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Hal Spacejock

(Hal Spacejock #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,160 ratings  ·  183 reviews
ASIN moved from less recent edition here

Freighter pilot Hal Spacejock refuses to work for gun runners, drug smugglers and politicians. Unfortunately, this results in no customers, no cargo jobs and no hope of paying off the huge loan on his precious ship.
When a debt collector kicks in his airlock and threatens his life, Hal grabs the nearest job and blasts off without
Kindle Edition, Fourth Edition, 338 pages
Published August 15th 2011 by Bowman Publishing (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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Jun 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover blurb compares Hal Spacejock to Red Dwarf, so I went in expecting that same level of silliness and humor. (Rather, that level of humour -- Australian spelling, after all.) And silliness it delivers. Hal Spacejock, incompetent pilot on the cargo ship Black Gull, lands a job transporting robot parts from point A to point B. On his side is the old robot Clunk. Against him is, well, pretty much everyone else, from warships to desperate thieves to debt collectors to dockmasters who object ...more
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the book, the main character irritated me: he blamed others when things went wrong and took credit when things went right. As I approached the end, that caused me to think I'd rate it 3 or 4 stars (3 being what I give most books). The ending easily threw it to the four star.

Reviews say it is hilarious. I've learned never to believe those. It also may suggest that the plot is subordinated to the humor. I'm happy to report it was a fun, light book (not hilarious, but does earn giggles
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hal Spacejock is the first book I have come across that holds the special title of "all the elements I love in sci-fi, done to such an extent that I cannot enjoy them."

- Robots? Check.
- Spaceships? Check.
- Comically-dunderheaded captain? Check.

The last one was the real stickler. I love it when captains get shown up by their crew, but Hal Spacejock takes it to such a level that I cannot suspend my disbelief that he accidentally killed himself with a spoon at age 6. Here we have a one-man crew of
Taylor Longford
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for scifi and I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't genius (for me, that's Douglas Adams) but it was pretty close. I actually thought it would make a great movie because there's so much dry sarcasm and slapstick action that would come across better in film. So I hope somebody makes a movie some day. Good Luck, Simon Haynes.
Dan Evans
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2011
I can't remember when I have enjoyed a book so much! I howled so hard my stomach hurt along with the tears of laughter. Anything can be programmed or hacked to do what you want! Simon Haynes did a great job of it with this book. As soon as I secure some credits I am going for the next book!
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a roller coaster science fiction book that never stops. The robots are loveable, more adventurous, smarter, more human like and funnier than C3PO and R2D2. Hal takes a wild ride to pay off debts, save his spaceship, save a friendly robot and to solve the myriad problems that keep popping up because of bad decisions.

The book was a lot of fun and kept you reading long after you were supposed to put it down and do something useful. If you like science fiction with a load of visual
Heather Hayden
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you go into this story expecting depth instead of light, larger-than-life comedy, prepare to be disappointed. I, however, I expected it to be a light read with plenty of humor. That there is--another reviewer suggested it being made into a movie, and I could definitely see it as one. A lot of the visuals would convert very well over to a film media. Was it the best story I've ever read? No, but for an afternoon of quiet chuckles at some of the more ridiculous situations Clunk and Hal get ...more
John Hausrath
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a free download. A space adventure. Was OK.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty much in love with Simon Haynes's writing style. I laughed the entire book through. I want a Clunk.
Ziggy Nixon
Jun 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Ziggy by: Kobo special offer
Shelves: sci-fi
Generous 1 star and that is ONLY because this was a freebie. If I had paid a single penny for it, I would print out a page or two just so I'd have something to tear up and throw away...

Wow, being a 14-year old fan of science fiction, this book was really swell! Gosh gee willikers, but... no wait, I'm a 54-year old adult that occasionally makes bad decisions because of too-good-to-be-true price offers and is too stubborn to put an awful book down before he wastes part of a Sunday reading it,
Paul Tietjens
I only find out about Simon Haynes until recently. After finishing his first book, I'm eager to read more. It reminded me, in a way, of reading The Color of Magic for the first time. I had a chuckle or two, here or there, but wasn't sure what to think of it. Imagine my surprise when Terry Pratchett gifted me with a lifetime of humor and insight.

Hal, and his robot foil Clunk, end up going from pratfall to planetfall in this book. The narrative has a nice steady flow, and you're never given too
Flora Smith
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this as a free ecopy in exchange for my honest review.

I usually don't like books that are futuristic space stories but I rather enjoyed this one. It reminded me alot of the movie Spaceballs but on a less adolescent level. I thought it was a really funny book with characters full of personality. Hal Spacejock is a pilot that doesn't have a clue how to fly his spaceship. He's accompanied by an aging robot, Clunk, thats trying to escape the scrap heap, and his onboard sarcastic computer
Sean Randall
Jan 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I surely can't be the only person to fail to see a great deal of humour in this overlong and rambling work. From the rather cheap and cheesy name Spacejock to the alarmingly telling levels of authorial insecurity (displayed by the necessity of a "this isn't a Red Dwarf spoof" webpage) the book managed not only to fail to amuse me very much, but also put me off thinking about getting the rest of the series, too.

This is a shame because the author seems keen to promote accessible e-books which, as
Simon Ford
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Better than I thought.

Meet Hal Spacejock the man who makes Mr Bean look like Stephen Hawking. What an idiot, how is he still alive? Mainly due to the downtrodden robot, Clunk.

Very funny in places, I don't know if I'd say it was funnier than Red Dwarf or Hitch-hikers.

Will buy and read the second story on the strength of this novel.
Carmen K
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not quite as funny as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not quite as adventurous as The Stainless Steel Rat. Not quite as original as, well, something more original would be. It is an amusing, light reading. I like the writing style and the story line.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, humor, abandoned
I had to give up on this novel before I was even halfway through. It is outrageously unbelievable, which would be acceptable if it were actually funny, but it failed to do more than make half-smile once or twice.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a free download from Amazon for my Kindle.

It's nothing particularly original but a very fun story with likeable characters that remind me of Red Dwarf or Firefly.

Definitely worth a read!
Samuel Proulx
Australian funny science fiction that tries just slightly too hard. Instead of coming off funny, it at times manages only silly. However, when it does get funny, it is extremely funny.
Marina Fontaine
A very nice light read. Think Star Wars without the war or Firefly without the darkness. Lots of chases, witty banter and mercifully free of romance and "social messages." Pure space fun.
Bill Davis
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laughed my ass off. Beats Red Dwarf hands down.
Bonnie Dale Keck
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
kindle unlimited

It's a simple job, straight in and out ... but don't be late.

Clunk's grateful when his boss sends him for a refit, because old robots are usually junked.

But you just know there's a catch. I mean, come on, Clunk's a little naive, but he's an intelligent robot.

Turns out the workshop is on the next planet, and Clunk's boss wants him to carry out a trivial task while he's there: help a freelancer pick up some cargo.

How can he refuse? Clunk's a certified co-pilot, so landing in a
Apr 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinishable
I saw this book and was a little leery of it due to its title (I mean, "A Robot Named Clunk" seems a little too on the nose for a robot name), but I fell in love with the Bobiverse books by Dennis E. Taylor (Another SciFi title I was leery of before), and so I thought I'd give this book a chance.

I can't believe anyone in this book is able to survive.

(view spoiler)
Peter Summersby
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Robot Named Clunk was a nice little discovery by Simon Haynes. It is the first in a series called Hal Space Jock. The robot that the book is named after join Hal in a simple mission, what follows is a series of mishaps that is compounded by Hal. The effect of the story is one of a series of problems that build upon each other and finally come a stunning conclusion.
Some of the accidents seemed a little contrived as they happen just when Hal or Clunk seem to be achieving what they wanted. The
Valeriekindle Veatch
Good “humorous science fiction” is hard to find

The book is billed as a humorous science fiction. The tale focuses on Hal Spacejock, captaining his “on it’s last legs” space ship, bumbling thru space. The upside is (if you persevere long enough)... the story does develop into something less two dimensional then the initial chapters of the story would lead you to expect. I thought the last third of the book did pull the book up to “okay.” The downside is, you do have to slog through the beginning.
This was such a funny book. My hubby and I listened to it on audio (Goodreads hasn't been updated for this edition) which was awesome as there was music between each scene and chapter, and the robot and computer voices were synthesized. And of course it was read by an Australian as it should be since that is where the writer is from.

If you like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf Omnibus: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers & Better Than Life then you really need to try out Hal
Bryan Ewert
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Back when I was 9, I probably would have loved this story. Now, alas, I found the slapstick style humour to be cliche and bland, garnering more eye rolls than chuckles.

For a grown-up version of this, try Ian Tregillis' "The Mechanical."

For another space jock pilot with an A.I. copilot, but with more sophisticated humour, try Joseph R. Lallo's "Big Sigma" series.
Chris Payne
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't do book reviews......

I don't do book reviews like you keep seeing, as I find that some give too much of the plot away and I personally hate that, as it makes the book not worth reading. I much prefer to take the authors back cover write up as a review as it can either intrigue you enough to read the book of provide you enough information to make you decide that the book is not for you.
My review rules are: The more stars, the more I liked it.
If there are too many typos or errors the less
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked this up recently when it was advertised as a freebie on a popular social-media website, more out of a sense of curiosity than any other, with it billed (from memory) as something like light science-fiction with a heavy dose of comedy throughout

The verdict?

Light? Yep.
Science-fiction? Yes again.

Comedy? Well, that's the stickler: comedy, after all, is a very subjective matter. I know David Walliams, for instance, is very popular: I've just never warmed to that brand of comedy at all. And
Anita Fisher
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
First off, the Hal Spacejock series is a riot. I just read all nine books back-to-back, twice, and am starting a third round as we speak. That said, I nearly put this book away because the main character acts like an inconsiderate idiot for almost the entirety of the book. In his defence it has to be said that he never acts out of malice, and he does redeem himself in the end.

The two things that really hooked me, however, were Clunk, the robot, and the hair-raising, funny situations he and Hal
D.L. Morrese
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hal Spacejock is an incompetent jerk. He's a space freighter pilot whose flying abilities pretty much begin and end with pressing the autopilot button. He's bad at business, has lousy interpersonal skills, and is deeply in debt to some nefarious lenders. Oh, and his ship is easily mistaken for scrap. In desperation, he takes on a shady job to pick up and deliver used robot parts. Hilarity ensues. This is kind of a clowns in space science fiction story, with robots as the good guys and the humans ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #106 - Hal Spacejock 1 2 Jul 18, 2014 11:34AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. "Hal Spacejock" by Simon Haynes 1 4 Apr 17, 2012 08:53PM  
Goodreads Authors...: The Hal Spacejock series 3 6 Sep 28, 2011 11:57AM  

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Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock, Harriet Walsh and Hal Junior (MG) series. He divides his time between writing fiction and computer software, with the occasional bike ride thrown in for a laugh.

Simon lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Other books in the series

Hal Spacejock (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Second Course (Hal Spacejock #2)
  • Just Desserts (Hal Spacejock #3)
  • No Free Lunch (Hal Spacejock #4)
  • Framed (Hal Spacejock #4.1)
  • Visit (Hal Spacejock #4.2)
  • Baker's Dough (Hal Spacejock #5)
  • Safe Art (Hal Spacejock #6)
  • Big Bang (Hal Spacejock #7)
  • Double Trouble (Hal Spacejock #8)
  • Max Damage (Hal Spacejock #9)
“Freighter pilot Hal Spacejock has a life to die for: His very own cargo ship, a witty and intelligent flight computer ... and a debt so big it makes the GFC look like a rounding error. Hal's an upright sort of guy, and he won't take jobs from gun runners, drug smugglers or politicians. On the other hand, the finance company's brutal enforcer is on his doorstep, and Hal has barely twenty-four hours to pay him off. Miss the deadline and he - and his ship - will go under. Way, way, under.” 1 likes
“Apres moi le wreckage” 1 likes
More quotes…