James H Schmitz  (1911-81)

With Schmitz, you're not reading; you're simply there, in the interstellar Federation of the Hub, and you get on with it.  There are criminals to foil, pirates to defeat, alien menaces and altered humans to defend yourself against (and find allies among), beaurocracies to circumvent, psi powers to come to terms with.... and some very likeable characters to get to know.  The wonder of it all is that this immense literary achievement is carried out with no strain.  It is the brilliance of artless art.

He provides us with a cross section of life in the Federation of the Hub.  Most of the stories have settings which are roughly contemporary with each other - their chronological range seems to stretch over only a few years.  The effect of this tight squeeze in Time is to enhance our sense of the vastness of the society portrayed.

The stories were written from the early 1960s to 1974.  Not much information seems to be available on this author.  He was born in Germany of US parents and emigrated to the USA in 1938, but from his work he would seem to be a citizen of the universe.