More Misadventures in Space and Time
Bikini Planet is the second volume in a loosely linked three book comic science fiction series, preceded by Stargonauts and followed by Space Wasters. Each can be read as a stand-alone novel, without any reference to the other two. All were were all originally published in paperback by Orbit Books, Britain’s top science fiction imprint. Bikini Planet was also published in the USA by Roc Books.
“Many authors have sought the pot of gold at the end of Douglas Adams’s and Terry Pratchett’s rainbows. Most fail. David Garnett’s Bikini Planet is a singular, authentically funny exception.” – Time Out
“Lighthearted, obsessive, original sarcastic, brisk – who could ask for anything more?” – Interzone
“The jokes fly fast and furious . . . like a Naked Gun in Space movie.” – The Agony Column
“Bikini Planet is the ultimate anarchic, action-packed science fiction romp.” – Amazon Editorial Review (full review below)
Featuring many of the same minor characters as Stargonauts, Bikini Planet is the story of twentieth century Las Vegas police officer Wayne Norton, who finds himself 300 years in the future and sent to the stars by GalactiCop on a secret quest. So secret even he doesn’t know what it is. On the pleasure planet Hideaway he finds an ally in Kiru, beautiful but dangerous – space pirate and fugitive convict.
Grawl (the psychopathic bodyguard from Stargonauts) now wants to guard Kiru’s body – so her brain can be wiped and replaced by his android girlfriend’s cybermind. Naturally, Kiru is less than enthusiastic about the idea, and she and Wayne escape from Hideaway.
Unfortunately, they flee in different directions. Even more unfortunately, Wayne is trapped in a two-person lifeship – and the other person is Grawl. Wayne must find Kiru before Grawl does.
But the universe is a big place for a cop without a clue.
“Manic science fiction romps are ever more common these days, and it takes a particularly quirky and fractured imagination to pull off something new. David Garnett has the stuff, and Bikini Planet is satisfyingly weird and wonderful, an anarchic spin on the 20th-Century-hero-unfrozen-in-the-future yarn that takes in several vicious swipes at the genre while never undercutting the author’s love for it (Garnett is, after all, best known as one of the distinguished editors of the classic SF magazine New Worlds).
“Like all the best satirical SF, Garnett never ridicules the genre, always maintaining a satisfying plausibility, however outrageous his concepts.
“The 23rd century. Wayne Norton, freshly unfrozen from a cryogenic sleep, is dragooned into being GalactiCop’s latest recruit. Wayne is a reluctant hero, feeling desperately insecure so far from his own era. What could be the worst assignment for a wet-behind-the-ears GalactiCop operative? How about walking into the middle of a no-holds-barred war for control of the galaxy’s ultimate seaside resort? And this is an assignment in which Wayne has to demonstrate a native cunning and resourcefulness to deal with opponents both ruthless and non-human.
“It isn’t surprising that the echoes of previous practitioners of witty SF have left their mark on Garnett’s exhilarating tale. In fact, there is a lot more of Kurt Vonnegut in here than there is of Douglas Adams, and Bikini Planet is all the better for that. This is planet-hopping SF in which the humour comes from the unlikely situations rather than carefully crafted one-liners (not that Garnett can’t dispense his fair share of the latter). Wayne is the perfect beleaguered SF hero, dealing with everything from traffic misdemeanours, interplanetary racism and corrupt mega-corporations. Even if we’ve seen some of the jokes before (Wayne’s adopting the name John Wayne for people who haven’t heard of a certain cowboy star owes not a little to Michael J Fox’s Back To The Future use of Clint Eastwood as a nom de passage).
“But who cares, when the dialogue and descriptions of this mad future are as sharp as one could wish. Bikini Planet is the ultimate anarchic, action-packed science fiction romp.” Amazon Editorial Review
(Editorial Reviews are written either by Amazon Editors or obtained from reputable and relevant publications, including the New York Times Book Review and Publisher’s Weekly.)
The first chapter of the book can be read by clicking the cover image on the Bikini Planet Amazon/Kindle page = Bikini Planet eBook: Garnett, David S: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Now read on . . !
Cover credits. UK edition: John Bolton. USA: Patrick Jones.