This short novel was published originally in the February 1950 issue of the pulp AMAZING STORIES and reprinted a few years ago as half of one of the Armchair Fiction science fiction doubles. Author William P. McGivern eventually became a very well-regarded author of mystery and suspense novels, with bestselling books and movie adaptations to his credit. He started out, though, as one of the mainstays of the Ziff-Davis pulp line, contributing many stories to their science fiction and fantasy magazines, AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC ADVENTURES.
Things don’t go well, of course. Storm has to deal with a beautiful female stowaway, a mutiny, a threat from his past, and, sure enough, an alien invasion. There’s enough plot here for a modern-day SF doorstopper or maybe even a trilogy, but McGivern never lets things slow down long enough for that. It’s action and conflict nearly all the way.
The science in this yarn is shaky to non-existent. For example, McGivern never even addresses how come Jupiter has a breathable atmosphere. But 12-year-old boys in 1950 didn’t read stories like this for the science, and neither do old geezers like me in 2019. We read them to feel 12 years old again, and in that respect, THE GALAXY RAIDERS succeeds admirably. The cover painting by Robert Gibson Jones does a great job of depicting the Empress of Jupiter and her robot army. In fact, that phrase right there—“the Empress of Jupiter and her robot army”—ought to go a long way toward telling you whether or not you’d enjoy this story. If you think that’s the silliest, stupidest thing you’ve ever heard, this is probably not the yarn for you, and that's fine.
Me, I’ll be over there with my 12-year-old self, sitting on my parents’ front porch and having a great time reading it.