4 out of 4 stars
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Space and Stuff is a science fiction novel written by Simon Carr. In this first book of Space and Stuff series, the author transports us to an imaginary planet, Mung. Mung has several colonies which are inhabited and differently governed by people with varied economic interests. One of them is Copernicus, a locked, dome-shaped patriarchal colony that has a rigid, hierarchical form of government. As the author depicts, it has some incompetent and selfish leaders who are just interested in amassing more and more wealth, most of which they cannot even spend, at the expense of the low class.
However, this trend was not to go on indefinitely. On one occasion, the chancellor of the colony (who's the top-most leader) did something that opened the eyes of the Copernican citizens and resulted in a series of changes. He approached the Copernican bankers and took all their reserves to make a “progressive economic policy.” Richard, an ambassador of Nixon- a casino colony, had earlier lured him into betting the money, something he unhesitantly fell for following his greed instincts. What the chancellor thought would earn him an astronomical profit, created a conflict, and turned out to be a revolution that was to change things in the colony forever.
I liked how well the author wrote and executed Space and Stuff. From the beginning, I just felt I would enjoy it, and enjoy it I did. This story is not a typical “technical” science fiction you'd find out there, but one that is simple at its core yet carries some thoughtful analysis of several pertinent issues in the society. One of its major strengths, and what made it stood out for me, was the author's great sense of humor. This book is a light-hearted read in all dimensions, and so, more often than not, I couldn't help chuckling and bursting into hysterical laughter. If it was not satire that humored me, then it was the author's witty choice of words and interesting depiction of mythical creatures. The author's world-building ability, in this novel, was also top-notch. Another major characteristic of this book is the heavy use of a strong language. Not that I like a foul language or anything near that, but how the author employed it to effectively bring out authenticity in his characters made it likable nonetheless. Honestly, the foul, humor-laden language played some role in my enjoyment of this poignant novel.
Furthermore, I liked the author's narration skills. This story is told in the third-person perspective but in an interactive, engaging way. The author involves readers and often seem to ask them for their direct input into the story. He did this in a unique, original, and peculiar way. Those direct addresses to readers made me feel involved in the adventure more, and in turn, kept me glued in this novel from its beginning until the end. The author further enhanced this by the exquisite use of short, well-organized paragraphs and chapters.
My favorite aspect of this novel was how aptly and effortlessly the author employed humor to capture various issues in society. He tackles a wide range of pertinent themes from hypocrisy in religious institutions, selfishness of some political leaders, inclusivity of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, and capitalism, among others. I also loved the author's view on money. He captured all these in ways that are simple yet effective and informative. This made me enjoy this story more and so will people who love interesting, humorous, and eye-opening reads.
All in all, I didn't find anything to dislike about this book. I believe it was professionally edited since I found just some minor errors. Since the errors were not distracting and could not influence my final rating, I'm glad to award Space and Stuff by Simon Carr 4 out of 4 stars. I really enjoyed it, and therefore, looking forward to reading more of Simon Carr's books in the future.
For fans of fun-filled science fiction, adventure, and fantasy stories, I highly recommend this. Readers who like political debates, political ideologies, and satire may also find this enjoyable. The sexual content was just captured in general terms and was, therefore, not erotic. However, this book is full of profanity, which makes it unsuitable for children or any other person who may be affected by such. Besides that, I can't find anyone to caution against picking it except for readers who are not into science fiction or fantasy stories.
Space and stuff
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