On David Feintuch

David Feintuch, author of the Nick Seafort science-fiction novels, has passed away. He was sixty-one.

Midshipman’s Hope, the first novel in the Seafort saga, came out when I was in college, and after a very favorable review in the Washington Post I picked up the book and was very taken with it. The book’s pull quote described it as a novel in the vein of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game or Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, but it wasn’t, not really. No, Midshipman’s Hope was C.S. Forester’s Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, only instead of a sailing vessel in the Royal Navy Feintuch’s hero Nick Seafort served aboard a space vessel in the United Nations Space Navy. Other writers have tried to write Hornblower-in-space, but none were as successful in capturing the feel of the Age of Fighting Sail as Feintuch.

Now, thinking back, some of the characters, some of the scenes, come quickly to mind. The one that really stays with me, at the climax of (I think) the second book, was the death of Philip Carr, an officer that served under Seafort that he’d broken for insubordination back to Midshipman. I haven’t looked at the book in close to a decade, and maybe I wouldn’t want to lest I rob the scene as I remember it of its emotional force, and yet thinking back on it now it still moves me.

I never finished the series–though I picked up the fifth and sixth books I’ve never read them. No slight meant to Feintuch, just other things got in the way.

And now Feintuch has passed away, leaving behind a series soon to be eight books long and an enduring character in Nick Seafort.

4 thoughts on “On David Feintuch

  1. Eighth book in the Seafort series? The last one I found is Children of Hope. If there really is an eighth, please let me know.

    thanks

  2. At the time I wrote that, I believe Feintuch was working on the eighth book and/or it was nearing publication.

    As far as I know, it hasn’t yet reached print.

  3. I did some further googling and I believe the book was finished and sent to a publisher but nothing happened after that due to his death. Someone emailed his UK publisher but they never received a manuscript. Another person emailed his US publisher but didn’t receive any response. The tentative name of the book is “Galahad’s Hope” and I googled the name and came up with someone in Europe who implied they have a copy. Web site was not in English so I didn’t get very far.

  4. I corresponded with Mr. Feintuch ages ago (2000? 2001?) after writing a short review of MIDSHIPMAN’S HOPE. I was very sad to read of his passing.

    As for the Seafort Saga; according to Wikipedia, there are indeed eight books with the final (if it was indeed meant to be final) book unpublished. The last published book was “Children of Hope”. The list can be found here:

    Per further reading of the Wikipedia article on “Galahad’s Hope”, the eighth book, you can find this passage:

    “Galahad’s Hope is the current title of the eighth and final book in the Seafort Saga of science fiction novels, and the sequel to Children of Hope. The manuscript was reported to be completed before the death of author David Feintuch, however orbit have no current plans to publish this book. According to an Orbit online marketing executive, they haven’t been approached by anyone connected to David Feintuch with a view to publishing the manuscript.”

    Hopefully Orbit will eventually publish this final novel, but it seems to be lost more to legalities of ownership than anything else. I’d also like to see them get the entire series in eBook format; a few of the later books are not available, for instance, via Amazon Kindle.

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