FeaturedScience Fiction

Here There Be Monsters


Must read 🏆

This book is a hoot – a hilarious blend of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Battlestar Galactica among other sci-favourites

Captured by pirates, the alien Syrinxi (large bird like creatures with two foot long serrated beaks), Sam Martinez manages to escape from his cell on the star ship en route to the slave market where he and the others from Earth will be sold. Accompanied by the Great Dane, Fergus, from the cell next door, Sam starts to fight his way out. With the help of the craw Pesh, one of the Syrinxi’s lowly workers equipped with multiple tentacles and eyes, Sam plans to take over the ship. Soon the craw frees several more prisoners, including an actor who plays a space commander called Colonel Force in a television series. There are many nods of this kind to favourite sci-fi stories, even including the phrase ‘to boldly go where none has gone before.’ Spotting the references is half the fun. 

Of course, in several exciting scenes they manage to take over the star ship, rechristen it the Schwarzenegger, and resolve to fight their way back to earth (once having located it). Thus Sam finds himself in charge of an eccentric bunch of passengers and aliens, trying to avoid both the authorities and the crime syndicate owners of the star ship. The action is fast and furious, and the characters are sympathetic (even the Syrinxi captain). The cast includes a medical student, Alan, and a smart young woman, Cindy, both of whom support Sam ably and provide the love interest – although not a great deal of romance figures in the plot. Jace Armstrong  (Colonel Force’s real name) fancies himself as the leader, but Sam soon puts an end to his grandstanding and makes it clear he is in command. He does co-opt Jace as the representative of the non-crew members and from then on the good ship Schwarzenegger sails off in search of home, collecting waifs and strays on its way.

The book is not only fun but has excellent ethical credentials – the craw (including major characters Pesh and Athe) are treated as equals, Cindy is more clever and practical than the rest and nobody is thrown out of the airlock, even when they deserve it.  

If you enjoyed any of the books or films I’ve referred to you’ll enjoy this one, and I only hope it will make you laugh as much as I did.

Reviewed by

Jenny Hill (Jaye Sarasin) Took early retirement from teaching to write YA (The Green Enclave) and commercial fiction Published Using Literature in Language Teaching (Macmillan 1986) Jennifer Hill The Green Enclave (Parfoys Press 2017) Passionate reader, gardener, traveller

The Ship

About the author

Rick Buchanan writes science fiction and fantasy, which, considering where you’re reading this, means you're in the right place. He's an avid traveler who loves books, movies and sitting on his patio with a cold beer. See what's new at RickBuchananWrites.com view profile

Published on August 02, 2022

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by