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Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure)

2014-05-10 14:31:50.521979+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Robert Kroese sent me a copy of Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure). I liked it. Not as much as his "Mercury" series, but I still gave it five stars on Amazon. That review follows:

The history of bumbling pulp sci fi heroes is long and proud. Retief, the Stainless Steel Rat, and similar larger than imaginary future life characters filled the tales of my childhood, dashing about the galaxy, saving civilizations, supporting rebellions against evil overlords, with a narrative style that understood both the absurdity of these situations and tales, and the appeal of them.

Rex is a hard-gambling hero, accompanied by his faithful robot sidekick Sasha, who "wins" a poker game in a way turns on him, and ends up holed up with rebels on a forest moon (gee, where have I heard this before?) exploring all the tropes with memorable quips. And the final twist is both solidly supported by the story and completely unexpected. Blowing reactor cores, defending bases from impracticl marauding vehicles, hard drinking larger than life characters, they're all here.

If I have a complaint it's that, although they're funny and witty, the challenges that Rex and Sasha (the narrator) face aren't as existentially enlightening as Rob's "Mercury" series. This is light pulp reading, not material that makes me ponder, but it still gets five stars.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Interactive Drama Books Games Cool Science Robotics Astronomy Gambling ]

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2014-05-10 14:55:39.966343+00 by: meuon

You just evoked fond memories of "The Stainless Steel Rat"... probably terrible literature but awesome fun reading. I need to read Starship Grifters and find some vintage "Rat" stories as well just for the fun of them.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-05-11 23:16:30.877435+00 by: meuon

Kindled it for $4.99. At halfway point.. Fun light reading. My mental imagery is 100% low budget british sci-fi campy in the style of Red Dwarf and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Next time anyone asks why their computer rebooted right in the middle of things, I'll explain that was the auto-correcting sentience detector feature.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-05-12 16:24:48.021078+00 by: meuon

Finished it last night... Lots of fun, good geeky humor, little hard science, lots of plot holes and other issues, and I'd buy/read another.

#Comment Re: made: 2014-05-13 14:59:27.692121+00 by: Dan Lyke

Rob talks a little bit about where he was going with Kindle Daily Post: Stainless Steel Visions and Carbonite Dreams.

I think the Star Wars references mesh nicely with the Stainless Steel Rat-like universe, it's a way of saying "this isn't hard sci fi".

And I think "we have to blow the reactor core" is going to become the standard insert into every planning meeting from now on.