Black Hole Sun
David Macinnis Gill
I read this book because it was compared to Firefly. I was told it was a direct ripoff of Firefly. I am extremely disappointed because 1. I miss Firefly and 2. because this book only has hints of Firefly in it.
I'm not really sure where the comparison to a canceled space western comes in, except that this is a space western set on Mars. Durango--the main character--could bubble up to be Captain Malcolm Reynolds. He could, except Captain Reynolds had better lines.
I could see how space cannibals could be compared to Reevers (space cannibals from Firefly), but really, space cannibals have been around for a while.*
I can see how Durango's cursing in Chinese, Latin, and other languages could be compared to Firefly. Except that's all been done before. David Macinnis Gill even has fake curse words, which once again, has been done before.
It's a book set on a dystopian Mars, with cannibals, with gunslingers, with made-up curse words, with characters who curse in different languages, with fucking laser guns. It's a hodge podge of science fiction elements from across the genre mashed into one book. There's even an Artificial Intelligence in Durango's head.**
The book itself is difficult to get into at first. The problem comes from Mimi, the above mentioned Artificial Intelligence, who speaks whenever she wants and sometimes interrupts dialogue. I felt like her interference bogged down the pacing a lot. There's also the issue of the characters speaking another language. It happens way to often and lead to far too much Googling for my own taste.
So here's the deal: I am a hardcore science fiction geek. I love the genre. So, naturally, I enjoyed Black Hole Sun. Its mash up of science fiction cliches and references humored me greatly. There's even a character named Leroy Jenkins.***
There's nothing wrong with Black Hole Sun if you're a fan of the genre. It's actually great fun if you are. If you aren't? You're not going to get it. I wouldn't recommend this book to my sister, but to my nerdy "Star Wars is the best thing ever" friend? Yeah. Him. He'd enjoy it, I think.
*Here's a Wiki article about cannibalism in popular culture. I find it odd this is being kept track of.
**Dystopian Mars: Total Recall. Cannibals: Firefly. Gunslingers: Firefly/Doctor Who. Made-up Curse Words: Farscape. Witty Banter: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Laser Guns: Star Trek, Stars Wars. Artificial Intelligence: Andromeda.
Note: The creepiest music video ever made is called Black Hole Sun.