A general term for speculative fiction about the future or futuristic technology. H.G. Wells and Jules Verne were the fathers of the genre. It has come to encompass very loosely anything with aliens, time travel, fantasy, horror or according to the Sy Fy network wrestling(?)
The evil fleet from Hell has been defeated. Now Hawk Hunter has to continue his fight against the Fourth Empire. The empire is in a state of open civil war. Both sides the Space Forces and the Solar Guard are gathering their forces. The empress who gave her life to disable the Big Generator that powers the entire galaxy has caused weird power outages known as blinks. The Solar Guard who has control of the generator on Earth are attempting to alter it so only they can receive power. This will give them complete control of the galaxy or at worse damage the generator beyond repair. This would plunge the galaxy into the dark ages. There is also word that the SG are planning to launch a XWMD (Extreme Weapon of Mass Destruction) on the rebel forces. The only one who can help is another man from the past that came with the ancient astronaut to form the Third Empire. A mad Russian that has built an amusement park on the moons of Saturn.
This dizzylando as it’s called is where Hunter must go to find him. Using an outdated matter transport device, Hunter is soon caught up in this crazy amusement park. First is Adventureland where he is Buck Gordon who with Dr. Zoloff and his daughter Anne have to rescue Anne’s fiancé from the dungeon of Ping the Pontificator. A crazy adventure with rockets on strings, wingmen and fishmen. Then he finds himself in the House of Horrors. Hunter is thrust back to WWIII and flying missions in an F-16 against the invading Russians. Only on this ride he finds out his weapons are useless, and the Americans are the cowardly and demoralized foes in the face of the invaders. Then it is Dreamland where Hunter is taken to New York and with Anne goes to a rock concert. The Land of the Lost which consists of endless socks that are missing one of the pair in front of a washing/dryer machine. Hunter didn’t get the joke, do you?
It continues to a world in war where two Nazi armies are battling for a castle called Valhalla. Inside the prize is a picture of Hitler in a dress. Then a trip with a Spetsnaz commando group infiltrating Area 51 to steal alien technology. Finally in the western land he meets the mad Russian who turns out to be Dr. Zoloff from the first ride. He does know the secret to stopping the Solar Guard, but their agents show up to torture it out of him. Luckily Hunter manages to defeat them, and they take off in a ship to destroy the saucer that the SG has launched to destroy the rebels.
The final book in the series and if I though it couldn’t get any weirder, I was wrong. This was one crazy ride. Also, a very interesting book as Maloney’s usually are. The whole strange amusement park was a totally unexpected idea which you have to love about his stories. It does end with the hanging threads of defeating the empire. A new enemy named Victorix who I assume to be the reincarnation of the evil Victor was now in charge of the SG and had Hunter’s Flying Machine. I have to admit that his whole attempt to reinvent the Wingman into a space opera was while interesting was nowhere near as enjoyable as the original premise.
Anyway, we never find out what happens to Hunter in the far future of the 73rd century but that is not the end of Hawk Hunter’s story.
Hawk Hunter and the United Planets Fleet escaped destruction by going to Heaven. Now this fleet plans to return to the fight. Yet something evil has also resulted when the fleet went to Heaven. It also opened a door to Hell and the opposing Solar Guard REF fleet went there. Now they have returned with their ships and uniforms a blood red. They seek to cause death and destruction. The first thing they do is execute a Space Force spy. This causes the two branches of the empire the Space Force and Solar Guard to openly fight one another. It looks as though the empire is now in a civil war.
Hawk must find allies. His search brings him to the seventh arm. There he finds the ancient astronaut. A NASA astronaut from the twentieth century. He is immortal and was brought forward to fight evil. He succeeded in forming the benevolent Third Empire. Yet through some unexplained reason the remnants of the Third Empire were exiled to the seventh arm. He recognizes the evil of the Hell fleet and releases the forces of the Third Empire. Hunter races to Point Zero where the fleet will entire this universe. He has to fight the evil SG Hell fleet that is waiting for the fleet. A big final battle that happens every 1 billion years between good and evil.
This was a very weird book. Not that it wasn’t interesting. But it was a very weird book. We get introduced to this big battle between demons and angels. The SG fleet crew turns into demons bent on sadist death and destruction. The UPF fleet that goes to Heaven has its crew turn into angels. The story becomes this whole biblical battle. All the others that went to Heaven when they come back turn into these superpowered angels. Plus, we find out that an astronaut from the twentieth century was brough forward just like Hunter to fight the coming evil. Naturally Hunter and his super-fast flying machine that can travel like a million light years a second destroys most of the fleet single-handedly. As I say a weird book but still very interesting.
Hawk Hunter has found the lost peoples of Earth. Now he has united them into a force called the United Planets Force. He starts to take this army down the two arm with the goal of eventually reaching Earth. Along the way he discovers some ancient mind rings that reveal the tragic history of the empires. That in the twenty-first century three brothers who were IRA terrorists are revived by aliens. Given advanced knowledge the first Emperor Jimmy is a benevolent leader who founds the first empire. Then his evil brother Michael is brough back and forms the second empire. A revolt brings the third brother O’Nay to the throne. He betrays the people of Earth and exiles them to the prison system outside the galaxy.
This was a fascinating story. Especially the rise of the empires. It starts out with Hunter and his forces having an easy time defeating the Solar Guards. Only the SG comes back with a vengeance, and it looks like the UPF are defeated. Only the princess Zara manages to deliver technology that transports the rebel fleet to what is essentially Heaven. Maloney keeps his stories interesting.
Hawk Hunter has deserted from the Empire’s forces. With two friends he searches for clues to his past. After some adventures fighting various space pirates, destroying a Deathstar and rescuing two thousand women he finds what he is looking for. A way to the Home Systems. A computer program transports him and his friends to Planet America. This planet is just like America in the twentieth century. Only it is a small planet consisting of just the American continent. You can travel by speedboat from L.A. to New York.
Hunter and friends are eventually captured and find that the CIA are the ancient keepers of knowledge on this world. They know that periodically their world has been destroyed in some post-apocalypse events. Hunter finds out that Planet America is one of 35 worlds orbiting a sun located just outside the Milky Way. Each planet consists of a nation of Earth. The rightful inhabitants of Earth were deported and moved to what was in essence a giant prison camp. The whole system is in a time bubble that slows down time. They are also guarded by a million-man mercenary army known as the Bad Moon Knights. Located on Moon 39 they monitor the planets for signs of them developing space travel. When a planet does, they invade and destroy it back to the stone age. Planet France just recently launched a rocket and was invaded. Hunter now has to organize an army and with his super F-16 manages to defeat the BMK.
The second book in the series really picks up the story. It starts out goofy with the first chapter basically a reenactment of the first Star Wars only Hunter just easily destroys the Deathstar in seconds and saves the day. After some more goofy adventures he winds-up on what seems to be twentieth century America. Only the planet is a bit off. It keeps you wondering what the hell is going on. Yet we find out that Earth was conquered, and the original inhabitants were put on an elaborate prison system. Now Hunter has to find out who did this and lead the Home Planets in a war to retake the Earth. A really unique and fascinating story.
The year is 7200 and the galaxy is ruled by the Fourth Empire. A ship crashes on Fools 6 and the two survivors are rescued by a mysterious man. Hawk Hunter has no memory of his past life. He found himself on this isolated planet and built a ship using parts from crashed vessels. Erx and Berx the two survivors never seen such a man or his odd ship. Yet it is the fastest thing they ever saw. When an empire ship comes to rescue them, they tell the captain who decides to draft Hunter and enter him in the Earth Race. This race held once a year is a very prestigious event. Hunter and his ship easily win it and receives a promotion in the Empire. He has an exploration ship and heads off to the five arm. There he helps the moon of Zazu-Zazu from being wiped out by mysterious attackers. At the end he finds clues to his origin from the Freedom Brigade mercenaries that were wiped out.
This has to be the wildest reboot of a series I ever saw. Maloney changed his whole Wingman series into a space opera science fiction. He mysteriously gets transported to this future with no memory. He manages to rebuild his F-16 into a super advanced spaceship with old parts from a Keon Bombardment cruiser. How he accomplished this? Don’t know. You just have to go with the fact that Hunter is the most brilliant man that ever existed.
The book is actually a fun read. He creates this vast empire with its intrigues and goofy ass technology. I think it really works for Maloney’s style of writing. He can just make up all kinds of bullshit and past it off as futuristic. Despite the setting it is still basically a Wingman book. He still has his trusty F-16. He can basically do the impossible and is the greatest pilot that ever lived. It you like the Wingman than this series won’t disappoint.
Arthur Dent has just lost his girlfriend Fenchurch to some random space/time abnormality that erased her from existence. He also is lost in an alternate reality and finds the Earth a very completely different and dismal place. While traveling his ship crashes and he becomes the sandwich maker for a primitive tribe. His life as sandwich maker is fulfilling when Trillian comes with her daughter Random. Random is also Arthur’s daughter because Arthur was selling his DNA and Trillian used it to conceive a daughter. Trillian has to go and leaves Random for Arthur to take care of.
Soon after a package comes from Ford that Random opens and finds is the new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A new owner of the publishing company has created this sinister new edition. Now Random takes it to another alternate Earth where that Trillian never left with Zaphod and is a reporter. This Trillian finds a race of aliens living on the tenth planet and they are suffering amnesia. Well through some convoluted process Arthur, Ford and both Trillians get together just as the Vogons are about to destroy all the alternate Earths.
The final entry in the Hitchhiker’s story. The title coming from the entry for Earth in the guide. Sadly this wasn’t very good. It had a dark tone to it . A convoluted storyline and lots of theoretical jibber-jabber that wasn’t very funny. Indeed there were many plot threads left hanging and the ending was a dismal one that saw all the Earth’s in every universe destroyed by the Vogons. Douglas Adams in an interview admitted he was not very happy with this book. That he was going though some bad personal problems that year.
This was the last book he would ever write before his untimely death in 2001. He wasn’t a very prolific writer but what he wrote was brilliant. His Hitchhiker books were something I loved and consider then to be the most funniest thing ever written. It is sad that he didn’t end with a high note. Still I am glad I finally got around to reading this. It brings some closure for me and the book did have some moments. I guess the lesson from this is don’t try to write humor when your going through some bad personal problems.
Arthur Dent after traveling the galaxy discovers that Earth still exists. He goes back to find the planet continuing on as if nothing happened. Everyone thinks the Vogon fleet was some CIA mind control experiment. There are two things though that changed. One is all the dolphins disappeared. The second is Arthur finds his house that was demolished is still standing. Along the way he meets a woman name Fenchurch. Fenchurch had a mental breakdown after the event and feels she knew something important. Their quest takes them to California and a man named Wonko the Sane who knows about the dolphins saving Earth. He decided that all of society is insane after reading the instructions posted on a toothpick box on how to use a toothpick. The two eventually meet up with Ford Prefect and hitch a ride on a passing spaceship to a planet that has God’s final message to the universe.
So the trilogy was so successful it would obviously get a fourth book. Back in the first it was established that the doIphins were the second most intelligent species on Earth. Apparently they managed to save the planet. There final message being the title. I think this is my favorite of the whole series. It takes place mostly on Earth and has some very funny observations on the planet. It also has a beautiful love story that Adams gave Dent. Well needless to say they do get off the planet and find God’s final message. Written in fiery letters on a planet that is a tourist trap. The message is pure Adams and was a very satisfying ending to the book.
Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are trapped in Earth’s past. Fortunately for them an anomaly in time/space opens a portal to the twentieth century. Only it is just three days before the Vogon constructor fleet blows up the planet. They find themselves at a cricket game in England just as a spaceship lands and takes the trophy. The two run into Slartibartfast that guy who loves designing fjords and did Norway for Earth. He takes the two off the Earth in time. Slartibartfash is on a mission. He tells how long ago a planet called Krikket was enshrouded in a dust cloud and never saw the rest of the universe. One day a spaceship crashed and this alerted the Krikketers that there must be something out there. When they build their own ship and saw the universe they decided it had to go. So they started a genocidal war against the universe. When they were defeated their planet was put in a stasis bubble where once the universe ended they would find themselves alone. Only a rogue ship of their killer robots managed to survive and are gathering the key components to release Krikket. Now the gang has to save the universe.
The final book in the trilogy that later became five books. (We’ll get to those later.) This was another wacky and funny story that was a real treat to read. There are just fun stuff like the party that goes on forever and raids a whole planet to get drinks and snacks. Or the being that is out to get Arthur Dent because Dent has killed his many reincarnations such as a fly or raw oyster. Then there is the omnipotent being who’s life goal is to insult everybody who ever lived alphabetically. A fun book that ending a trilogy at the time on a high note.
Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin the manic depressive android have escaped from the planet Megraetha. We find out that Zaphod is working with someone to find the real ruler of the universe. Soon they are attacked by Vogons. The Vogons we find out were hired by the association of psychiatrists because they wanted Earth destroyed so the answer to the question of Life, The Universe and Everything could never be answered. Now they want to make sure the answer is never revealed by killing the last two Earthlings. Well through a whole bunch of improbable events they find themselves at Milliway’s the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. This restaurant is far in the future and caters to the rich and famous so they can watch the universe die while eating dinner.
After the show they steal a ship belonging to rock band Disaster Area. Only this ship is programed to crash into a sun as their act. They manage to get the escape transported working and Arthur and Ford wind up on a strange spaceship. It has thousands of people in cryogenic suspension. They find out that these people were the worthless people of Golgafrinchia. People like telephone sanitizers and ad executives. They are programed to crash into a planet which they do. Soon Arthur and Ford find themselves on Earth 2 million years in the past. Here they find out the most important question of Life, The Universe and Everything.
The second in the trilogy which later was expanded to five books is another brilliant work of satire. Arthur Dent and whole whacky crew have adventures. We get to find out the question to the answer 42 and it makes perfect sense. This is another story of the futility of trying to answer the question why we exist. The BBC series also adapted this book and it was a really cool series.
Arthur Dent is having a very bad day. He wakes up one morning to find that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new bypass. His friend Ford Prefect though brings even worst news. A Vogon constructor fleet is about to destroy the Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass. Ford is actually an alien from Betelgeuse and has been stuck on Earth for fifteen years. He rescues Arthur by hitching a ride on the Vogon ship before it destroys the Earth. Arthur soon finds himself on a wild journey.
After being thrown off the Vogon ship, the two are picked up by Ford’s cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox who is the president of the galaxy. He has just stolen the new ship Heart of Gold with it’s new improbability drive. With his companions Trilliam an astrophysicist he picked up at a party on Earth and Marvin the manic depressive android they head for the legendary planet Magrathea a plant that would custom make planets for the rich. They find it isn’t deserted but the inhabitants were in suspended animation until the galaxy’s economy could afford their services. They have though awakened for a special client.
Arthur finds out that the Earth was created by a group of extradimensional beings that build it as a giant computer to give an answer to explain the answer of Life, The Universe and Everything. An advanced computer Deep Though came up with the answer 42 which didn’t satisfy anyone. So the Earth was supposed to explain the answer. Only it was destroyed at the minute the answer was about to be figured out. These beings were disguised as white mice and now they want to dissect Arthur’s brain to find the answer.
I was first introduced to this series by the excellent BBC series from the early eighties I caught on the local PBS station. This series adapted the first two books and I decided to check out the books. I thought they were the funniest books I ever read. Adams has this humor that just points out the absurdity of the universe. A true classic that I highly recommend.
The BBC did an excellent series in the eighties. There was also a big budget movie which I didn’t really care for.