Reviews: Chandler, A. Bertram

The Peter Principle as an Adventure Novel

The Big Black Mark — A. Bertram Chandler
John Grimes, book 10

John Grimes, star of a long-running series of novels and shorter works by A. Bertram Chandler (1912–1984), has worked his way up through the ranks of the Federation Survey Service despite the enmity of various senior officers. He has a quality few others can match: he has been extraordinarily lucky. Every error in judgment or failure to follow the precise wording of regulations has been balanced by successes so noteworthy that his superiors have had no choice but to (grudgingly) promote him.

Eventually every run of luck ends. Which gets us to 1975’s Big Black Mark.


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