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March 2008
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Father of the Amazons, by Pete Lewis (?) (1961)

RIGHT OFF the bat you know you're not dealing with the majors when the spine and the title page don't agree on who wrote the book. "Pete Lewis" or "Peter J. Crown," whichever, is responsible for one of the more…interesting bits of space-age erotica to come from the early 1960s—if, in fact, you can call it erotic. Frankly, if the core of this one were any less soft, you could scratch it with Jell-O, but what can you expect from a publisher called Kozy Books?

The near-palindromic hero, Rev Oliver, is captain of Deep Space Probe A18-17 in the year 2607, with a crew of three (handsome) men and one (beautiful) woman. Of course, this being 1961 and Kozy being what it was, the woman seduces all the men (off-screen), then decides she can't take the pressure and runs off. Yeah.

As if that weren't enough to get your pulse pounding, their guidance system screws up, sending them hopelessly off-course to—wait for it—the planet of the Amazons, and he's the only survivor. No, really!

Of course, they treat him like a wimp. Of course, he resents being treated the way he treated "girls" back home. And of course, some of them fall in love with him. And I suppose they have some kind of sex, although the only way to tell is that Lewis/Crown's sentences get shorter.

As writing, well, one is tempted to wax critical, but one will restrain oneself. As an artifact, it certainly displays a reasonable level of Coolness, if you're into High Weirdness.

—Bud Webster

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