Friday, 8 April 2016

Hal Spacejock: Big Bang by Simon Haynes

Hal Spacejock: Big Bang by Simon Haynes is the seventh Hal Spacejock book (not counting the spin-off Hal Junior series). Like its predecessors, it stands alone well and the series does not need to be read in order to be enjoyed. I picked it up now after buying it a few years ago (when it came out) because I needed a relaxing and cheerful read during a very stressful time of packing and moving.

A house clearance job sounds like easy money, but rising floodwaters, an unstable landscape and a surprise find are going to make life very difficult for Hal and Clunk.

The most hilarious thing is that the book I chose to distract me from the horrors of moving opened with Hal and Clunk taking on a job that involved... moving the contents of a house. Oops. But at least Hal's and Clunk's moving tribulations were funny, which is the important thing.

Having read the earlier Hal Spacejock books, I went in with certain humour expectations, which were absolutely met. Hal remains accident-prone, self-interested and lacking in foresight. Clunk remains the long-suffering brains of the operation and the main reason Hal is alive. The Navcom computer aboard their spaceship... seemed more vindictive than I remembered, but then it's been a while since I read the other books.

The story focuses mainly on Hal and Clunk and the trouble they manage to get in doing what should be a fairly straightforward job. A new character is also introduced: Amy, who inadvertently finds herself in a similar mess to the others. The three of them have to work together to survive. Big Bang makes for an entertaining read and had me laughing out loud several times. I particularly appreciate that the jokes are not rooted in disregarding/mocking the laws of physics but rather are more of the comedy of errors school. The physics is reasonably well grounded (with the allowed exception of fancy alien technology).

I enjoyed Big Bang and I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, when/if it comes into existence. I recommend this book — or indeed any Hal Spacejock book — to fans of comedic SF, or indeed any SF fans in need of a laugh.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2014, self-published
Series: Yes. Book 7 of on-going series, but all the books work as stand-alones
Format read: ePub
Source: Purchased from Smashwords
Challenges: Aussie Science Fiction Reading Challenge

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