This was one of a big pile of yellowing DAW paperbacks I found in an antique/flea shop in Brussels, all going at 2 Euro a pop. I was drawn to this oneThis was one of a big pile of yellowing DAW paperbacks I found in an antique/flea shop in Brussels, all going at 2 Euro a pop. I was drawn to this one by the references to 17th century Ireland, a period of personal interest.
So, yes, this is dire quality sword and planet fiction. A number of reviews say it is sub-par Edgar Rice Burroughs but I think that's doing Edgar a disservice. Okay, so it is fantasy, but the 'historical' elements lack any research and are just as much fantasy as the whole alien world idea. And that annoys me.
Several things strike me as odd about the whole story. First off, although published in 1977, it has the look and feel of something written as a series for the kind of periodicals that abounded in the 20s and 30s. Even the word count seems so precise and managed, as if it is written for a 'pay by the word' old world periodical.
The hero is dire, the protagonists are dire, the plot is dire. So why couldn't I put it down? Probably because I couldn't believe that it was actually that bad! But it was; getting to the last page did not provide any satisfaction....more
A random pickup from a charity shop. I am glad I didn't pay full price for this pulp. The language and descriptions felt cliched and stifled. To be hoA random pickup from a charity shop. I am glad I didn't pay full price for this pulp. The language and descriptions felt cliched and stifled. To be honest I kept thinking this book had been written by a teenager for someone with a limited reading age, or else it has been edited with that audience in mind. This is not Sharpe by any stretch of the imagination.What is really missing is any sense of time or place behind the wooden cut-out characters. You don't 'feel the period' in this work. There is no sense of drama and the threadbare plot simply plods from A to B. These factors are probably why I kept thinking this was a book aimed at children. Passingly I made mental comparisons with the pulp fiction of the 1920s and 30s but that would be doing E.R. Burroughs and similar a disservice. Certainly this series is not a patch on the Jack Absolute series of C.C. Humphreys....more
A straight forward narrative shoot-em up adventure romp through a two-dimensional universe (which adds a third dimension if you buy the figures to goA straight forward narrative shoot-em up adventure romp through a two-dimensional universe (which adds a third dimension if you buy the figures to go with it!). Suitable for young adults. As far as I am aware it remains true to the Imperial franchise.
There is a touch of the Flashman in the main character but this is not up there with George MacDonald Fraser....more
**spoiler alert** The first novel in a series. The basic premise revolves around the central character having pre-cognisance of the future. In the fir**spoiler alert** The first novel in a series. The basic premise revolves around the central character having pre-cognisance of the future. In the first book she joins the military as part of her plan to manipulate the time-streams and prevent some great future catastrophe. We have the fairly standard raw recruit in boot camp chapters followed by a number of different action encounters in each of which our heroine uses her abilities to see the future and therefore manipulate the present. In a way it's a bit of a superhero story as the individual has these special abilities that mere mortals don't. And the only thing that helps her survive all these encounters are the special abilities. To be honest, I was bored with it in the end and didn't care what new superpower would get the heroine out of the next fix of Space Marines versus alien pirates or Space Marines versus the crime syndicates. Did I mention aliens? Yes, but they are all rather two dimensional. Am I going to read the next book in the series? Frankly no. There is plenty of decent military sci-fi out there that I would prefer to spend my time on....more
**spoiler alert** This tour of sci-fi conventions is part autobiography and part a series of anecdotes about listening to convention circuit minor cul**spoiler alert** This tour of sci-fi conventions is part autobiography and part a series of anecdotes about listening to convention circuit minor cult celebrities providing anecdotes.
Yes, the book has humour if you happen also to have a passing interest in the cultural geekery of sci-fi and fantasy television programming. Yes the book provides an insight into why certain pre-pubescent boys (and increasingly girls) never quite escape the toys of their childhood. However, the only real message I get from this book is that most sci-fi anoraks who go to conventions will always be sad, lonely and disappointed people because they regularly confront the fact that the heroes of their youth have turned into middle-aged, wine-swilling lovees!
Don't ever go to a sci-fi convention about your favourite sci-fi film. Keep the dream alive. Don't sully it with tales of how the reality of the dream was achieved by an extra with a damaged fingernail! Star Wars is real. It's not a set in Elstree!...more
After rereading the Brian Daley Han Solo trilogy I thought it was time to sample some of the more recent forays into the franchise. The Corellian linkAfter rereading the Brian Daley Han Solo trilogy I thought it was time to sample some of the more recent forays into the franchise. The Corellian link got me settled on this trilogy.
I wasn't blown away. The plot lines seemed basic and the characters are all quite two dimensional. Considering the size of the universe it's quite amazing that all the familiar characters of the original trilogy all end up in more or less the same place. None of them really seem to have moved on character wise, notwithstanding this is a few years after Return of the Jedi. It's almost as it their vocabulary and their entire approach to life has been frozen into a pastiche dictated by the original movies. And to add insult to injury there are children thrown in; and, of course, they are no ordinary children - except they are, but they aren't.
There's no depth to the characters. There is no depth to the action sequences. It's like the entire plot and the people in it exist in a bubble.
The worst thing is that I'll still going to have to read the entire trilogy just to see if my initial reaction holds true....more