Teaser – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Hello Internet. Welcome back for Teaser #5. What? Late with a Teaser? Moi? No, you must be thinking of someone else. I was completely on-time with this, and you know it.

Arthur Dent didn’t like Thursdays. Of course, he had never really liked them to begin with, but with his home planet being blown up on a Thursday never really helped him get over his dislike of this particularly otherwise normal part of an arbitrary seven-unit-long cycle which these funny-looking carbon-based life forms seemed to honour. It was possibly the fact that due to some kind of abnormality which was localised specifically to Arthur he constantly experienced a term of bad luck lasting precisely 1440 minutes in a cycle every 518400 seconds. Or (not at all coincidentally) precisely a day after every six.

“Why hello Arthur! You appear to be in need of some refreshment. Please place your hand on the scanner and think clearly about what you wish to drink at this moment, and the Sirius Cybernetics Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser shall serve you an ingestible liquid which will satisfy your nutritional needs while ensuring sufficient satisfaction to your sense of taste, according to your biological template.”

“Please be tea. Please be tea. Ouch! That smarts.”

“We apologise for the excess heat generated by our bodily scanners. It may be uncomfortable to some life forms of low constitution.”

Yet, fortunately Arthur has not been obliterated into little more than space dandruff by a Vogon constructor fleet like the rest of the small earthling’s home. No, our hero has taken to the stars with one of his best friends Ford Prefect, a Betelgeusian who was unfortunately trapped on Earth whilst writing an article about it for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (alternatively: How to Travel the Galaxy on less than Thirty Altairian Dollars a Day!), an encyclopaedia of all the (useful) knowledge in the galaxy. With Ford by his side, and a list of other friends he meets along the way (Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy and wanted fugitive; Trillian, earthling reporter turned adventuress; and Marvin, a manically depressed walking android), Arthur embarks on an epic journey to save a new earth and finally get a cup of proper English tea.

 “This isn’t tea! This is a lukewarm, completely unlike tea nightmare, not what tea should be. I should be more depressed by this, but I’m not.”

“The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser is tailored to fit the tastes of all organisms based on specific broad templates. Thank you for your time.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was published in 1979 by Pan Books. It can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

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Teaser – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Teaser – Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game

Hello Internet. Welcome back for Teaser #4. And this particular book is something which I would prefer to showcase rather than review. Mostly because I had an awesome idea, but partly because I’d rather write using it as a framing device rather than an analytical textbook. Because so many people have done that!

The game was one of many, and it was designed to be impossible. It was supposed to teach the cadets that sometimes, defeat was inevitable. The Giant would sit there, looking at the two different glasses. The contents were randomly generated based on an amazingly massive number of different deaths for the mouse player. They could be suffocated by the liquid as if by asphyxiation, squashed as if affected by massive pressure, explode like they were firecrackers, inflate to balloon-like proportions and the surprisingly frequent drowning in the cup if they fall in to it, being either dissolved or left to float to the top of the glass. It would have been macabre if it wasn’t always so comically rendered in digital polygons.

The Giant would gesture to the mouse, and point to the glasses. He would tell them that one glass would save them and allow them to progress, and one glass would kill them. He would be lying. Both the glasses were pointless. The liquids would be either volatile, poisonous or outright explosive in some rare cases. The mouse, the player’s avatar, would then have to make a choice or they would be squashed by the Giant. And they would make their choice, and the corresponding death would play in front of the player as the words “Game Over” were displayed in tacky red lettering on the screen. The player would then be brought back to the main arcade screen. Normally by the fifth or so try they would understand they wouldn’t win, and give up.

But the Wiggin boy wasn’t like the others. He would try again, and again, whenever he got the time. He would make his way through the first minute and fifteen seconds of the level, his time differing by seconds every time depending on the outcome of the battle he had won (heavy losses, difficult conditions, two opposing teams, etc.). The battle where he first found out about the unfreezing suits added a full ten seconds onto the time it took him to finish the level.

But one day, his avatar just stopped. It waited for almost 30 seconds, with the Giant giving it the evil eye. As the Giant finally “made up it’s mind” to kill the mouse, Wiggin made it jump onto his hand. The mouse ran up the arm of the Giant, and ran to his face. The mouse jumped at the Giant’s eye, clawing and biting. The Giant was dead before it hit the ground. In the real world, Ender threw his tablet at the wall in disgust for what he had done. But for the people watching him, that was the last reason they needed to tell he was ready.

Ender’s Game was published in 1985 by Tor Books. It can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

Teaser – Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Teaser – H.I.V.E. – Mark Walden

HIVE

Hello Internet. Welcome back for Teaser #3. And a series which I have not re-read in a long time, H.I.V.E. And yes, to continue a trend, more third-person sci-fi swill.

<<Encrypting communication link…>>

[input_connect user=“mNero”]

[input_connect user= “nRaven”]

mN: Natalya. I assume you have acquired the boy?

nR: He is in the plane now.

mN: Excellent, Natalya. I had faith in your abilities. Do be careful with him, he is… important.

nR: Yes sir. We are on the way to retrieve the Fanchu boy. I have read his file. He may be problematic to aquire in the same way.

mN: I am sure you will know what to do when the time comes.

nR: I still have a bad feeling about him. Why is Malpense so important?

mN: Have you seen the news lately, Natalya?

nR: No.

mN: Check it tonight. He caused quite a fuss for the British Prime Minister.

nR: Sir, do you ever wonder if what we do is right?

mN: Right? Natalya, what we do is necessary. What do you think would happen to these children if we were not to step in and help them achieve their full potential? They would be simple rogues, purposeless, fighting against a machine which they will never change. But with our guidance? They become fully-fledged leaders, people able to change the world. We help them realise their full potential, that’s all.

nR: But we take them from their families, their lives…

mN: A necessary evil. An indoctrination to the life of a villain, if you will. We don’t remove their families, we free them. Show them what they can achieve without them.

nR: You do know best, sir.

mN: Now, I must go. Speeches to prepare. I do love a good monologue.

<<Link lost>>

HIVE was published in 2006 by Bloomsbury. It can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

Teaser – H.I.V.E. – Mark Walden

Teaser – Dancing Jax – Robin Jarvis

Dancing Jax

Hello Internet. Another 6 reviews, another teaser. And so I present Teaser #2. I hope you readers enjoy these, but really you’ll learn to love them. They’re cool. You know that.

I don’t know how to tell you this, but there isn’t a recognisable England left. The book took it all, and that godforsaken Ismus and his lackeys have taken over. If you’re reading this from anywhere near the UK in general, do not stay there. The book has clamped hold. I’m one of the lucky ones, the ones this book doesn’t affect. But I hear it. The voices, and the words, they haunt me.

What am I saying? The blessed word does not haunt, it opens your soul to the light of Mooncaster, and lets you see qfierfbhqeacblCDN’;CNJ

Sorry. I hit my head on the keyboard. It’s getting to me. I can’t stop it, but I think I can hold it off. The book seems to not affect some people. They’re called aberrants by the Jaxers. We call them Jaxers, the ones taken by that book. Damn, I can’t even mention it without seeing visions.

Visions of the castle, seen over thirteen green girdling hills, a shining beacon of hope and love where you will be welcomed with open arms.

No. Stop it. I’m here, talking to you. The keys I’m typing are being sent as fast as I can type them, even though I don’t know if anyone would be able to get this message. Look, if someone can read this, tell the world. Burn every copy of that book you see. Don’t even look at it. Destroy it. All it takes is a few words and it will steal you away.

Take you far away, past the shining seas and to a kingdom where we are all happy, all the people have their place, and we can all toil happily away awaiting the return of the Dawn Prince, blessed be.

STOP! NO! Focus. I must focus, I must get the word out there. Nobody must read that book, nobody can read that book. Nobody should read that blasted book. Dancing Jacks, that awful, terrible, soul-sucking, all-consuming, wonderful, freeing, all-knowing and all-powerful word of the Dawn Prince himself, blessed be.

Dancing Jax was published in 2011 by HarperCollins. It can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

Teaser – Dancing Jax – Robin Jarvis

Teaser – Malice – Chris Wooding

Malice

Hello Internet. Now, I know this isn’t a Review. It says so in the title. But I wanted to try something different for a while. If this floats, I might make another one, but as you can see it won’t interfere with regular scheduling. I present: Teaser #1!

“Collect the items, one for every Domane. A black feather. A tear. A twig. A knot of cat’s fur. And a lock of your own hair, so Tall Jake can find you. Then light the fire and repeat after me, before the fire is out, six times. Tall Jake take me away.”

Malice. Everyone has heard of it. A comic, which shows the images of missing children in torturously sick games for survival. Everyone knows the story.

“Tall Jake take me away.”

But some people think that there is a deeper secret to Malice. Some think that there is a real place where the missing children go. And you can get there yourself.

“Tall Jake take me away.”

Seth is infatuated with Malice. He reads the comics every week. But when a friend goes missing then appears the next week in the panels of the comic, he becomes obsessed.

“Tall Jake take me away.”

Plunged into a world of violence and chaos, Seth must make his way through the fractured realm to save himself and newfound friend.

“Tall Jake take me away.”

So follow Seth and his sister into a deadly world where survival is key. Welcome to Malice, where disaster and doom is just one black train ticket away.

“Tall Jake take me away…”

Malice was published in 2009 by Scholastic and can be found on Amazon here.

Yours: J.M. Pear

Teaser – Malice – Chris Wooding