TheRPGSite

The Lounge => Media and Inspiration => Topic started by: Cylonophile on June 02, 2010, 01:38:19 am

Title: "Debatable space" by phillip palmer
Post by: Cylonophile on June 02, 2010, 01:38:19 am
This book has a cool cover, really cool, with a big, intriguing looking spaceship on it driving into deep space with some neat looking blue plasma exhaust coming out the rear.

The book's back blurb sounds cool, talking about space pirates fighting against an evil empire and impossible odds.

 Once you've seen the cover and read the back blurb, DROP THIS BOOK AND RUN! RUN LONG! RUN HARD! RUN FAR! RUN FAST! RUN SILENT! RUN DEEP!

This book sucks.

How does this book suck? Let me count the ways:

It sucks scientifically as the author talks of sonic booms and shock waves in vacuum.

It sucks in terms of style, as the author used a cheap gimmick over and over again: he has HUGH letters, that take up a whole page, to spell out some things. Literally, it's hard to imagine, but when the "evil alien bugs" send a message to humanity they do it by shaping themselves into letters on a monitor that spell out, one blurry, buggy letter per page, "YOU ARE PREY".

Now I know that "the stars my destination" used weird fonts and such to convey some moods and emotions, but that book didn't suck because it was well written.

It sucks in terms of believability. See, earth is evil in this book, and I mean really eeevil. How evil? Well, in one scene humans on earth use virtual reality androids with huge penises to literally rape these girls on a colony planet who have been bred to have small vaginas to death. I mean literally to death. Why? To make sure those colonists know who's boss, that's why! Yes, just to establish utter earth dominance over these colonists they are forced to offer up their daughters for an annual rape to death party. Ugh.

 It sucks in terms of characters as most are just pastiches of old stereotypes and 2 dimensional pastiches at that.

 It sucks in terms of using potty and sex humor instead of anything clever.

It sucks in terms of using deus ex plot twists frequently.

It sucks in terms of being too damn long.

 As to anything good about this novel, well asides from the aforementioned cool cover and back blurb if you read it all the way thru you may be grateful for the inevitability of eventual death and the possibility you'll be able to forget it then.

On a game related note, this book is in many ways the opposite of traveller. In traveller you have FTL travel but no ftl communications. In DS you have instant communications across any distance, even to the level of virtual reality operated android bodies, but no ftl travel. Also, traveller is great and this book sucks, making them exact opposites.

Here's a link to the amazon review: 3 people gave it 5 stars, 4 gave it 4 stars and 9 people gave it 1 star. http://www.amazon.com/Debatable-Space-Philip-Palmer/dp/0316018929

It's too bad amazon doesn't let us give 0 to negative stars.
Title: "Debatable space" by phillip palmer
Post by: Insufficient Metal on June 02, 2010, 02:54:30 am
Quote from: Cylonophile;385316
It's too bad amazon doesn't let us give 0 to negative stars.


Offtopic -- I'm sorry you hated the book, but I really wish this creaky old cliche would die. Surely the lowest possible rating is low enough. What would zero stars say about the book that one didn't? What would negative five say that zero didn't?

Cruise the one-star ratings for any product on Amazon, and you'll see this gag. It needs to go.

That said, thanks for the anti-recommendation. I was amused to see even the official review wasn't charitable.
Title: "Debatable space" by phillip palmer
Post by: Tahmoh on June 02, 2010, 08:00:04 am
To be honest i think the book is ment to be a huge piss take of hollywoods way of ruining scifi concepts like transhumanity and hard scifi by going for the shock values and dumb cliche's over intelligent narrative, its also a damn good example of anti american agenda turned into anti human agenda.

Incidentally the author has actually said in interviews its not ment to be taken as a serious scifi novel but more as a big screen hollywood idea of tranhuman scifi so i think u may have gotten to wrong idea from the back cover blurb.