Fiction Reviews

Star Warped

(2005) A3R Roberts, Gollancz, 7.99, hrdbk, 384 pp, ISBN 0-575-07688-7


"A long time ago (blah blah) a really quite good, albeit light-weight, SF film was released. The special effects look pretty shoddy now but it did have some quite good actors in it. And Mark Hamill. A second and third film that were actually the fifth and sixth films followed and they weren't quite so good but they were still quite fun (especially when the teddies got blasted by the Imperial storm troopers). Then, just when we thought they'd forgotten, the first, second and third films followed and they were (let's be honest now) fairly dreadful though the by now the effects were much better. A Gollancz parody was inevitable. And here it is..."

"A3R Roberts is one of the new class of Artificial Rubbish Synthesising Engine droids. Sent back from the future to defeat mankind's rebellion against the machines by getting its readers to sit down and read books all day rather than training in small unit tactics and learning how to strip down an AK 47 in the dark. He cannot be reasoned with and he absolutely will not stop. Ooops, sorry wrong films."

A3R Roberts is in fact Adam Roberts author of serious SF novels such as Salt and Stone and who has done parodies of Tolkien. As you can see from the above blurb quotes which also indicates the man's style, he has now turned his attention to Star Wars. This is obviously timed to coincide with the summer release of film 3 (or six?). Roberts' parody closely follows the sequence of the films as they were released and with most of the emphasis on the original Skywalker trilogy. You will really need to be a Star Wars fan to get the maximum enjoyment out of this book, but as their numbers are legion I'm sure the book will have a certain following. Meanwhile you may be wondering how Gollancz can turn out a 384pp hardback for only 7.99? Well one answer is that they expect many sales hence have a low unit cost large print run. The other reason is that the book has a small format. Why I know not but hazard that it is so that it might sit not too uneasily alongside the films DVDs?

May the farce be with you. etc., etc...

Jonathan Cowie

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