (who are extinct by Grimes's time). Once on Earth they rescue a seaman and act out the story of Jonah and the Whale they've ended up in roughly 3000-4000 BCE. Faraway Quest puts down in what will one day be Greece. Dalzell, Faraway Quest's Marine Commander, decides he wants to stay, as do most of the crew. Dalzell takes the ship, imprisoning Grimes.
Grimes, Sonya, Williams, Carnaby, the Mayhews and a pair of female crew escape in a ship's boat and make for Mars. The Martians (who originated on another world) are more accommodating this time, and modify the Carlotti Beacon to propel the boat to her proper time. Grimes is home, but Faraway Quest is lost in the distant past.

Ten of the Grimes books were repackaged as five double volumes in the late '70's by Ace Books, which had been the original publisher of most of them.

The Road to the Rim/The Hard Way Up
Ace 73100, 1978/04, $1.75, 340pp, pb, cover by Barr

The Inheritors/The Gateway to Never
Ace 37063, 1978/06, $1.75, 375pp, pb, cover by Paul Alexander

The Dark Dimensions/The Rim Gods
Ace 72401, 1978/08, $1.95, 406pp, pb, cover by Rowena Morrill

Into The Alternate Universe/Contraband from Otherspace
Ace 37108, 1979/03, $2.25, 309pp, pb, cover by Rowena Morrill

Alternate Orbits (as The Commodore at Sea)/False Fatherland (as Spartan Planet)
Ace 11555, 1979/06, $2.25, 374pp, pb, cover by Paul Alexander

The early 21st century saw the Science Fiction Book Club in the USA start another reissue program that has brought (almost) all Chandler's John Grimes tales back to print in a series of thick hardcover omnibus volumes, published in chronological order for the first time (with the exception of The Broken Cycle, which was published out of sequence in the second volume rather than the first).

I'm very pleased to see SFBC followed my suggestions for the contents of John Grimes: Reserve Commodore, John Grimes: Rim Runner and John Grimes: Rim Commander. The inclusion of previously uncollected Grimes stories in Reserve Commodore and Rim Commander has made those stories available to fans who might not even know of their existence. Unfortunately, SFBC neglected to include "Doggy in the Window" in Rim Commander, which means there is still one John Grimes tale that has never been published in book form.

I got a nice "Thank You" on the copyright pages of Reserve Commodore, Rim Runner and Rim Commander. Thanks for remembering!

John Grimes: Lieutenant of the Survey Service
SFBC, 2001/01, $14.98, 608pp, hc, cover by Vincent di Fate
The Road to the Rim
To Prime the Pump
The Hard Way Up
False Fatherland (as Spartan Planet)
The Inheritors

John Grimes: Survey Captain
SFBC, 2002/01, $14.99, 612pp, hc, cover by Matt Stawicki
The Broken Cycle
The Big Black Mark
The Far Traveller
Star Courier

John Grimes: Tramp Captain
SFBC, 2003/01, $14.99, 699pp, hc, cover by Jim Burns
To Keep the Ship
Matilda's Stepchildren
Star Loot
The Anarch Lords

John Grimes: Reserve Commodore
SFBC, 2004/01, $14.99, 517pp, hc, cover by Alan Pollack
The Last Amazon
The Wild Ones
"Grimes at Glenrowan"
"Grimes and the Great Race"
"Grimes Among the Gourmets"
"Grimes and the Odd Gods"
"Grimes and the Jailbirds"
"Chance Encounter"
Catch the Star Winds

John Grimes: Rim Runner
SFBC, 2004/10, $14.99, 488pp, hc, cover by Paul Youll
Into the Alternate Universe
Contraband from Otherspace
The Rim Gods
Alternate Orbits (as The Commodore at Sea)

John Grimes: Rim Commander
SFBC, 2005/10, $14.99, 501pp, hc, cover by A.C. Farley
The Gateway to Never (as Gateway to Never)
"The Dutchman"
"The Last Hunt"
"On the Account"
"Rim Change"

The Dark Dimensions
The Way Back

In 2007, Baen Books began a program of republishing Chandler's John Grimes titles as e-books. They can be found on the Baen Books site, in appealing, DRM-free formats, at very appealing prices.
These were successful enough to convince Baen to publish omnibuses of Grimes novels & stories in dead-tree format, starting in early 2011. By the end of 2012 they had four volumes in print. It's unclear if Baen intends to complete the sequence, as there is nothing on Baen's schedule for 2013 (there are about 2 more volumes of stories left.)
I hope they continue. These stories deserve to be in print.

To The Galactic Rim: The John Grimes Saga I
Baen, 978-1-4391-3421-4, 2011/03, $12.00, 553pp, tp, cover by Stephen Hickman
Baen, 978-1-4516-3823-3, 2012/04, $7.99, 713pp, pb, cover by Stephen Hickman
The Road to the Rim
To Prime the Pump
The Hard Way Up
The Broken Cycle

First Command: The John Grimes Saga II
Baen, 978-1-4391-3457-3, 2011/08, $12.00, 724pp, tp, cover by Stephen Hickman
Baen, 978-1-4516-3850-9, 2012/10, $7.99, 928pp, pb, cover by Stephen Hickman
False Fatherland (as Spartan Planet)
The Inheritors
The Big Black Mark
The Far Traveller

Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga III
Baen, 978-1-4516-3763-2, 2011/12, $12.00, 788pp, tp, cover by Stephen Hickman
Baen, 978-1-4516-3886-8, 2013/04, $7.99, xxxpp, pb, cover by Stephen Hickman
Star Courier
To Keep the Ship
Matilda's Stepchildren
Star Loot

Ride The Star Winds: The John Grimes Saga IV
Baen, 978-1-4516-3812-7, 2012/04, $12.00, 869pp, tp, cover by Stephen Hickman
Baen, 978-1-4516-xxxx-x, 2013/xx, $7.99, xxxpp, pb, cover by Stephen Hickman
The Anarch Lords
The Last Amazon
The Wild Ones
"Chance Encounter"
Catch the Star Winds
"On the Account"
"The Dutchman"
"The Last Hunt"
"Rim Change"

Back Home

E-mail Todd

Updated 15 December 2012