2016 Reading Challenge – Book I own but never read

So I have the entire Harry Harrison collection – or at least most of his works. I’ve hardly made a dent in it, only reading Make room! Make room! because Soylent Green.

For this challenge though, I’ve chosen to read Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers.

It’s not my favourite. Although I do not regret that choice.

There are things there that I can appreciate. He presented things with a pretty – remarkably – progressive mind. At the very least, you can see these reflected in the current social mindset.  Chuck and Jerry ended up as a couple; (Son of) an African American ended up with a white girl. The American sense of identity is strong.

It felt like Guardians of the Galaxy for an earlier audience, to be honest.

I could appreciate it because you can see how Harrison’s writing affected our current society.


Where did Jerry and Chuck’s relationship come out of? The narrative didn’t show it. Then again, it took the internet and my friends to tell me that Dumbledore was gay. 

Sally annoyed me. From constantly getting kidnapped or overcome by mentally strong aliens, or giving away their plans to their enemies, to having her opinion ignored for “being a hysterical woman”, to being the only female, thus the only one to have to serve anyone. Also being completely sexualized and don’t care.

Arguably, you can say it’s the female sexual awakening, and Sally is expressed as being comfortable in her sexuality. Maybe. But I don’t think it’s a strong enough argument.

One thing I did like, and that I immediately saw the fault of our human crew, was the favouring of the humanoid race over the more gruesome looking, not – humanoid one. Immediately you can guess, because clichés, that the humanoids would embody the enemies. And they did.

Looks are deceiving.

Still for these faults, looking at the time it was set in, when it was written, you can’t help but want to overlook them.

Plus, it says something when you know what AC/DC means, years after that meaning does out. I think that was the most rib-tickling  part of it.


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