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Monday, November 19, 2007

GRREAT Social Commentary Sci Fi for Gifted Readers

Title: Expert Assistance
Author: Robert Collins

Publisher and/or Distributor: Asylett Press
Publisher Website:
Pages: 173
ISBN: 9781934337080
Price: $8.75
Publishing Date: 2007
Reader: Bob Spear
Rating: 4 hearts

This very funny space opera science fiction is also a brilliant social commentary, especially on the shallowness of pop culture. Spacer of fortune, Jake Bonner, finds himself short of funds; therefore, he takes on two jobs simultaneously: a controlling consultant to mine workers governed by an unethical tyrant who seek revolution and to chauffeur Evvie, a nineteen-year-old pop star who is on a performance tour. He is assisted by his ship’s artificial intelligence-driven spaceship, which was originally designed for wholesale espionage and over which he was able gain salvage rights. Things really get complex when Evvie discovers Jake’s revolutionary mission and wants to play in it to gain massive PR points.

In addition to being a humorous read, this story should be considered a classic in the field of social commentary. It ranks right up there with Animal Farm and 1984, but with a far less dire atmosphere. The author, an active historian, brings to bear an excellent knowledge of what comprises good music and theatre and how bad and shallow current and evolving pop culture is. It is a cleanly written story and is very appropriate for young, gifted readers. We rated this excellent social commentary novel four hearts.

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