Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Starhammer by Christopher Rowley

Starhammer by Christopher Rowley

I’m told that Starhammer is the basis for the Halo mythos. Luckily, Jason Jones and the Bungie team managed to go far, far beyond their original inspiration when crafting their sci-fi epic franchise. For while Halo is a tale of heroism and military fetishism in a galactic struggle against various alien races, Starhammer is not.

Instead, Rowley gives us a strange, highly dated bit of intergalactic sci-fi in which a race of sexually sadistic blue people hold dominion over the human race. One guy, and… a girl… and… a prophet type…. and some other people find some artifacts that lead them to an ancient spaceship, which takes them to some dustball planet where they activate… The Starhammer!

Worlds are smashed, wicked blue alien genocide ensues. The whole affair is a messy and occasionally perverse bit of “fight the man” science fiction, in which humans are the good guys.

Perhaps if I’d read this several decades ago, or as a much younger man, I’d have been sufficiently titillated by the “Rape Room” and sufficiently riled up and eager to fight aliens that I would have been inspired by this one. Maybe then I would have created a majestic science-fiction franchise and would be worth a bazillion dollars.

As it is was, I found Starhammer uninspired and almost indistinguishable from the hundreds of other .99 paperback sci-fi novels that crowed the shelves at Half Price Books, hearkening back to a particular subgenre of early eighties pulp.

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