Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers is a 1973 comic science fiction novel by Harry Harrison. It is a parody of the space opera genre and in particular, the Lensman and Skylark series of E. E. "Doc" Smith.[1] It also includes a homage to Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970).[2]

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers
Cover of the first edition
AuthorHarry Harrison
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)


Two college students, Chuck van Chider and his friend Jerry Courtenay, accidentally invent a device that can transport them through space, powered by a substance called "Cheddite", which is created by irradiating Cheddar cheese.

Chuck and Jerry, their apparent mutual love interest Sally Goodfellow and their janitor-turned-KGB spy Old John find themselves transported to Titan, a moon of Saturn, where they must contend with the native Titanians. Later, through a bizarre chain of events, they are flung into the far reaches of the galaxy, where they become involved in an intergalactic war that could change the universe forever. By the end of the novel, they have returned to Earth, where Chuck and Jerry are revealed as gay lovers.[3]


Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, describing the novel as "a Tom Swiftian, gee-whiz parody of the very worst that our severest and most ignorant critics lay on us," concluded that "I love this kind of thing at short-short length."[4]

Wayne Barlowe included the Garnishee of Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers as one of the alien species he covered in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials (1979).


  1. ^ Mike Resnick (1 August 2003). Resnick at Large. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-1-59224-160-6.
  2. ^ Larry Niven, N-Space, pp. 123-24.
  3. ^ Harry Harrison, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, pp. 209-210.
  4. ^ "Galaxy Bookshelf", Galaxy Science Fiction, February 1974, p.92


  • Harrison, H. (1973). Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers. G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-441-78361-9
Alpha Centauri in fiction

As one of the brightest stars in Earth's night sky, and the closest-known star system to the Sun, the Alpha Centauri system plays an important role in many fictional works of literature, popular culture, television, and film.

Alpha Centauri, a double star system with the binary designation Alpha Centauri AB, is the brightest visible object in the southern constellation Centaurus. Its component stars are Alpha Centauri A (the primary—somewhat larger and brighter than the Sun) and Alpha Centauri B (the secondary—slightly smaller and dimmer). These stars are of spectral classes G2V (as is the Sun) and K1V, respectively; in the former case there is an obvious model and potential for planets capable of supporting complex biospheres, and in the latter, as it turns out, an even stronger probability of a stable habitable zone that is well suited for life. Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri—a late-discovered red dwarf, and the closest known star to the Solar System) appears to be gravitationally bound to the AB system although at a considerable distance. The collection of three stars together is called Alpha Centauri AB-C.

Alpha Centauri is commonly referred to as Rigil Kentaurus (Arabic: رجل أقنطورس Rijl Qantūris), meaning foot of the centaur—compare Rigel in Orion—and also as Toliman (Arabic: الظلمان al-Zulmān), or the ostriches.

Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials

Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials (1979; second edition 1987) is a science fiction book by artist Wayne Barlowe, with Ian Summers and Beth Meacham (who provided the text). It contains Barlowe's visualizations of different extraterrestrial life forms from various works of science fiction, with information on their planetary location or range, biology, and behaviors, in the style of a real field guide for animals. It was nominated for an American Book Award and for the 1980 Hugo Award for Best Related Work.

The second edition has an added foreword by Robert Silverberg.After the success of the work, in 1996 Barlowe and Neil Duskis wrote a second book, Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy.

E. E. Smith

Edward Elmer Smith (May 2, 1890 – August 31, 1965), better known by his pen name E. E. "Doc" Smith, was an American food engineer (specializing in doughnut and pastry mixes) and science-fiction author, best known for the Lensman and Skylark series. He is sometimes called the father of space opera.

Harry Harrison (writer)

Harry Max Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey; March 12, 1925 – August 15, 2012) was an American science fiction author, known for his character The Stainless Steel Rat and for his novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966). The latter was the rough basis for the motion picture Soylent Green (1973). Harrison was (with Brian Aldiss) the co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group.

Aldiss called him "a constant peer and great family friend". His friend Michael Carroll said, "Imagine Pirates of the Caribbean or Raiders of the Lost Ark, and picture them as science-fiction novels. They're rip-roaring adventures, but they're stories with a lot of heart." Novelist Christopher Priest wrote in an obituary,

Harrison was an extremely popular figure in the SF world, renowned for being amiable, outspoken and endlessly amusing. His quickfire, machine-gun delivery of words was a delight to hear, and a reward to unravel: he was funny and self-aware, he enjoyed reporting the follies of others, he distrusted generals, prime ministers and tax officials with sardonic and cruel wit, and above all he made plain his acute intelligence and astonishing range of moral, ethical and literary sensibilities.

Lensman series

The Lensman series is a series of science fiction novels by American author Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith. It was a runner-up for the 1966 Hugo award for Best All-Time Series (the winner was the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov).

List of comic science fiction

This is current list of comic science fiction, mixing science fiction or science fantasy with comedy.

List of science fiction novels

This is a list of science fiction novels, novel series, and collections of linked short stories. It includes modern novels, as well as novels written before the term "science fiction" was in common use. This list includes novels not marketed as SF but still considered to be substantially science fiction in content by some critics, such as Nineteen Eighty Four. As such, it is an inclusive list, not an exclusive list based on other factors such as level of notability or literary quality. Books are listed in alphabetical order by title, ignoring the leading articles "A", "An", and "The". Novel series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is none, the title of the first novel in the series or some other reasonable designation.

Space opera

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of which was coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television and video games.

An early film which was based on space opera comic strips was Flash Gordon (1936) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre. After the convention-breaking "New Wave", followed by the enormous success of the Star Wars films, space opera became once again a critically acceptable subgenre. Throughout 1982–2002, the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel was often given to a space opera nominee.

Titan in fiction

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It has a substantial atmosphere and is the most Earth-like satellite in the Solar System, making it a popular science fiction setting. Science fiction set on Titan can be roughly divided into the pre- and post-Pioneer eras, with a division set by the flyby of Saturn by the Pioneer 11 space probe on April 5, 1973, which showed that Titan's surface was too cold to sustain (Earthlike) life. Somewhat later, the arrival of Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 with the Huygens probe's landing in 2005 showed the presence of hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, leading to further changes in its depiction in science fiction.

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