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THE TROPHY by Bill Baldwin

THE TROPHY

by Bill Baldwin

308 pages
Futuristic, Military Science-Fiction novel about intragalactic competition and conflict

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About the Book
The Trophy was, is, and always has been, a futuristic, Military-Science-Fiction novel about intra-galactic competition and conflict. Originally published in 1990, it is third in a series of seven novels about the adventures of StarSailor and expert Helmsman Wilf Brim during an epoch of discord and outright war among various star-nations—within a galaxy that could be a far-future version of the one in which we live.

This special, “Director’s Cut” Edition is heavily re-written, a la George Lucas’ rewrite of the Star Wars Trilogy, to bring it more in line with later novels in the series, as well as the first two “Director’s Cut” Editions of The Helmsman and Galactic Convoy. This edition also answers a question from thousands of readers: “What happened to Anna Romanoff,” a love-interest character in the novel who, previously, never quite made it to the next in the series

The novel begins just as Brim—once a fast-rising First Lieutenant in the Imperial Fleet—has been thrown out the service during a post-war reduction in force (RIF), along with thousands of other warriors by a Imperial Government that all-too-easily forgets how much it relied on them only a short time previously.

The change devastates Brim; like so many other young men, from humble beginnings, he bases much of his self-worth on his success in his occupation. For a short while, he hangs on piloting worn-out third-rate spaceliners, but when that operation fails, Brim has nowhere to turn. As a last resort, he works passage to on one of the grand liners as a baggage-handler to the City of Atalanta on the planet Hador-Haelic where, eventually, old friends involve him in the great Mitchell Trophy astroplane races, and he ends up piloting for the Imperial Starflight Society.

Anyone familiar with the history of air racing will instantly recognize The Trophy as my personal tribute to one of the grand fascinations of my life: the Schneider Trophy Races that began in 1913 with fragile Bleriot biplane racers on floats and ended in 1931 with Reginald Mitchell's early masterpiece, the Supermarine S.6B, that retired the trophy for all time. In addition, its twelve-cylinder engine was the prototype for the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffin engines that years later powered Mitchell's superb Spitfire, the U.S. Mustang, the British Lancaster bomber, and most of the unlimited Gold Cup hydroplane racers of the late 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, and the early 1970s.

ON THE "DIRECTOR'S CUT" VERSION: Turned out that Trophy was a pivotal book in the Helmsman Saga, because in the original version, the prototype Starfury was a destroyer-sized starship, but by the time The Defenders came along, it had shrunk to something a fraction of its original size--and made the intervening Mercenaries extra difficult to bring into line with the later books.. It took a lot of rewriting.

 

Reviews
I have been a fan of The Helmsman series by Bill Baldwin for nearly two decades. The series is a fast-paced space adventure. I have always loved the main character, Wilf Brim. His simple modesty despite his great accomplishments against powerful personal and professional odds has caused me to return to the series time and time again. When I heard about the Director's Cut novels in 2004, I was both surprised and excited and overjoyed to learn that the story would finally continue with the Turning Tide.

The Trophy is the third director's cut released. It has changed significantly from the original version; however, the changes add much more depth to the story. They also resolve the story of Anna Romanoff who appeared in this book, yet never appeared again afterwards. I enjoyed this new version. It was cleaner and stayed true to the spirit and flare of the story. The only problems I had with the book was the lack of justification of the font. The letters were spaced a bit far apart. I am not sure if this was an error, but it suddenly corrected itself toward the end of the book.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. If you love military science fiction and a plain old adventure story, then you will love this novel and the series itself.

Voot's Greasy Beard, The Trophy is a thraggling good ride!
- Dave

 

Related Titles
  • THE HELMSMAN: Director's Cut Edition by Bill Baldwin
    Futuristic, Military Science-Fiction novel about intragalactic competition and conflict
  • GALACTIC CONVOY: Director's Cut Edition by Bill Baldwin
    Futuristic, Military Science-Fiction novel about intragalactic competition and conflict"
  • THE MERCENARIES: Director's Cut Edition by Bill Baldwin
    Futuristic, Military Science-Fiction novel about intragalactic competition and conflict.
  • The Enigma Strategy by Bill Baldwin
    Partisans steal Enigma Machine; British pick up in Supermarine S.6b
  • The Turning Tide by Bill Baldwin
    Science Fiction Space Opera with unusual alternate-history twist.
  • The Defenders by Bill Baldwin
    While the Empire crumbles under the blitzkrieg assault of the League of Dark Stars, Helmsman Wilf Brim rallies the surviving Imperial Starfuries for a desperate last-ditch effort to save the core of the Empire at Avalon.
  • The Siege by Bill Baldwin
    Rear Admiral Wilf Brim and his old comrade General Ursis must rally Sodeskaya's archaic ships in order to repel Triannic's vast star fleet and overcome overwhelming odds. By the author of The Defenders.
  • The Defiance by Bill Baldwin
    Admiral Wolf Brim's new assignment to secure the space lanes between Hador-Haelic and the Pentad asteroids of Gontor will enable the Empire to launch Operation Spark, a massive invasion to free Occupied Fluvanna, thus ensuring the Empire's remaining source of faster-than-light travel fuel.

 

About the Author
Bill Baldwin wrote The Helmsman (1985)/2003), Galactic Convoy (1987/2003), The Trophy (1990/2007), The Mercenaries (1991), The Defenders (1992), The Siege (1994), Canby's Legion (1995), and The Defiance (October 1996), Science Fiction novels. Helmsman, Convoy, and Trophy now available in new, revised "Director's-Cut” Editions by special order at bookstores and on-line.

 

 

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