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Theme Planet
Andy Remic
Solaris Books, 413 pages

Theme Planet
Andy Remic
When not motorcycling, mountain biking, snowboarding or climbing, there's little Andy Remic likes better than writing.

Andy Remic Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Biohell

A review by Sandra Scholes

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Just when you thought you had your fill of comedy science-fiction, Andy Remic throws this novel into the public eye. It is a self-confessed novel of the anarchy that shows what humanity is capable of if it is given anything and everything it wants. Dexter Colls is a policeman on holiday with his family on Theme Planet. He thinks he has found a great place to take a break from Earth life, but when his family goes missing, he doesn't know where to look until he unearths a conspiracy. This is what gets his policeman's instincts off and running, and this is also where he is out to find the culprits come hell or high water.

Remic's story has all the ingredients for its own thrill ride of corruption, danger and excess in an anything goes future. Dexter and his family are the average types who go through their lives scrimping and saving, but they have kept their humour despite their father risking his life every time he has to chase down a criminal. Days before they leave for Theme Planet, Dexter has to arrest someone for murder, someone he considered a friend more than family, and even if he swears he did not commit the crime, all the clues point out that he did.

The story is decidedly over the top and controversial, it throws out its obvious shock tactics and that is what gives it the kick it needs to make it into a prime story, one that isn't to be forgotten. What happened before leaves a dark cloud hanging over their holiday, and even if they want to have fun while they are there, the chances are, they won't be able to for long. The dark science-fiction element in this is equalled by the dark humour in it:

  "NO STROKING OF CHEST HAIRS, said the flashing sign. STROKING OF CHEST HAIRS LEADS TO SNOGGING AND SNOGGING LEADS TO SEX. THIS IS A NO SEX SHUTTLE...UNLESS YOU WISH TO UPGRADE TO FIRST CLASS +++, ONLY AN EXTRA $15,000 AND HAVE YOUR VERY OWN SEX SUITE! YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE."  

The humour does not end there; it runs through the novel like veins through Stilton. Amba Miskalov, the Anarchy Android is on her mission, her last one that means she can retire after it is completed, but she did not plan Dexter would be caught up in it. She though isn't the bad girl, she is trying to find out what is behind Theme Planet's supposed good nature, and she will stop at nothing to find out.

Readers will like how the story develops from a fun-filled holiday of a lifetime into a run for your life conspiracy when Dexter gets framed for a murder he didn't commit, and for the kidnapping of his wife and children. He discovers that even though Theme Planet has been created on an alien world, the race called Provax inhabit it behind the scenes, not liking the off-worlders coming to their planet and having too much of a good time there. There is a conspiracy, but it takes a while to find it. Readers won't mind it a bit as it is just as much a roller coaster ride of terror as the one Dexter rides with his kids. There is a lot to laugh at, but an equal amount to laugh with; Lex the PopBot, The Seeding Theory of Dr, Chaos, The Cool Kid Zone, Dr. Narcissist's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Kiddy Kid TV, Spunky Spunk Chocolate, and while you're at it, eat at the Japachinese restaurant. Theme Planet is to be enjoyed and it is as much fun as it's outrageous, and readers will find that Dexter is the only sane one there.

Andy Remic has written other SF novels including; The Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, Cloneworld, Kell's Island, Quake, Serial Killers Incorporated, and War Machine. More can be found about his novels at www.andyremic.com.

Copyright © 2012 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has drawn up a series of goals to achieve this year and has only managed to do two of them -- yippee! In other news she has also completed a few reviews for the likes of Love Romance Passion, Love Vampires and Fantasy Book Reviews.


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