The Witches of Karres
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Witches of Karres (The Witches of Karres #1)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,228 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Volume 7 of the collected works of James H. Schmitz. Captain Pausert thought his luck had finally turned-but he did not yet realize it was a turn for the worse. On second thought, make that a turn for the disastrous! Pausert thought he had made good with his battered starship, successfully selling off odd-ball cargoes no one else could sell. And then he made the mistake of...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published 2000 by Victor Gollancz (first published 1966)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,060)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Stephen
2.5 stars. Decent but not great. It could be that since I had just finished Santiago by Mike Resnick (which I thought was fantastic) and another good Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett (Sourcery), this book suffered from the comparison between those other books. I may re-read this in the future as I seem to be in the minority of not loving this book. Still, it was fairly entertaining.

Nominee: Hugo Award Best Novel.
Melody
Dec 29, 2009 Melody rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: Kiri
This was a swooping delight of an old-school sci-fi adventure. It was written back in 1966 and I'd never heard of it until last week. The writing was inventive- so inventive, in fact, that whenever Schmitz found himself at what could be a sticky plot point, he invented a new word/entity/force to get his heroes out of the jam. So just rell the vatch and go along for a dizzying, ridiculous and enjoyable ride. Goofy like Pratchett, only with less internal coherence. And I don't mean that in a bad w...more
Leslita
I have lost count of how many times I've read this book. It is fairly old school sci fi, a "cult classik" , with a goofy Captain of a starship junk freighter who rescues 3 sisters. They sisters are young and have magic powers and are from the Witch Planet Karres. They have adventures. That's about it. There is a sequel made from notes much later that is ok, but not as much fun. If you want depth and literature, look elsewhere, but this is a fun and charming book. It goes in and out of print.
A.C
This is one of my favorites!!! A dazzling adventure with witches, spaceships and a dangerous species from another dimension.
And in the midst of it there is the Captain who only wanted to make enough money and gain a good reputation to marry his secret fiancee. But there is a little witch who has other plans ....
This book is just a lot of fun, very good written and with an original storyline.
Jay Greenstein
This is my all time favorite book, because in addition to being both charming and exciting, it's virtually a demonstration piece on how to suck in a reader and educate them in the terms of the story without lecturing them.

It begins simply, with a spacecraft captain—the honest, smug, and a bit naive Captain Pausert—taking a quiet walk through a quiet backwater town on a quiet backwater planet.

The captain is a nice man, trying to do the right thing and live an uneventful life, but fate refuses t...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
This one's an old SF classic with a little bit of witchcraft mixed in. It's been a while since I've read it, but there was space travel, and some kind of special warp drive, powered by magic. The magic comes from three sisters, who are the witches of the title. They meet a pilot, and he is helpless in their clutches. He falls for one of them, but they have other plans.
Lots of fun, I love the mix of SF and witchcraft, and the sly sense of humor the sisters have.
Peter Plantec
Schmitz started this series of two books finsihed with "The Wizard of Karres." I first read the Witches when I was a young person and remember that I liked it very much. I decided to read it again, maybe 40 years later and I still liked it. That says something. It certainly isn't any great piece of literature, but it has lasting charm. It's about a scifi piece about a spaceship captain that rescues three little girls who have been enslaved on a miserable planet. He buys them and then takes them...more
Kernos
This is classic '60's space opera, which hold up well today. It takes place in a universe in the far future when humans have spread throughout the galaxy and have speciated to some extend, most obviously those humans known as the Witches of Karres. The Witches seem to have magic, or to be able to sense and manipulate a strange force in the universe enabling them to manipulate matter in various ways. Sounds a bit like Star Wars, no? Indeed, one wonders if George Lucas was familiar with the novel....more
Nicole
Young Capt Pausert is like the proverbial the duck out of water in dealing with three young women he rescues. In trying to return them to their parents after freeing them from slavery he discovers they really are members of a group he had considered urban legends. Maleen, Goth, and the Leewit direct him to their home world where he finds they are witches from the not so mythical planet Karres.
Now he finds having actually met the witches he is subject to laws concerning contact with this group an...more
Jim
Product Description

Captain Pausert thought his luck had finally turned-but he did not yet realize it was a turn for the worse. On second thought, make that a turn for the disastrous! Pausert thought he had made good with his battered starship, successfully selling off odd-ball cargoes no one else could sell. And then he made the mistake of freeing three slave children from their masters (who were suspiciously eager to part with them). No good deed goes unpunished, and those harmless-looking yo

...more
Eric
Captain Pausert is just minding his own business (and making a tidy profit while doing it) when three witch girls decide to turn his life upside-down and inside-out. What do you do when suddenly the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance and death seems inevitable? You bring extra sandwiches!
This is a typical J. Schmitz adventure, not stuffy sci-fi, very charming. It didn't disappoint. (78/100)
If anyone is going to give Schmitz a try, read Demonbreed/The Tuvela first, it's even better!
Asher
I bought this on the generally very good reviews, but was quite dissapointed, really.
There are no glaring flaws with this novel, solid structure and competent writing.
However it simply didnt do anything for me, i felt no connection whatsoever to any of the characters or really cared what was going on.
Also the science aspect of the science-fiction is pretty much non existent, only serving as a cardboard cutout backdrop to the story, the same with the fantasy/magic aspects
D.L. Morrese
This reprint of the 1966 classic is a thoroughly enjoyable and hard to put down book. When Captain Pausert of Nikkeldepain rescues three children from slavery, he has no idea what he is getting himself into, nor does he realize they are witches from the proscribed and mysterious planet of Karres. All of the major characters in this novel are very engaging and the adventure Schmitz crafts for them is as fresh today as the best of any current books in this genre. Read this book!
Kirsten
Excellent! A wonderful - I guess the word would be rollicking - read. In many ways, it reminds me of those old sci-fi serials. It seemed like they'd gotten through one life-threatening crisis when another one hit!

It's hard to believe this was written in 1966! I felt like there was nothing that really dated this. It was fun, humorous, exciting... I loved it.
Daniel Shellenbarger
Oddly enough, this book first caught my attention because I've been tearing through Eric Flint's 1632 series and noticed Sorceress of Karres shelved alongside them at my local library. Out of curiosity I did some checking on goodreads and was surprised to find that the book was not only a sequel to another author's work but to a book that is now almost 50 years old. Doubly intrigued I reserved a copy and I'm certainly glad I did. This book is a rare gem among older science fiction, particularly...more
Thannasset
Read this for fun, it's a romp--no pretensions to being great literature, just out to sell/tell a fine story. recommended for lovers of classic sf.
Rosewin
"...might have begun to develop some other perception. At any rate, he was receiving impressions of another kind here; and the impressions had kept getting more definite. The best description would have been to say he was aware of a speck of blackness which seemed to be in a constant blur of internal motion...

...And there it was, he thought. Something he was neither seeing—it couldn't be seen—nor imagining, because it was there and quite real. It came closest to being a visual impression of a pa...more
Charlotte Hunter
The best space opera thriller ever written. Bar none. Pausert, a ship's captain (and sole crew member) rescues three young sisters from slavery, on the planet Porlumma, and agrees to take them to their home on Karres. Suddenly Pausert is the focus of unwelcome attention, and slowly he realizes the citizens of Karres possess abilities desired by many, understood by few. Chased from one star system to the next, Pausert and one of the sisters, Goth, must stay alert, alive, and figure out how to han...more
Kate Farrell
Here I am, thinking for about 30 years that I have read The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz. Here's the current cover: The Witches of Karres.

I decide I'd like to re-read the book, since what I recall of the book wouldn't fill a book. Lo and behold! Apparently I read an excerpt of the book from the first chapter, wherein the Captain rescues (or is captured by) three young witches. Ware the Leewit. I am now reading the rest of the book for the first time, and reveling in it. These witches from Karres certainly...more
Robert
I can't tell you why this is such a good read. I can only say that it is. The Witches of Karres is a funny not too serious space romp about a happy-go-lucky "captain" and his association with the outlawed witches.

Look I don't want to spoil any of it for you but nothing was what I expected. Nothing.

That was refreshing and engaging in a genre where everything is usually by the numbers. The characters were so UN-endearingly endearing it's ridiculous,(yeah try to wrap your head around that and you'l...more
Ian
Dear me, 1967 can't have been a good year if this got onto the Hugo shortlist. Humorously incompetent space captain inadvertently rescues three young girls, and then discovers they are from the titular planet, where everyone has magical powers. His life falls apart as a result, it turns out he has relatives from Karres, and he goes off on adventures, which brings him into conflict with some evil worms. This is complete nonsense, and not even very amusing. It's bad mainstream thinly disguised as...more
Andrea
4.5 stars -- this is one of my favorite books, and I thoroughly enjoyed this re-read. It's a non-stop adventure, the story of a spaceship captain who has finally worked off his debts and is about to head home to his patient fiancee when he rescues three little girls from slavery. These little girls turn out to be witches from the mysterious planet of Karres, and once they are in Captain Pousert's life, mayhem ensues. It's funny, sweet, and a rollicking ride -- highly recommended, and just the th...more
ScoLgo
★★★-1/2

With a title like 'The Witches of Karres', you might expect a fantasy novel revolving around fairytale magic with perhaps some unicorns, a shining knight, damsels in distress, and an evil wizard or two thrown into the mix. Instead, what we have here is an old-fashioned space-romp complete with alternate universes, evil aliens, a run-amok space-ship AI, time-travel, cosmic entities dabbling in the affairs of humans and... yes, a planet of witches. Don't worry. It all works wonderfully.

This...more
Tom Burkhalter
On the Ace Science Fiction edition of this book, which I bought at the age of 14, one of the plugs was "a slam-bang space happy fantasy!" Fans of the "Firefly" TV series will find much to love in this book -- Captain Mal of the Serenity and Captain Pausert of the Venture would understand each other, I think. I reread this book after some forty years and found it was still good fun, even if a little more simple than I recalled. Nonetheless, there's something about the lure of a risk run in the Ch...more
Max
Jan 01, 2012 Max rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fun, fast-paced sci-fi adventure stories.
This was a really fun, lightly humorous sci-fi adventure novel. And, if it wasn't for some slightly dated material (paper-bound law manuals, cigarette smoking), it would have been hard to guess that this was written in 1966 instead of 2011 or so. The female characters, children and adult alike, are written particularly well, even by modern standards, let alone those of the mid-60's. The writing is a little disjointed here and there, but the charm, pacing, and sheer novelty of ideas more than mak...more
Emre
Truly horrible.

There aren't any structure or order in any of the story elements. It was like i was swimming in a torrent of meaningless words and sentences which do not connect with each other to form a shape to suck you into the story. The story itself was interesting but the execution fails miserably. Most of the time i had a hard time figuring out what was going on since the logic and flow of the story made huge jumps. Most of all, there are not any explanations behind the mechanics. Even th...more
Jamie Jonas
To my mind, this is one of the greatest whimsical works of science fiction ever written. Buy a ticket from the amazing Mr. Schmitz, and he will take you on a guaranteed super-flight of imagination. The beginning of this particular novel is uncharacteristically slow, but it takes off by the second chapter like a hyper-space vessel from an alien world, and from there never loses speed. The narrative turns complex enough that it does require some focus and attention, but then every great literary w...more
Danny Barer
Although the story gets a bit difficult to follow near the end, this is a rare example of young female protagonists (three of them) in a classic SF adventure story. Schmitz excelled at writing science fiction heroines.
PF
One of my favorite stories, largely because of the humor (both situational and as intrinsic to the characters) and the unconventional characterizations. A clever plot packs a lot of action and character development in a short space. Like Terry Pratchett, Schmitz has written what appears superficially to be a lighthearted romp but which includes a great deal of subtle (and often overlooked) complexity and depth. The focus is less on science and more on issues related to culture, convention, tradi...more
Sandra
Jul 08, 2012 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor and a like for well written pulp SciFi.
This book was just delicious. Pure enjoyment without any gut wrenching evil or drama that brings you to tears. I personally need that once in a while. I don't remember how many years ago I first read it...30 maybe? But I enjoyed it tremendously than and still reread it every few years because it's worth it. The two sequels written by different authors after Mr Schmitz passed away are worth seeking out although not quite the quality of the original. I wish he had written more novels. I need to se...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 68 69 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Wizard of Karres (The Witches of Karres, #2)
  • The Sorceress of Karres (The Witches of Karres, #3)
  • Rats, Bats & Vats (The Rats and the Bats, #1)
  • Who?
  • Brain Twister
  • The Whole Man
  • Brittle Innings
  • Past Master
  • Thorns
  • Dark Universe
  • The People: No Different Flesh (The People)
  • Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side
  • The Price of the Stars (Mageworlds, #1)
  • The Year of the Quiet Sun
  • Time Is the Simplest Thing
  • Doorways in the Sand
  • Mission of Gravity (Mesklin, #1)
  • The Ragged Astronauts (Land and Overland Series, #1)
723256
James Henry Schmitz (October 15, 1911–April 18, 1981) was an American writer born in Hamburg, Germany of American parents. Aside from two years at business school in Chicago, Schmitz lived in Germany until 1938, leaving before World War II broke out in Europe in 1939. During World War II, Schmitz served as an aerial photographer in the Pacific for the United States Army Air Corps. After the war, h...more
More about James H. Schmitz...
TNT: Telzey Amberdon & Trigger Argee Together Agent of Vega & Other Stories The Hub: Dangerous Territory (The Hub) Telzey Amberdon Trigger & Friends

Share This Book