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Bill, the Galactic Hero

(Bill, the Galactic Hero #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  3,643 ratings  ·  156 reviews
It was the highest honor to defend the Empire against the dreaded Chingers, an enemy race of seven-foot-tall lizards. But Bill, a Technical Fertilizer Operator from a planet of farmers, wasn't interested in honor-he was only interested in two things: his chosen career, and the shapely curves of Inga-Maria Calyphigia. Then a recruiting robot shanghaied him with knockout dro ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by iBooks (first published January 1st 1965)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,643 ratings  ·  156 reviews


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Manny
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love this book. He walks up to Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and slaps a cream pie in its face. Then he kicks it in the balls and stands back to admire the effect, before setting to work on Isaac Asimov's Foundation. They both had it coming :)

Ivan Lutz
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Bill je "rođen glup, ali brzo uči", ima dvije desne ruke i radnja se za njega lijepi kao med za kruh. Bilo mi je zgodno čitati sarkazam, homor, vojnu nelogičnost i glupost, ali ako ste čitali npr. Kvaku 22, nema se tu novoga što za reći.
Čak se i referira u dijelovima na Kvaku jer Harrison također pravi logičku petlju iz koje vojnik ne može izaći.
Prijevod je blaga katastrofa, oluja i uragan s ledom velikim kao lubenice. Također, netko to voli ali ja ne volim, smeta mi obraćenje Harrisona čitate
...more
Brad
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a death in my family this week, so reading a funny sci-fi book was both a good and bad idea.

Good because the humor cheered me up; bad because much of the humor was lost on me.

But even with my bias, Bill the Galactic Hero is a fine piece of political sci-fi. Harry Harrison's book is not so much an anti-war manifesto as it is an anti-ridiculousness manifesto.

Harrison just happens to recognize that war, bureaucracy, government, and all those other things that are so much a part of homo
...more
Daniel
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
S jedne strane dosta ozbiljna i na momente surova a sa druge strane parodija i satira na vojsku i besmisao ratova. Nije lose mada blago depresivno.
Sandy
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I once met a woman in a bookstore who was in the process of buying Harry Harrison's 1965 classic "Bill, the Galactic Hero." She told me that she'd read it many times already, and that it was the funniest book ever. Well, I've never forgotten that conversation, and had long been meaning to ascertain whether or not this woman was right. It took me almost 20 years to get around to this book, but having just finished "Bill, the Galactic Hero," I must say that, well, it IS very amusing indeed.

In it,
...more
Jurica Ranj
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
Smiješna, zabavna i nasilna satira koja bezobrazno gađa u prepone i bespoštedno kritizira društvo, vojsku i birokraciju. Nivo apsurda je doveden do savršenstva, miješajući uvrnutu logiku, crni humor i najljigavije likove ikad stavljene na papir. Svakih par rečenica Harrison plasira novu urnebesnu situaciju, a blesavi manijakalni svijet u kojem glavni junak Bill nastoji preživjeti je istovremeno zastrašujuć i smiješan. Ovo izdanje (Narodna Knjiga, 1987) je puno grešaka i poluprožvakanih rečenica, ...more
Javier Muñoz
Estas son las aventuras de Bill, un campesino que es reclutado a la fuerza por el ejército imperial, tras esto tenemos la típica comedia disfrazada de libro de ciencia ficción militar, desgraciadamente el humor de Harry Harrison no termina de ser para mí, me saca alguna sonrisa pero poco más.
Sublimacia
Nov 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vzadu na prebale tejto knihy je napísané:" Zkrátka nejvtipnější SF kniha, jaká kdy byla napsána. Terry Pratchett". Čo už ale zabudli napísať je, že Terry to nehovoril o Billovi, ale pravdepodobne niekde v krčme pri pive popisoval nejakú zo svojich kníh. Alebo mu veľa zaplatili. Alebo to bolo z čias jeho feťáckych úletov (aj keď si neviem predstaviť drogu, ktorá by zvýšila úroveň humoru tejto knihy).
Rakovina konečníku je vtipnejšia než Harry Harrison.
Začala svižne, ale po asi 7 stranách to zťaz
...more
George K.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Η πρώτη μου επαφή με αυτόν τον κλασικό και πολύ γνωστό συγγραφέα επιστημονικής φαντασίας, που δυστυχώς στην Ελλάδα δεν του δόθηκε και τόση προσοχή όσο έπρεπε, τόσα καλά και κλασικά βιβλία έχει γράψει, μόνο δυο έχουν μεταφραστεί, το ένα ακριβούτσικο και το άλλο σπάνιο πλέον.

Τέλος πάντων. Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι από τα πιο αστεία και σατιρικά πολεμικά βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει, σατιρίζει τον πόλεμο, την στρατιωτική και μη γραφειοκρατία, τις κυβερνήσεις και άλλα πολλά. Δεν είναι ας πούμε μια ισ
...more
Ivan Milke
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mnogo sam se smejao citajuci ovu knjigu, tezak sarkazam i cinizam provejava na mnogo mesta

Kako mi je ruka, Dok? — zabrinu se iznenada Bil.
Ispečena kao odrezak. Morao sam da je odsečem.
Onda šta je ovo? — kriknu Bil užasnuto.
Druga ruka, koju sam zašio. Mnogo ih je bilo, preostalih posle borbe. Brod je imao preko 42 procenta
gubitaka, i stvarno sam imao da sečem, i da tranširam, i da zašivam, kad ti kažem.
Poslednji zavoj spade i trupaši uzdahnuše od uživanja.
Hej, pa to je moćno fina ruka!
Izvedi nešt
...more
Scott Rhee
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Harry Harrison wrote "Bill, the Galactic Hero" in 1965. America's failure in the Korean War was starting to be replayed again in the early years of the Vietnam Conflict (Vietnam was a "conflict" before it was a "war", although some historians say it was only a "police action"). The Hippy movement was on the rise. The Sixties were a weird time of Green Berets, Flower Power, Black Panthers, and Free Love. You were either a hippy or a commie-hater. You either enlisted or you got drafted. Either way ...more
Djordje
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating: ★★★★
Xabi1990
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que síííííííííí, que ya lo se, que es una parida de libro, vaaaaaale ... pero me partí el eje cuando lo leí en hace 15 añitos de nada.

Parodia del héroe cachas y simple. Parodia del militarismo. Parodia de los extraterrestres. Creo que Harrison se ríe hasta de la madre que lo parió en esta novela spaceoperiana absurda.

Por si alguien quiere tantear mis gustos abomino del Autoestopista galáctico, supuesta obra culmen del humor en la CF. (Pirx sí me gusta)

Me leí toda la saga de Bill, aunque una vez
...more
Alessandra
I read this when I was too young to get the humor of the hapless dung farmer Bill, who is drafted, mutilated, and turned into a public "hero" in an interstellar war with lizard aliens.

I suppose it is dark, sardonic satire of the military and government and propaganda. But at the time I just thought it was nastier and nastier, sort of like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" with all of the likeable characters and charm removed.

Perhaps I shall read this again in memory of Harrison, who died
...more
Toby
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, funny
I'm not going to waste your time here, this is billed as a humourous science fiction book and I don't recall laughing out loud once. Could be my sense of humour, it's a little suspect, but without the laughs this is only an OK book.
Bails Williams
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Hippies vs. Commie haters. then a cream pie gets thrown in someone's face
Nick
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα βιβλίο με πολύ χιούμορ και περιπέτεια, εμπνευσμένο από τον πόλεμο του Βιετνάμ... Διαβάστε το
Gary
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was just a hoot from start to finish. What is most interesting however is both the satirical and dystopian aspect of the book. Harrison takes a bite out of everyone in the book, the hawks and the doves, the officers and the enlisted men, the government bureaucrats and the dumb joes just doing their duty, and probably some of the pulp sci fi he saw in his day.

The dystopian aspect I found is that once Bill learns the "ropes" of one of his predicaments, whether it be a solider recruit, Fu
...more
Artur Coelho
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ficção científica é assunto sério, certo? Especulação futurista, minuciosos mundos ficcionais, aventuras audaciosas. O humor não tem lugar no meio de tanta coisa que deve ser levada a sério. Claro, pode haver por aí alguns livros mais a apostar nas piadas do que na essência do género, mas nunca farão parte do seu cânone. Se pensarem assim, peguem neste clássico de prosa satírica sem rédeas nem travões, a demolir com gosto os princípios mais comuns da FC, que mostra como utilizar o género para ...more
São
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill era um jovem que apenas ambicionava dedicar-se á agricultura num pedaço de terra, perto da aldeia onde vivia pacatamente com a sua mãe, irmão e um robot- mula, em Phigerinadon Il, planeta membro de um grande império galáctico, que alguns supunham ter tido origem num velho e decrépito mundo conhecido como Terra, localizado à beira da galáxia.

Certo dia a sua vida mudou radicalmente.

Num dia de intenso calor, enquanto observava o traseiro, cor de açúcar de Inga-Maria Calyphigia, que se banhava
...more
Text Addict
143 pages is a quick read, and what I actually have is the Berkeley Medallion edition from 1966, which originally cost fifty cents but we paid forty-nine cents for.

Anyway, this is a parody of military SF, in which the "hero" is literally drugged into signing up for the army and the war is going on because humans are naturally warlike. The ship that Bill winds up on is called Christine Keeler, and I looked her up: she was a model and showgirl, and in 1963, her affair with a British government mi
...more
Petros
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a satire of militarism and bureaucracy, it had lots of ROLFing moments. The problem is, it all plays out in a very “in your face” way, leaving almost everyone as a throwaway caricature. It’s not subtle at what it’s doing, so you can’t see it as a story about people lacking self-awareness. They are more like cartoons written for a joke.

The structure of the plot is also problematic as it goes on. The early part at the army is very fun and well-planned out, as everything seems to progress in an
...more
Charles
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Pretty entertaining and a poignant anti-draft (anti-government compulsion) novel. While not as outright hilarious or as witty as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Bill, the Galactic Hero draws its humor and wit mainly from a "poor boy get's stuck in the army" story that never felt heavy-handed or burdensome or downright melodramatic like many more 'famous' anti-war novels. I'm not sure if I would even put this in the same category as those (and not just because it is a comedy/scifi): while it de ...more
Hacedores
Bueno, la verdad es que me esperaba mucho más de esta novela en tres partes. En cuanto a personajes, Bill es incoherente entre la primera y la segunda parte. A alguien a quien le tratan tan mal en la primera parte no puede sentirse tan especial en la segunda. Pero lo cierto es que me esperaba mucho más humor, cuando lo que me he encontrado es una comedia satírica, en el sentido más basto del término. Es un humor basto, que se pierde si no has tenido la suerte de leerte los libros de ciencia-ficc ...more
Milos Pantelic
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dare I say this is the best book I`ve read?
Well... no, but it comes really close.
First, it says quite a lot in a very short space.
And that has to mean something.

When I`ve first read this book, which came more than two and a half decades ago, I saw it as a satirical, a damn humorous vision of hierarchy, politics, and bloody world as it is.
Boy, did I laugh!

I took it with me when I was drafted, right after NATO wiped out my country. Soon after it went viral through my division I`ve met a security
...more
Richard
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I found this book significantly less humorous than the one-liners put into the title character's mouth in R.G. Wingfield's A Touch of Frost, which I read recently. One of the problems is Bill is an unfocused character. At the start he's a simpleton, then he becomes considerably more savvy in a short time, but I didn't see any transition. He initially reminded me of Candide (from a book which is also much funnier), but in a short time he didn't remind me of anyone. The supporting characters rapid ...more
Jesús
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous, scifi
I would describe it as Terry Pratchett in space.

Moreover, it is supposed to be a parody of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" which is itself a critic to militarism, but I think Bill is better as a critic than Heinlein's original work.
Velma
Apparently, this was written by Harrison as a satirical "piss-take" on Starship Troopers - I'm in!!
Mick Scrimshaw
My paperback edition is small and easy to carry so this became my hospital waiting room book during a series of appointments I took my mum to. I don’t normally read Sci-fi, actually that’s not true, I never read sci-fi so have nothing to compare it to, but was still unfortunately not massively impressed. I know Harry Harrison is huge, and has written dozens of books and this particular one sparked a whole series of Bill books but I didn’t enjoy it much. It was funny in places and there were lots ...more
Leticia
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Years ago, as a Uni student with a library card, I read absolutely every book that Harry Harrison wrote. When I got to the end, I pouted and complained and... couldn't quite believe it.

The reason is because Bill the Galactic Hero is the greatest space hero that there ever was. The world that Harry Harrison created was ridiculous and believable all at once. And it's more than a little bit like Star Wars. In fact, there is even a set of twins from Alderaan.

And so, having recently acquired a first
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G
...more

Other books in the series

Bill, the Galactic Hero (7 books)
  • The Planet of the Robot Slaves (Bill, The Galactic Hero, #2)
  • On the Planet of Bottled Brains (Bill, the Galactic Hero, #3)
  • On the Planet of Tasteless Pleasure (Bill, the Galactic Hero, #4)
  • On the Planet of Zombie Vampires (Bill, the Galactic Hero, #5)
  • On the Planet of Ten Thousand Bars (Bill, the Galactic Hero, #6)
  • The Final Incoherent Adventure (Bill, the Galactic Hero, #7)
“- Изложить вам мою версию событий? - спросил Билл.

- Разумеется, нет, поскольку она не имеет никакого отношения к обвинениям. Когда ты вступил в армию, ты автоматически лишился всех неотъемлемых прав человека. Поэтому они могут сделать с тобой все, что угодно. Остается уповать только на то, что они сами являются узниками своей же системы и должны подчиняться сложному и противоречивому кодексу законов, который складывался в течение многих столетий. Они хотят расстрелять тебя за дезертирство, и дельце, надо сказать, состряпали непробиваемое.

- Значит, меня расстреляют?

- Вполне возможно, но у нас есть шанс, и мы должны рискнуть.”
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“Билл верил в неукоснительную справедливость правосудия - поскольку никогда не сталкивался с ним.” 0 likes
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