Saturday, September 03, 2005
Science Fiction Book Review: Killer Planet
If this is a novel, it must squeak in at just over the bare minimum. Bob Shaw’s novel "Killer Planet’ is a mere 102 pages long but packed with adventure and action. And just to let you know - it is a young adult novel.
This is my first Bob Shaw (Bob is from Britain) novel ever and I thought this book was written sometime in the sixties, but when I checked the publication date for "Killer Planet", I found that it was published in 1989. The cover art tricked me. Tricksy cover art, or should I say Trippy?
The gist of the story is a young man goes on adventure to a planet - yup the Killer one where nobody has ever returned, ever. - to see if he can rescue, or at least find out what happened to, his brother who was a space marine lost there several years ago.
And I can see influence here from the Berserker series by Saberhagen. Anyhow, this novel reads like a much larger one, but a much larger one chopped down significantly. There is a lot here in not so many words. It kind of throws you if you are used to reading more fleshed out novels.
Bottom line. Not bad, but seems rushed. If you want to read it you will find it okay but not nearly as good as early Heinlein. But at 102 pages, it will be easily absorbed in no time at all. And aren’t you just dying to know what’s on the "Killer Planet"?