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Hal Spacejock


Author: Simon Haynes
Web site: Hal Spacejock
Books Available: Hal Spacejock, Second Course, Just Desserts, No Free Lunch (4 Apr 2008)
Initial Impression: Ho-hum. Another "sci-fi comedy series". Decently-sized font and a comfortably-sized book for light comic relief. Boy, am I glad I actually corresponded with Simon and let him convince me to read the book! The initial impression is definitely nowhere near as good as the rest of the book.
Cost:Au $16.95.

Alexander the Great Supplement
As Delivered

Long Review: Well, after missing my train home one night and on the trip in to work the next day I finished the book- that's right, only two days. It's a testament to how engrossing the book is, not how little substance it has.
In a nutshell- it had me trying to keep a straight face, failing miserably at times and then sniggering to myself on my seat (I'm pretty sure that the other commuters were wondering what medication I'm on), so it definitely succeeds on the humour front.

   The story? Well, it's about a tramp cargo-hauler captain (the Hal Spacejock of the title) who is about to lose his ship, unless he manages to pull off a quick cargo-run to collect cargo from a "sealed" planet. To help him, he has his ship's nav computer and the client's robot (Clunk), who is going to a retirement centre on this planet. Of course, nothing happens according to plan, and Hal's escapades get more and more intricate until he (and everyone he's involved with) are thoroughly confused as to what the mission actually was.
   I don't really want to put too many spoilers here, but Hal's adventures include the obligatory crashes, car chases and nasty port-masters.
   I think the highest praise I can give is that it reminds me of Douglas Adams rather than Terry Pratchett- it's more mature and not as "in-your-face" as Pratchett (who is one of my favourites). I really like Simon's style. The way the whole plot plays out reminds me of my past in sci-fi role-playing (Star Frontiers and that sort of thing) with its twists and Hal's vision of the universe and his place in it. I think that anyone reading Hal's adventures will see a little of themselves in him- I certainly did.
Readability: an easy read, very entertaining.
Sources: Donated by Simon Haynes after an e-mail enquiry about the book.
Other reviews for this author: See the reviews:

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