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The Winds of Gath

(Dumarest of Terra #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A mercenary, a galactic traveller, a survivor: Earl Dumarest is tired and wants to go home. But in a decadent universe where life is cheap and starflight precious, where emotionless conspirators and mind-controlling churches spin webs of intrigue to ensnare whole galaxies, Dumarest's goal seems impossible. For no one knows where his home world lies, no one believes Dumares ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by Ace (first published 1967)
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mark monday
Let me tell you of Earl Dumarest:

Traveler... Adventurer... Mercenary... Serial Monogamist.

First and foremost, he is from Old Earth, also known as Terra, and he longs to return home.

TERRA: the seed from which all worlds grew! In the millennia since colony ships left her soil, she has become a tale that few have heard, an improbable legend that even those few doubt. A myth, a joke, a SHANGRI-LA, a fable from songs! But Earl knows she exists, and he will find her!

In his early days, young Earl stow
Mark Hodder
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
The Dumarest novels were a fixture in the secondhand bookshops of my youth. I used to buy them for collecting’s sake and because I liked the covers, but I never actually read one. Four decades later, I’ve just finished the first of the 33-novel series, and to my considerable surprise, it’s not at all what I expected, which is to say, it’s actually rather good. There’s nothing mind-blowing here. We’re at the other end of the sci-fi spectrum from, for example, Philip K. Dick. However, where advent ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ACE SF Double had a 21 year life span.

books in the "Dumarest of Terra" series helped get me through college.

Dumarest is usually described as of medium height, with brown hair, wearing nondescript grey clothing and carries a knife in his boot.

He struggles against the Cyclan, a group of cybernetically enhanced humans who want to rule universe and are hunting Earl because he has the secret of the “Affinity Twin”, 15 biological molecular units that allow those injected to switch minds. The Cyla
Jared Millet
I can’t remember when I first became aware of the Dumarest series, but the concept sold me right off the bat: a lone traveler searching the galaxy for his lost homeworld, Earth. There were two problems: the series was long out of print and there were a godawful lot of books in it. But lo and behold, some kind soul of a publisher released them all as cheap ebooks! Well, here we go.

The first book begins with Dumarest at a dead end on the planet Gath. It’s not where he meant to be, but the ship he’
Angus McKeogh
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m not sure if this genre is considered “space opera” or what. But this is the short first novel in a series of 40-something plus books following a space traveler trying to return to Earth. The first chapter was in this vein, then a corny almost fantasy novel follows in all the successive chapters, excepting the final few paragraphs that refer to the initial narrative again. Much too hard boiled but doesn’t manage to pull it off. Just mediocre. I’m certainly not overly eager to delve into the n ...more
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the first of the Dumarest series. It's not bad but some of the later ones are better, I thought. ...more
Roddy Williams
Apart from the Perry Rhodan series, this may well qualify as the longest literary Space Opera of the Twentieth Century, at once both generally unrecognised and under-rated, it comprises of some 31 volumes published at roughly six-monthly intervals between 1967 and 1985, with a further two volumes published in 1997 and 2008.
Dumarest is a seasoned fighter with lightning responses, working his passage around a galaxy of thousands of planets, attempting to return to the planet he ran away from as a
Rob Thompson
Dumarest of Terra is a 33-volume series of science fiction novels by Edwin Charles Tubb. Each story is a self-contained adventure, but throughout the series, Earl Dumarest, the protagonist, searches for clues to the location of his home world, Earth. Dumarest is a galactic adventurer, sometime bodyguard, mercenary, gladiator, prospector, hunter, gambler and starship jack of all trades. Dumarest, as he is most often referred to in the books, is on a quest to return to the lost planet of his birth ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was positively surprised by this first book of the (eventually) epic Dumarest saga. I only knew E.C. Tubb from more-or-less badly translated and usually shortened German editions found in the half-off bin in the 80s. Thanks to the SF Gateway E-book edition, I could finally read the original Winds of Gath, first published in 1967.

Tubb creates a galaxy not unlike A. Bertram Chandler's Galactic Rim, or in more modern times, Firefly, with many effectively independent planets, with different levels
A Critical Reader
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This one is a tough one. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the whole "winds" mystery, and Winds of Gath also rubs my love for golden era science fiction just the right way. On the other hand calling the characters two-dimensional card-board cutouts would be doing an injustice to card-board cutouts.

The story itself also lacks depth; it's a pulp-ish concatenation of usually fairly random action sequences. It's still entertaining enough, and the book is a quick read. It doesn't get boring, but it d
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: traveller
First of a long science fiction series; very influential on the origins and development of the SF RPG Traveller from GDW (published in 1977) - I've read the older Ace double and would be interested in seeing if the later Ace edition had more material. The UK original edition is said to have more to it, as I learned from staff at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore. ...more
Ian Massey
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars? Really? Yes, although perhaps more out of nostalgia than much else. The Dumarest saga has been part of my life for most of it. I first came across it when Starburst magazine printed a review of, I think, book 17, when it was first published. I was pre-teen and don't remember what about that review resonated with my, but I know I bought a copy of the book at my local WH Smith's shortly after and, for a time, I was hooked. I bought new volumes as they came out and hunted down past volu ...more
Oh, the nostalgia!

I'm giving it 3.5 stars, by the way.

Read Dumarest Book 3, Toyman, some 20 years ago and I've been intrigued since. Imagine my delight to realise I can easily read the whole series of about 33 books finally...!

I liked this first book. I wasn't really expecting much, just wanted to have fun.
Dumarest is that stone cold hardass I remember from my childhood. I really like the guy, he's real to me.
The science part was fair, then became awesome when Earl went on his slowtime walk/run.
My younger brothers introduced me to Dumarest back in early 1970s. I think this is when the paperback took off; at least in Australia? Earlier in USA probably and now pulp fiction international. Now -50 years later -Dumarest appears to still have a following. He's a cool hero, and adds something more to the basic requirements. Yes he's smart, strong, ingenious, cunning, a great fighter, and as well, he cares for people and he lives by his ethics.
What can I add? This book does the job well. It's
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Space opera adventure in a relatively grimdark setting. Its depiction of women isn't the best, complete with a story of a man killed after falsely being accused of rape.

I read this because it was a major influence on the Traveller role-playing game, which is obvious to anyone reading it who is familiar with the original Traveller RPG. The interesting thing is that what it contributed was all the stuff that I disliked, didn't really care that much about, and/or never used. Fast and slow drugs tha
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am giving it five stars, but I wish I could do 4.5. My reason being that the editing and formatting was of extremely poor quality. I don't know if that is particular to the edition I read or is a constant thing. Other than that, the story is tightly written, fast-paced, and for once we have a hero who isn't a piece of garbage, and for that I am rounding up my score. I won't say that I didn't see a few of the reveals coming, but it was still enjoyable to watch the story unfold. I will continue ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good..i was surprised to see it was written in 1967 as it was a seamless story. If you are a fan of the old RPG Traveller, then this may appeal to you as there is some terminology that GDW may have used for their game.

Tubb wrote many more books in this serious and i intend on reading as many as i can.
Albion Zeglin
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic old school science fiction. It is about going someplace strange, and meeting new people (some good, some less so).

Earl Dumarst is very much like Odysseus journeying. Each book, being the next stop on his journey.

I recommend this series.
Stephen Ryan
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I mean, it's pure pulp. Don't expect great literature. But, man, the energy level is incredibly high and I blew through the book in like two sittings. So much fun. I'm definitely going to continue with this series. ...more
Mark Ayers
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Traveller SFRPG

Here you find the origin of Traveller the science fiction role playing game. So much in this story directly maps to that game created in the mid 1970s. Read, enjoy, and be aware that 32 more volumes await.
Middle of the road science fantasy, adventure novel that has not aged particularly well...but an enjoyable diversion.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A fun quick read. Very clever. I'm going to start reading more of these older, shorter SF novels. ...more
John Massey
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good, if a bit laconic.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, scifi
Just about the best junk scifi I’ve read in a while.
Paul Pryce
It took 40 years to join this series. Some great vocabulary and writing - so much so that I felt sickened in some parts.
Overall I felt it was Dune meets Star Trek. Not sure I can cover the remaining 32 books.
Erin Hartshorn
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
The Winds of Gath was originally released in 1967, the first in the Dumarest of Terra series. It has many of the hallmarks of classic space opera -- worlds ruled by a single monarchy, simple (albeit pricey) travel between the stars, creatures that can be used to assassinate others, shadowy organizations, and a super-competent hero as comfortable with solving a mystery as with fighting for his life.

One thing that did strike me as odd when compared to more recent fiction was the early lack of an o
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ace double of the first two Dumarest of Terra novels.

Thousands of years in the future, humankind had spread throughout the galaxy, settling thousands of worlds.

Earl Dumarest had stowed away on a ship leaving Earth at ten years of age. The old captain had sort of adopted him and he's gradually moved out into the galaxy, exploring worlds. His usual plan is to work a job saving his money for the next flight out while exploring said planet. he generally travels low as it's cheaper though more danger
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first book of the long Dumarest of Terra series of space opera books. I started reading these books when I was 13 (starting in the middle with Jester at Scar.) I never finished the series, but I'm hoping to now. As with my reviews of the Barsoom books, take my Dumarest reviews with a grain of nostalgia salt.

This book introduces you to the major players in the series, and sets up lots of, um, cultural things that are repeatedly encountered in later books. The whole Traveller lifestyle
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I love this series and have collected the entire 31 books and read them over and over again. It has been close to twenty years since I last read the series, in fact I have not read the last three books that I purchased. I had always planned on reading it once more but never seemed in the mood for the genre. Finally started book one and at first thought it would not catch my imagination and that I would not get my wish of rereading Dumarest but it did grab me, as of old, and my pleasure was sure. ...more
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Edwin Charles Tubb (15 October 1919 – 10 September 2010) was a British writer of science fiction, fantasy and western novels. The author of over 140 novels and 230 short stories and novellas, Tubb is best known for The Dumarest Saga (US collective title: Dumarest of Terra) an epic science-fiction saga set in the far future

Much of Tubb's work has been written under pseudonyms including Gregory Kern

Other books in the series

Dumarest of Terra (1 - 10 of 34 books)
  • Derai (Dumarest of Terra, #2)
  • Toyman (Dumarest of Terra #3)
  • Kalin (Dumarest of Terra #4)
  • The Jester At Scar (Dumarest of Terra #5)
  • Lallia (Dumarest of Terra #6)
  • Technos (Dumarest of Terra, #7)
  • Veruchia (Dumarest of Terra, #8)
  • Mayenne (Dumarest of Terra #9)
  • Jondelle (Dumarest of Terra #10)
  • Zenya (Dumarest of Terra #11)

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