Friday, June 30, 2017

The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R. Brinley (guest review by Hans G. Schantz)

Here's a great book series review from Hans Schantz that is perfect for the kids' summer reading.

The Mad Scientists' Club

Author: Bertrand R. Brinley
Reviewer: Hans G. Schantz

Bertrand Brinely’s Mad Scientists’ Club stories feature seven clever, independent-minded boys overcoming amazing challenges through ingenuity, teamwork, and, of course, a healthy dose of mad science. Embarking from their clubhouse laboratory, they employ Boy Scout skills, ham radio, electronics, and other technical expertise to not only thwart evil-doers, but also make life a little more interesting for the often bewildered inhabitants of Mammoth Falls. Brinley’s work exudes technological optimism and a can-do spirit – inspiring countless youngsters, present company included, toward careers in science, engineering, and technology.

Their original adventures, collected in The Mad Scientists' Club, include seeking out a hidden treasure, haunting a house, promoting tourism by creating a monster to roam the local lake, and rescuing a lost Air Force pilot. In The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club, the boys’ adventures include thwarting a bank robbery, refurbishing a vintage submarine, creating a flying saucer, attempting to end a drought, and a final confrontation with their arch nemesis, Harmon Muldoon. His first novel-length Mad Scientist’s Club story, The Big Kerplop, presents the origin story of the Mad Scientists’ Club, including how Harmon Muldoon, the club’s radio expert, was kicked out of the club for “conducting unbecoming a scientist” as the club searched for a missing nuclear bomb. His final novel, The Big Chunk of Ice, tells the story of a trans-Atlantic blimp expedition to an alpine valley, where the boys accompany a geologist, Professor Stratavarious, in his investigations of a glacier, which hides another “big chunk of ice,” a diamond. Brinley has trouble maintaining a fast-paced sense of adventure in his longer works, but they are still worth a read, particularly for fans. All four books are available from Amazon, or direct from Purple House Press. Purple House Press specializes in classic children’s fiction like Clifford B. Hicks’ The Big Chunk of Ice by Edward Ormondroyd, and several books from Alvin Fernald series.

Born a hundred years ago on June 19, 1917, Bertrand Brinley served in the Army in World War II and was aide-de-camp to the head of the United Nations delegation during the negotiations for the Korean War Armistice. His Mad Scientists’ Club stories were originally serialized in Boy’s Life. I’m deeply honored that Bertrand Brinley’s son, Sheridan, granted permission for me to include Harmon Muldoon as a villain in my forthcoming alternate history science fiction techno thriller, A Rambling Wreck. Although darker in tone than Brinley’s work, I try to capture the same can-do attitude and technological optimism of the Mad Scientists’ Club in my own series.

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Hans G. Schantz is a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and emerging science fiction writer, author of the Amazon top-ten alternate history science fiction techno thriller, The Hidden Truth, currently on sale for 99 cents, and the sequel to be released on July 1, A Rambling Wreck.

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