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Space Vulture

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Sci-Fi 73

stoolpigeon writes "In 1953 John Myers brought his friend Gary Wolf a book he had just read, Space Hawk by Anthony Gilmore. The two were already avid readers but this would be their introduction to an entire genre, Science Fiction. They both say that it was Space Hawk that sparked a life long love of all things Sci-Fi. According to both of them, they had an opportunity to re-read it as adults and found that it had not weathered the years well. They decided they would write their own science fiction adventure in the same style, but do a better job. The result is their book Space Vulture." Keep reading for the rest of JR's review.As is evident in the title alone, Space Vulture leans much more in the direction of paying direct homage to the work that inspired it, rather than offering something in the same vein but different. There are many more similarities between the books than their are differences. This seems to be at odds with the author's stated goal of doing a better job. What we get instead of improvement is nostalgia and a throw back to the style and content of the author's childhood. Seen in that light, for those who wish to go back to those days, this is probably a great ride. They can get a new story, in the old format. The issue for newer readers is that they don't have the nostalgia to gloss over the stories issues.

I started reading science fiction in elementary school in the late seventies. I moved out of the kids section of the library in the early eighties and tore through anything I could get my hands on. This means that I read a lot of science fiction that was written in the fifties and even further back in some cases. Many books that are still favorites today come from that era. That is what drew me to Space Vulture. As I read it though, I found myself caught off guard. I could not recall reading anything like this, even as a kid. Then it hit me. The books I've read from the fifties are the cream of the crop. They are the classics that I am sure will continue to be read for years to come. Space Hawk and others like it do not fall into this category and now I know why.

The characters of Space Vulture are flat and unbelievable. I would say they are cartoonish but many of today's cartoons provide a much richer experience than is found in this book. The villain is Space Vulture. An evil, beautiful, genius. He enjoys rape, murder and slavery. He operates throughout the galaxy capturing innocents to sell as slaves or food. Everyone who would stand up to Space Vulture is either unwilling or incapable of doing so. He is the scourge of the galaxy, with his private army of aliens and humans carrying out his will without any choice.

There is one exception to those who tremble in fear of Space Vulture. It is Galactic Marshal Captain Victor Corsaire. In every way that Vulture is bad, Corsaire is good. Criminals everywhere tremble at Corsaire's name. He has an unbending code of moral conduct and even in the face of a corrupt and ineffective justice system, Corsaire single handedly brings what peace and safety there is in the universe. The entire book turns on Vulture and Corsaire, though we have a single mom, a couple precocious kids, a shifty con-man and a handful of aliens and such to round things out.

The book reads like the cereal style stories it imitates. In the short time frame it covers, the hero is captured, escapes, gets recaptured, escapes, etc. multiple times. The side plots are filled with narrow escapes and cliff hangers. And it all feels rather like a carnival ride. Characters do what they do because that is the function they fill in the story. There is little ambiguity and very rarely do the actions of characters feel like something that comes as a result of their being a person. They are all set pieces going through the motions that create the ride. So it seems to really boil down to the question, "Do you like this kind of ride?" It seems to me that the only people who are going to really enjoy it are those who have fond memories of going on the same ride as children.

With one of the co-authors being an archbishop, it seems only fair to consider how religion fits into the book. The previously mentioned single mother prays a lot. There is not much over the head religious reference otherwise. Myers and Wolf seemed to have steered clear of any heavy handed dealing with religious issues. At times this is a bit of a weakness. Once again, the hero does what is right because it is. The villain will do evil and there is no effort to dig into what might separate the two. There are opportunities that would be perfect to dig a little deeper but no effort was made to do so. This is probably in keeping with the style and format they are emulating. It's also probably a part of the reason that you don't find people still reading the older works.

While the religious angle isn't pushed there are some anachronisms that do come out that I think would have been better dropped. The most noticeable was the heroin's apparent inability to do much for herself. She's not completely useless all the time, and she does make small efforts here and there, but other times she just sits on the side lines and watches events unfold. How a frontier living leader could be so ineffective at times just breaks one out of the story. I guess she can't show up Corsair or interfere with his heroic scenes. I'm sure in the fifties this would have been an outright progressive portrayal of a woman but today it still comes across as sexist and demeaning.

There are sizable plot holes and inconsistencies. The ending is not going to surprise anyone. I'm not all that bright and I had everything nailed down by half way through the book. Really the bright spot for younger readers is that it may be bad enough to come across as campy, but to be honest I doubt it. For anyone who was reading Space Hawk as a kid, there is that nostalgia factor. I almost rated this a four because of those folks, but I just couldn't do it. There are just too many good books still around from that time that will provide all the fun but with better writing and plot.

You can purchase Space Vulture from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Warning: spoiler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029109)

Space Vulture is killed after he is knocked off of his shitwagon after a galactic Indian expatriate fires a stink-ray at him.

Cuz Indians don't bathe, you know.

Manichaean (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029373)

Those bastards still can't do without white lines, on black pavement.

Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029135)

The most noticeable was the heroin's apparent inability to do much ...

Maybe you should try a heavier dose next time you're chasing the dragon [wikipedia.org] while reading? If you can't even enjoy it on smack, this book's got no chance.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029337)

Nice catch. Believe it or not I reread these a few times before I submit.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029471)

While we're bashing about typos and grammar:

There are many more similarities between the books than their are differences.

That should be "there" - just like at the start of the sentence.

Also:

The issue for newer readers is that they don't have the nostalgia to gloss over the stories issues.

That'd be "story's" since it's possessive, not plural.

And finally:

Believe it or not I reread these a few times before I submit.

That should be submitted, as it happened in the past. I'd actually go with "submitted them" since I think it reads better. Also, I'm not sure why "these" and not "this" but I suppose you could mean the comment along with the review.

I'm done nitpicking. Might as well get it out of my system, especially because I can't write or spell worth beans anyway. :)

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029599)

I think that he means that, in general, when he prepares text to submit to Slashdot he rereads the text before he clicks on the submit button.

So read reread as "re-reed" not "re-red" and voyage into his mind (do you want to?) and you're all set.

The book under review seems to be something that one should avoid.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029659)

I caught that after posting. I still think adding "them" to the end would have made the sentence much clearer: "Believe it or not I do reread these before I submit them."

And on preview, I notice I added another word in there, changing "reread" to "do reread." So I still think the sentence should be rewritten for clarity. :)

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

tristanreid (182859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029631)

Your final nit might have been mispicked.

When the OP wrote 'I reread these', it's possible he was not talking about the specific review that he had just submitted, he was talking about his general habit of reading his reviews before he submits them. Read his sentence again and change the pronunciation of 'reread' and you'll see what I mean.

-t.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029841)

I have nit with you, which I would like to pick. :-)

It is called "pedantry".

For everybody not particularly well-informed, I'd like to disclose that the isomorphism in the words Heroin and Heroine are no accident of lexicography. Heroin is a Swiss-German coinage, referring to the heroic sensations early-stage, low-level intoxication gave to the subjects at Aktiengesellschaft Farbenfabriken - later to be known as Bayer.

There are more exotic derivations, erroneously posited for the naming of the drug - including a claim that it referred to the "heroic" capability of the Morphine derivative in combating pain. As these claims generally cite a French-language origin during the First World War, not connected to the earlier actual synthesis and production of the anesthetic before 1898, they may be discounted as fanciful, if not as fabrication.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (4, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030315)

It is called "pedantry".

Maybe things are different over there in France, but here in America we frown on sex with boys.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#28034353)

If the reader laughs at inappropriate places while reading an article, then is pointing out the funny bits really "pedantry"? What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28038607)

Per pedantry, I was referencing the whole thread that picked apart stoolpigeon's typographic and syntactic idiosyncrasies.

I adopted an overly arch and precise style - one attractive to the pedant and pseudo-academic egoist. This was a deliberate lampoon.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042225)

Are we now being recursively pedantic?

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042995)

I read "Gypsy", Doctor.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031489)

let us also not neglect to mention 'the cereal style' - yummy! This book will be found in an impossible to open plastic bag covered with sugared corn powedery goodness!

I think you mean serial big guy

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28034449)

how about the fact that he refers to it as a "cereal" style. Its serial as in these types of stories would run for a few issues of some magazine, they were a series, serialize, hence a serial. Same as when describing Rocket Man, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, etc. etc. etc. They were serials, not cereals.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029429)

There seems to be s serial pattern of homophone substitutions in the review.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029507)

Goodness - that's even worse - how embarrassing. I have that same feeling I get when I'm looking at code and think, "Who wrote this junk and why did they do it so poorly?" and then realize it was me.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031317)

There seems to be s serial pattern of homophone substitutions in the review.

Yeah, what's the author got against gays, anyway?

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (1)

svyyn (530783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029489)

The book reads like the cereal style stories it imitates.

I assumed he was dripping the the heroin on his cereal instead of smoking. Or maybe the book was emulating the exploits of Toucan Sam and his Loops of Froot? I'm baffled.

Re:Heroin? What Kinda Book Reading Do You Do, JR? (2, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030295)

The book reads like the cereal style stories it imitates.

Once again Space Vulture is after the hero's lucky charms.

just like star trek.,.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029193)

the "new" star trek with vapid hollow plots and basically a carnival ride for people to "enjoy".
no substance, just mindless entertainment for no purpose. science fiction meets hollywood.
least common denominator -- here we come!

Re:just like star trek.,.. (3, Insightful)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029425)

And that would be different from the "old" Star Trek how?

Re:just like star trek.,.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029525)

The "old" Star Trek wasn't made for the WB :D

Re:just like star trek.,.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029591)

Nerds like to pretend the original series was well written and the stories amazing. This isn't the case. Nostalgia puts a nice shine on even the dirtiest turd. Similar to the book in this review!

Re:just like star trek.,.. (4, Interesting)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029993)

You're probably only twenty years old and don't remember a time when there were only three networks and television went off after midnight. I grew up in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and was lucky to have an independant station, KTVU channel 2, and a public broadcast station, KQED channel 9. Most communities were not so blessed.

Star Trek was on the air about the same time as That Girl*, Petticoat Junction, Mr. Terrific, and a host of other shows that you have probably never heard of. Good television was RARE!

Star Trek was spectacular! Yes, for every "City On The Edge Of Forever" there was a salt critter episode. For every "Amok Time" there was the Al Capone episode. For every "Space Seed" there were Chinese people on another planet who were over 1,000 years old in a show set 300 years in the future.

Star Trek is that rare gem, like 2001: A Space Odyssey that is enjoyable 30 years after production. Say what you like about the space hippies episode, but understand that when you try to call Star Trek as a whole a "turd" you display your Anonymous Cowardice and ignorance.

* I actually enjoyed That Girl and would probably watch reruns if I knew when they played.

Re:just like star trek.,.. (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029921)

Unlike the old Star Trek, whose creator surely would never have described as "Wagon Train to the Stars".

Re:just like star trek.,.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28035793)

I heard "Wagon Train in Space"

"The book reads like the cereal style stories..." (2, Funny)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029391)

Well, there's your problem. You never get deep stories with your cereal. You just get fluff ad copy, an occasional prize inside, and a lot of sugary sweet filler without much substance (unless it's Fiber One or something, in which case reverse that last bit).

On the other hand, perhaps I should just put some flow control on my proverbial cereal port and ignore that bit. ;)

Spoiler Alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28029445)

Snape rapes Dumbledore.

They both get AIDS and die.

These are facts.

PLEASE CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL!!! (5, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029463)

I'm sure when the image of the book cover is full sized, it looks like whatever image it is. But when it is lacking details due to its shrunken thumbnail size it rather looks like a flacid penis from the side.

Re:PLEASE CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL!!! (4, Funny)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029515)

So? What's wrong with that?

Re:PLEASE CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28034639)

you must be a linux user.

Re:PLEASE CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL!!! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030349)

I'm sure when the image of the book cover is full sized, it looks like whatever image it is. But when it is lacking details due to its shrunken thumbnail size it rather looks like a flacid penis from the side.

Flip it 180 degrees and it looks like it's saluting the flag.

Re:PLEASE CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL!!! (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032653)

Perhaps the archbishop is psychologically screaming for help.
 
(I know I would in his shoes...)

Some books. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029491)

Some books age well, others don't.

Go read a Heinlein and it's still enjoyable in most cases. Some SF is outdating itself rapidly, but can be seen as a historical document. Especially short-lived is the books that plays on the political landscape. That is one of the things where 2001 was failing, but aside from that it's still a great story and movie!

It may have been more interesting to depict a despisable and sad character as the main character of the book.

And vultures are the garbage collectors of nature. They may have bad table manners and disgusting dishes but they have a place to fill.

Sometimes there is no need for a hero or a villain. It can still be a great story about someones fictional life.

Hmm... (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029541)

Maybe I'm naive. (OK, not "maybe".) And maybe I'm forgetful. (Well, again, that's more a certainty than a likelihood.)

But this is the first media review I've read here that wasn't poorly-disguised marketing. Unless it's some kind of bizarre, reverse-psychology viral marketing.

In which case it fails, because it doesn't generate enough "rubberneckers-gawking-at-the-freeway-crash" curiosity to make me want to buy the book.

So. A negative book review. What's next, a moratorium on dupes?

Re:Hmm... (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029835)

I can't speak for anyone else - but I can say that in my case my reviews are more positive than negative but it's not because of the reasons you seem to think.

I only write reviews when I want to - and usually I'm more inclined to do so with books that I'm interested in and think others may enjoy. If I really don't like a book I'm much less inclined to put in the time and effort of writing a review.

When I finish a really good book I immediately want to recommend it to others. When I read a book I'm not excited about I just move on to the next book. This was an exception because I was really excited about it until I read it. That doesn't happen too often.

Re:Hmm... (2)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030411)

I'd say that's a pretty fair reason to review a book. I hadn't heard about it, but the concept of remaking a childhood favorite to make it better sounds pretty intriguing, and I might have been tempted to check it out. If the review can tell me to avoid it (or, perhaps, skim a chapter in the library just to see how it goes), that's a valuable service.

cover (1)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029603)

Why does the cover look like a man's dick again?

Re:cover (3, Funny)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029827)

Why does the cover look like a man's dick again?

What kind of dick would you like it to look like?

Re:cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040873)

ROFL

Re:cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030017)

Because, that's what clergymen love!

Remember that scandal [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030961)

Why does the cover look like a man's dick again?

as opposed to a woman's dick?

Milkin your cereal, tales in your serials (1)

1_brown_mouse (160511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029661)

Sorry, pet peve.
/I slay me.
//I love slashies, too!

Interesting misspelling (0, Redundant)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029727)

From the review:
The most noticeable was the heroin's apparent inability to do much for herself.

heroine - chief female character in a story, play, etc.
heroin - narcotic drug
Sigh. Need to do better proofreading, JR Peck.

Re:Interesting misspelling (3, Insightful)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030019)

Back in the 1970s there was a comic book fanzine that I just LOVED! It was called "The Heroine Addict".

Re:Interesting misspelling (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036071)

yes - we've pretty well established this multiple times in the thread. but thank you - I will try to do better in the future. Think about it this way - I made numerous fixes before I submitted it. It could have been a lot worse.

Why is this review on /. ? (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28029965)

I've never heard of either of the authors (and I'm a science fiction fan). And every year hundreds of science fiction novels are published by actual well-known and respected authors that don't get reviewed on /.

Is there a legitimate reason this is here, or is this just a slashvertisement?

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

DLPierson (8772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030153)

I wish it had been here before I finally succumbed to curiosity and bought this piece of junk. It's really, truly awful. The worst excuse for a book I've bought in quite a while -- and I buy a lot of books.

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (3, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030497)

Because you haven't submitted any others I guess.

As for slashvertisement - yes Tor payed me a ton to write a negative review of their book.

Of course that wouldn't even involve slashdot - so I guess what must have really happened is that Tor payed Slashdot to use mind control to get my friend to loan me his copy (He liked the book by the way, but I'm still letting him be my friend.) Then they took control of my mind so that I would read the book followed by writing and submitting a negative review. This upsets me greatly, not the mind control as much as the fact that I don't even get a cut of the money.

Thank goodness you figured it out and I can finally be set free from my review inducing overlords.

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28035059)

Mind control? And you didn't get your cut? That's a drag. Next time your friend tries to do that to you, at least make sure he's willing to buy a few rounds at the local bar so you can at least get some payback.

To be honest, I wish /. would feature more SF. I am much more likely to pick up some fiction than the lately Ruby of Rails rag.

Though to be really honest, I wish /. would feature a review of my SF book, 2076 [2076book.com] . I've still got a couple more edits to do before the publication date latest this year, but if the complaint about lifeless characters is the worst part of Space Vulture than I think I've at least got that problem taken care of. And it's free.

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28035963)

I don't know for sure, I don't watch the firehose close enough, but I'm going to guess more non-fiction reviews are submitted than fiction reviews. So when you say you wish slashdot would feature more SF - I'm thinking maybe they would if more SF reviews were submitted. Not all the non-fiction reviews I submit get posted to the front page - but the few fiction I've done were all accepted I think.

As for your book - have someone read it, write a review and submit it. I am way behind on reading right now - so it wont be me - but I would think you could find someone to do it.

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28030499)

Because someone decided to review and submit the review? There may be hundreds of great books but if no one reviews them (well past Amazon maybe), then they won't get posted.

And Science Fiction is something I like to read so a review is interesting.

I'll have to check the submission requirements and throw one out for a good one I recently read :)

[John]

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032111)

Just assume all the other books are good, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033689)

Is there a legitimate reason this is here, or is this just a slashvertisement?

I'm rather curious about that, too.

Actually, I liked the review, thought it was interesting, liked the fact that it wasn't merely an advertisement... but I'm not sure why this particular book was reviewed on Slashdot, and not two or three dozen other SF books that are, frankly, more noteworthy.

Re:Why is this review on /. ? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036017)

Anyone can write and submit a review to Slashdot. I am a regular user here, just like you. The only difference between submitting a book review and any other submission is that when you choose "Book Reviews" for the section and hit preview- there will be new fields to fill in for author, isbn, etc.

There is the whole review guideline page linked above that gives information about the practical side of all this.

But I don't interact with the Slashdot editors about what books I'll be reviewing. Not all my review submissions are accepted either. I just read books I'm interested in, and write reviews when I feel like it. That's it. As to why they pick some and not others- if you've ever submitted anything here you know the official policy - no complaining.

I'm glad you liked the review. I'm not the best writer, but I do try to do a decent job - though this go around I really didn't proofread well. The cereal mistake is really bad - I wont forget that for a long time.

I rather liked it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28030957)

You have to go in to this book expecting it to read much like '50s style pulp. If you do, I think you will enjoy this book. If you expect more, you are going to be disappointed.

There is a new movie coming out based on an old TV series called "Land of the Lost."

Same thing. It may or may not be a good movie. However, if you go in expecting a fabulous storyline full of compelling characters and such, SPOILER ALERT!
You are gonna be disappointed! If you go in expecting a campy lampoon of a pretty lackluster TV series, it will probably be fun to watch.

Same thing with this book. Take it for what it is, and it is not half bad.

Space Vulture... I believe I've read that one. (1)

Mister_Stoopid (1222674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031117)

That's the one about the gang of motorcycle enthusiasts who ride around killing mine workers with their bike-mounted concussion grenade launchers, right? Maybe I'm thinking of something else...

I can't read the rest of this review... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031241)

"There are many more similarities between the books than their are differences."

Parser error, line 9: near "than".
Compilation aborted.

Re:I can't read the rest of this review... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032637)

Fuck, another shitty parser that tells you what the error is next to, but not where it is? It's like perl all over again.

Parser Error (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28032675)

Fuck, another shitty parser that tells you what the error is next to, but not where it is? It's like perl all over again.

This is what happens when you make your language syntax flexible and comfortable without regard for the difficulty it causes for automated tools trying to interpret it. :D

Re:Parser Error (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28033003)

I just noticed your car analogy sig, by the way. Fine job.

Here in my basement, I feel safe from the world...

the return of jon katz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031341)

or....

'why geeks should avoid talking about literature and philosophy'

Re:the return of jon katz! (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036089)

that hurts. i had katz blocked.

Damn... (2, Funny)

cyberfunkr (591238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031497)

I was really hoping it was a reboot of that classic TV show "Salvage 1"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078681/ [imdb.com]

Re:Damn... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28036045)

I'd like to see Quark [wikipedia.org] rebooted. Since were dragging up 70's sci-fi t.v.

smack my bitch up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28031611)

in Russia, heroin does you
on slashdot, nobody does her

I've actually read the book... (1)

stevel (64802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28031653)

The review is pretty much spot-on. I started reading SF in the early 60s, and have read a lot of the "pulp" SF from the 1930s, so I have a feel for what Space Vulture is trying to imitate.

I agree that it's not a very good homage, and certainly not a parody. The writing is clumsy and a bit over-the-top in places - E.E. Doc Smith, or even E.R. Burroughs, these guys aren't. When I was about halfway through the book, I found myself wondering if I would finish it or throw it against the wall in frustration.

I did finish it, though. I won't say that it redeemed itself in the end, but there were some amusing bits in there. Not something I would choose to reread or recommend to others.

If you think Space Vulture would interest you, may I suggest instead any of the E.E. "Doc" Smith books available for free at feedbooks.com, Project Gutenberg or elsewhere. Any one of them is better than Space Vulture.

I've read it. It sucks. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28035937)

"Space Vulture" is a bad imitation of 1930s pulp fiction. It's so bad it's almost a parody, but it's not funny.

If you want to read modern over-the-top fiction written in 1930s pulp style, there's far better stuff around. Microsoft's pulp fiction division turned out some "Crimson Skies" novels [google.com] which were published as books. They're surprisingly good. "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is quite well done. John Zakour [johnzakour.com] has several pulps about a future detective. Those are very funny. I could name others.

Or go back to the classics and read the whole Lensman series, which holds up well half a century later.

Good a place as any to ask, but..... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28039779)

I know I'll get modded -1: Offtopic

I figure sci-fi readers would be perusing this thread. I read part of a book back in the mid-80's which I wasn't able to finish, had an interesting but somewhat shallow plot, and I couldn't take the book with me. I'd like some help identifying it.

Every once in a while, I'll remember bits about the book, but never the title. Can anybody guess the book by the following partial description?

It involved a space encounter (delegation) between Humans and "tentacled creatures". The tentacled creatures were living on a very high gravity planet and were moving through time much faster than the humans, even though the humans were nearby in a spaceship (maybe in orbit).

Part of the storyline was based on the effect of the alien planet's timeline. When observed by humans in orbit, the aliens would be moving at an extremely high rate of speed (and blurred). Humans would look like they are moving infinitely slow from the planet's point of view.

Communication between the two species would happen in "real time" and would involve one alien moving extremely slow in front of the camera as to appear perfectly still by "his" fellow aliens, yet that alien will appear to be moving at a normal speed to the humans.

From the human perspective, the aliens would appear to be born, grow up, and die in a rather short period of time (months or years), due to the time acceleration.

The storyline switched between one or more humans in their daily activities to one or more "aliens" and their daily activities.

That's about all I know of the book. Any ideas?

The blurb authors have sinned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28040907)

I bought this in an airport as it appeared the only think I might enjoy. I would not have if not for the generous blurbs from otherwise good authors.

I tried to read this. It is dung.
I tried again, to read it in the bathroom.
It stinks worse than the things left behind.

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