The Starscape Project
Padwolf Publishing, 167 pp.
What if the Skylark of Space was turned loose in the Star Trek universe? It would be very much like The Starscape Project. If you can forgive Aiken for his lack of originality—just call it homage—then you’ll have a great time with this book. Me? I’m just happy to have two such obvious “Doc” Smith tributes to review this month.
The story in brief: A hotshot pilot, his equally hotshot co-pilot, and his brilliant girlfriend team up with an AI with the personality of a dead space explorer to prevent a lost space probe from starting a war between the human Federation and the neanderthal’s Teconean Empire—yeah, there’s a lot of backstory but it’s nicely summed up in the opening chapter. The heroes are straight out of Skylark (or Flash Gordon if you prefer) and the probe is a (very) thinly disguised V-Ger, but it’s a fun, fast-paced story that takes you back to a simpler time. If you like larger-than-life do-no-wrong heroes in a universe where good and evil are as clear as black and white than look no further.