The Character who Changed Science Fiction and Became the Symbol of Space Opera!
By the author of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Thrill to jetting rockets and sizzling ray guns. Before Hawk Carse, during the Hugo Gernsback/Amazing Stories era of science fiction, the typical story involved reams of scientific exposition by a group of friends, one of whom invented a space ship, as they then took a trip to another planet, a tour of that world's futuristic technology, a revolt or warfare of some kind involving imaginative weaponry, and sometimes a princess in need of rescue—with each invention and incident explained at length.
When editor Harry Bates founded Astounding Stories of Super Science, the magazine that would eclipse Amazing Stories—and all other science fiction magazines—for the next two decades, he created Hawk Carse, the Space Hawk, as a model of the streamlined, action-oriented science fiction he envisioned writers producing for the magazine, with the scientific explanations worked in briefly into the narrative flow, rather than dominating it.
Space Hawk was an immediate hit with readers, and it is easy to see why, for the interplanetary adventure never stops in this short novel that launched the series. Although Bates meant his portrayal of the pilot of Carse's ship as African-American to be revolutionary at a time when most characters of color in pulp magazine fiction played only menial roles or were villains, the effect is marred today by stereotyped aspects of the man's character and the unfortunate choice of the name "Friday." Such was Bates' range as an author that hardly a decade later, he would pen a series of groundbreaking "thought variant" stories for Astounding, including "Farewell to the Master," which became the film adaptations we know as The Day the Earth Stood Still.