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

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,495 ratings  ·  90 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, 352 pages
Published 1988 by Gollancz (first published 1966)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,495)
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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.
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.
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.
Leons1701
This is one of those semi-forgotten underground classics that, like many people, I'd heard of but never read or indeed even seen available anywhere. So I was reasonably pleased to find a copy on my most recent foray to the used bookstore.
Calling this science fiction is really to distort the term beyond all meaning, this is a perfect example of what is sometimes referred to as science fantasy. Sure, there are spaceships and ray guns and various unexplained technological devices but there are als
...more
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
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
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!
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.
Jack White
Jul 15, 2014 Jack White rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 12
James Schmitz was a solid writer of 1940s and 1950s space opera, in that genre's most entertaining form. This book is rather outlier in his usual work. It's full of charm and wit, together with high adventure. Captain Pausert of the Republic of Nikkeldepain is actually a formidable man, but he's not quite aware of that he is. Chance (or is it klatha?) leads him into a galactic crisis in which he plays a decisive part, carrying it off with courage and resolve. And anyone in their right mind would ...more
E.T. Ellison
Dated, but so what? A classic scifi-ish adventure tale and a personal feelgood fave. Each time I read it I really, really, really want to find a way to move to Karres and be able to manipulate klatha energy (can I mommy, please can I?). I first read it as a short story in one of the scifi magazines in way-back-when. Not sure how many times I've read the book, but it's a bunch. I still read it every few years when I feel the need for something that delivers a reliable dose of pure fun. Do I care ...more
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
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 by James H. Schmitz.

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
Vanessa Grant
James H. Schmidt won the Hugo award for The Witches of Karres in 1967, and it's one of my all time favorite SciFi novels. It's been termed a space opera and I'd say that's an appropriate description.

If you love character-driven novels, magic, and a great trip of the imagination, take a journey into space with Captain Pausart and the three witch children he rescues from slavery in The Witches of Karres.

... and watch out for the vatches!

Vanessa
Jim Mcclanahan
A good old fashioned space opera with some likeable and interesting characters. I know I read the novella version of this many years ago because a couple of the early scenes leapt out at me in deja vu fashion. But the bulk of the remaining story dealing with action and intrigue seemed fresh and enjoyable. The direction of the plot and the involvement of the three "witches" change drastically as the tale progresses. But it's great fun anyway.
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
Jay Parks
Brilliant, funny, exciting, adventurous, and filled with the same wide-eyed sensawonder that made so many people love Star Wars more than a decade later. The book's only flaw is that Schmitz never wrote a sequel (though other authors, much later, did their valiant best).
Michael
This is a personal favorite of mine. It embodies an adventurous, light hearted style of classic SF. Mysterious planets, strange aliens, interesting characters lots of humor. Not for everyone, perhaps, but it has a treasured place on my bookshelf.
Chadwick
This is the rare golden age piece that manages to hold up to contemporary standards. It has that pulpy, swashbuckling sense of fun, but it somehow manages to transcend the limitations and prejudices of its time.
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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
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