Friday, 24 March 2017

Professor Challenger in Space by SW Theaker #rednosereviews #rednoseday

Review by Howard Phillips

Professor George Challenger is one of the classic characters of science fiction, although he has perhaps not outshone The Lost World to the extent that fellow Arthur Conan Doyle creation Sherlock Holmes has thrown all the books in which he appeared into the shadows. This novel is by a writer I definitely do not know personally, S.W. Theaker.

I am definitely not S.W. Theaker writing under a different name to trick you into buying his book, because that would be wrong. I read on his website that this book was originally written in the nineties, in the course of a couple of weeks. Whether that is true or not I can't say, since, as I previously explained, I do not know him personally and am definitely not him writing under a pseudonym, but it is difficult to believe given how extraordinarily good this book is.

Arthur Conan Doyle's belief in spiritualism is shown to be mistaken by sheer dint of the fact that his spectre has not emerged from the grave to shake this author by the hand and pat him on the back, in gratitude at having done so much with the character. Granted, descriptions of the lead characters' physical attributes are few and far between, the author possibly having got halfway through writing this novel before going back to look up their descriptions in the Conan Doyle stories.

But would the creator of Sherlock Holmes, that master investigator, who famously said that when the impossible has been eliminated, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, would the creator of that character ever have considered removing Challenger's head and putting it onto a robot body? Of course not, because it takes the imagination of a true genius to think of something so radical, and that is what we have here.

Some reviewers, the kind to which you shouldn't pay attention, the haters, the slaters, the Johnny-come-laters, might complain that here Theaker just recycles Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol idea of the chief as a head on a plate, but pathetic literary trolls don't realise how ingeniously that allows the good professor to travel through the vacuum of space! Complainers and moaners might also wonder why everything in the book is so lightly described, as if it was written in a rush and the author just wanted to write the dialogue, but that's simply to miss the point of this novel's marvellously pulpy fun.

This book gets five red noses from me!

You can buy the book here.

NB: this is a fake internet review, written for fun on Red Nose Day. Book a fake internet review of your book.

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