The story first appeared as a supposedly full-length novel in the March 1951 Startling Stories as The Starmen of Llyrdis. Leigh Brackett expanded it for the Gnome version nevertheless and Greenberg shortened the title. He apparently didn’t like alien names in titles: not a single title has one. Other publishers must have felt differently. “Of Llyrdis” was reinstated for all later paperback editions.
Villiers Gerson reviewed the book for the November 23, 1952 New York Times Book Review:
Leigh Brackett, one of science fiction’s few stylists, has here written a somewhat over-picturesque novel. Nevertheless, it is well above the average s-f story and is probably one of the best releases that Gnome Press has put out to date.
Groff Conklin reviewed it for the April 1953 Galaxy:
Miss Brackett’s first novel in hard covers is a pleasurable way of passing a couple of hours.
Books in other genres didn’t count; however, please note that the mystery No Good from a Corpse had been published in hardcovers in 1944.
The Starmen, by Leigh Brackett, 1952, title #26, 213 pages, $2.75. 5000 hardbound copies printed, 1952. Grey boards with black lettering. Jacket Design by Ric Binkley. “FIRST EDITION” stated on copyright page. No printer designated. Back cover: 26 titles. Gnome Press address given as 80 East 11th Street, New York 3