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Andy Nebula, Interstellar Rock Star
Edward Willett
Roussan Publishers, 176 pages

Andy Nebula, Interstellar Rock Star
Edward Willett
Edward Willett lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. In addition to fiction, he has written non-fiction for children including Comets, Stardust and Supernovas, AOL's Picture This: Fun and Easy Photo Projects and Your Official AOL Guide to Creating Cool Web Pages. Other titles include Using Microsoft Publisher for Windows 97, The Internet Bible and Microsoft Office 2000 Bible. He also writes a weekly science column for the Regina Leader-Post and talks about science every week on CBC Saskatchewan's Afternoon Edition radio program, hosted by Colin Grewar, and he hosts, a Cable Regina television program about computers and the Internet.

Edward Willett Website
ISFDB Bibliography
Roussan Publishers

Past Feature Reviews
A review by A.L. Sirois

Don't let the title throw you; this is better than it sounds. Yes, it's for younger readers, but it's sufficiently gritty and clever that an adult can get through it with little trouble.

Kit is a street musician in a burg called Fistfight City on Murdoch IV, your basic "backwater" planet. He's 17, an orphan, and used to life on the streets. Willett doesn't ignore the bleak aspects of this scenario. He has Kit say, "I had my music, but a lot of kids had nothing but themselves, and they still had to eat." One night the weather in Fistfight City is so rotten that Kit, who is being trailed by a mysterious man in black, opts to share a room in a flophouse with a spacer who is "between ships." The spacer turns out to be an alien, a Hydra named Rain. Rain (who reminded me a little of one of Larry Niven's puppeteers) claims to be slumming as a tourist while seeking a berth on a ship. As it happens, he is also fascinated with human music, and this helps to create a bond between him and the wary Kit.

The next day Kit meets the man who has been trailing him. This is Qualls, who turns out to be a talent scout from Sensation Singles, looking for new acts to promote. He says that Kit has what it takes to be Sensation's latest star.

Almost before he has time to blink, Kit's most closely-held dreams of fame and money begin to come true. With Qualls's guidance he achieves instant recognition as pop star Andy Nebula, and for 6 months it seems that the galaxy is at his feet. Then Kit begins to get hints of what happened to Qualls's other Sensation Singles acts after their popularity waned, and he realizes that the same fate is in store for him as soon as his concerts stop selling out.

Willett tells a fast-moving tale that has plenty of colour. He wastes few words and presents some good characterizations. It lacks the depth of an adult SF story, but there are plenty of plot twists and turns to keep young readers engaged.

All in all, a worthy addition to a young reader's shelf of SF books.

Copyright © 2000 by A.L. Sirois

A.L. Sirois walks the walk, too. He's a longtime member of SFWA and currently serves the organization as webmaster for the SFWA BULLETIN. His personal site is at

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