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Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Wrong Side of the Galaxy

I still call him Gazza Greene, because that's what he was called in the early drafts, but now publishers feel it's safe to have another Harry as hero of a bestselling kids' series. So here comes Harry Greene, Starship Captain, kidnapped by aliens on his birthday, and then those aliens get attacked by another lot of (much nastier) aliens, and Harry ends up on the far side of the galaxy - in fact, a little way out beyond the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is really way too far from home when your tea's getting cold.

Alone but for a super-devious Cugelian alien, two cloned royal princesses who finish each other's sentences, and a senile ship's computer, Harry has to try to get home while dodging super-nasty aliens who are after the Galactical Imperial Crown Jewels. Before the first book is over, Harry will have acquired at least two arch-enemies and he'll have become a mum. (You'll have to read the book. Trust me, it all makes sense.)

This is proper SF, this, and not just another fantasy story masquerading as sci-fi. There are no mysterious prophecies, no magic monsters that can't see you if you hold your nose, no dangers that can be dealt with by believing in sugar plums, no hand-waving bamboozling ways out of a predicament. It's for kids, not idiots. It's by Jamie (of course) and I have to say that it's not just a side-splitting comedy that's the funniest thing since Douglas Adams, it's also a rollercoaster SF page-turner with some really wonderful alien worlds and creatures to enjoy along the way.

The Wrong Side of the Galaxy, the first in the Starship Captain trilogy, is out now in UK paperback. (Oh, I just realized we should have called the character Gordon Greene. Then we could have had, "Gordon's alive!" Darn. Talk about l'esprit de l'escalier...)


  1. It look pretty good and I'll probably pick up it and the Dirk Lloyd books later. In the meantime I'm still focused on gamebooks. You mentioned earlier that the "Fabled Lands" Keep of the Lich Lord would be coming out soon. Anything further news on that? I'm really, really eager to get it as well as WOTT Inferno.

    1. The Sunday Times included the Dirk Lloyd series in their "top 100 books of the last 10 years" this weekend. So that was nice. We're developing it as a comic book and there's even very early-stage discussion with a well-known movie producer.

      News coming up in the next week about Way of the Tiger, then Necklace of Skulls in time for Halloween, and Keep of the Lich Lord a week or so after that. It's going to be a packed month.

  2. Btw there's loads of Starship Captain background material over on, including a Galactic Tour Guide with details of characters, alien races and strange new worlds: