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Leland Hale: Galactic Conman #1

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To Make a Hero, Part 1 of Leland Hale: Galactic Conman by Randall Garrett. Published by PageTurner Editions.

I’ve been a copy-editor for three books by PageTurner Editions and I have to say I am having a ridiculously good time. I hope to continue being a proofreader and copy-editor for a long time to come, and I am sure there will be times when I have to read books which I don’t enjoy. I think I’m very lucky to be starting with a publisher that is very much the opposite: so far, PageTurner’s style of pulpy, sexy adventure has been a joy.

The latest book for me to work on was Leland Hale: Galactic Con-Man by Randall Garrett. According to Wikipedia, Garrett was best known for his Lord Darcy adventures and, under the pseudonym of Randall of Hightower, was a founder of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I’ll be looking for more of his writing, as his style was funny and engaging and reminded me of Spider Robinson if his sense of humor were a little darker.

Hale was a big man; his shoulders were much wider than they had any right to be, his arms were thick and cabled with muscle, and his chest was broad and deep. Most men who stand six-feet-six look lean and lanky, but Hale actually looked broad and somewhat squat. At one standard gee of acceleration – 1000 cm/sec2he topped three hundred pounds.

There was just enough fat on his body to smooth the outlines a little. His bones were big, as they had to be to anchor tendons solidly, and he had the normal complement of glands and nerves to keep the body functioning well. All the rest of him seemed to be muscle – pounds and pounds of hard, powerful muscle.

His head was large in proportion; a size 8 hat would have suited him perfectly – if he’d ever troubled to buy a hat. His face was regular enough to be considered handsome, and too blocky and hard to be considered pretty. His dark hair, brown eyes, and tanned skin marked him as most likely being of late migration Earth stock. –from “To Make A Hero” by Randall Garrett

PageTurner is serializing the three Leland Hale adventures, which they say have never before been reprinted. They have just published the first, “To Make a Hero.” Leland Hale is a big, tough, handsome guy — very much the classic, clever antihero. If you can imagine a protagonist with the ethics and physical strength of Firefly’s Jayne, but with the mind of a clever con-man, then you’ve got something close to Leland Hale. He’s constantly on the run from the Intergalactic Police and all the while looking for the next big heist.

“To Make A Hero” is available in all the major eBook formats, and new books are discounted for a while. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed copy-editing it.

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