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  • By Dodo Books
    Oct 28, 2008
    "The Kybion is a revised version of The Watcher first published in 1986" Reviews for THE WATCHER, published in 1986 by The Women’s Press UK A delightfully witty story blending farce, black humour, a strong thoughtful plot and rich characterisation into a gourmet novel. Star Dancer has a draining pres-ence and, to the inhabitants of the planet Ojal, this is a life threatening situation. Earth is identified as the planet from which Star Dancer comes. The Ojaliens, with expert help, produce an android, Kybion, and send it into the past to wait for the rise of Star Dancer and prevent it from draining Ojal’s power. Excellent. SFF Books 1986 Refreshingly devoid of any serious social, moral, human or extra-terrestrial issue, Jane Palmer’s The Watcher (Women’s Press, £2.50) flips lightly around the adventures of an Asian teenage girl with no nerves, helped along by a Benson-from-Soap character and an ugly baddie who gets fried by the power source he is trying to steal. If... More > the baddies succeed then an entire planet of one-parent families with wings will perish; but, fear not, most of the action takes place in English villages by the sea. It has the tone of early Eric Frank Russell and a style reminiscent of Enid Blyton and would help the brain-fevered convalescence of those who have just read William Gibson’s collection of short stories Burning Chrome (Gollancz, £8.95). Josephine Saxton New Statesman 1986 Jane Palmer might sound like another character from The Female Man, but she is certainly neither a regular nor an imbiber of the house brew, despite the Women’s Press imprint and the assertions on the jacket that The Watcher (Women’s Press, £2.50) is satirical, subversive and a send-up. Come off it. After the last three, it must have zipped through their editorial offices like a fresh sea breeze, blowing away the lingering clouds of intellec-tual fog, emotional steam and the smoke from the verbal pyrotechnics; but it reads not so much like a parody, more like a naive reproduction of what passes in the public mind for sf. It is stocked with cardboard eccentrics, rubber aliens and cranky plot coupons from the prop-room of Doctor Who, and has an Asian (but British to the core) school-leaver heroine whose emotions run the entire gamut from cheerful resignation to plucky resolve. Gabrielle, awaiting her exam results in a seaside cottage, is approached by the disembodied psyche of the village recluse, the uncannily youthful sur-vivor of a Victorian shipwreck who has been implanted by a time-travelling alien robot with a transmitter designed to attract the mysterious energetic being which is threatening a commun-ity of flying hermaphrodites half a galaxy away. Also in the picture: three scheming co-survivors of aforementioned shipwreck, a policeman who is more than he seems, and the enigmatic entities who guide and govern the Galaxy. And that’s not half of it. No shortage of plot, most of it resolved by cosmic corner-cutting via the psychic wave-band, a certain breathless giggly charm, but it would not subvert the world picture of an immature nine-year-old; she and the jaded and exasperated reader of angst-ridden feminist diatribes with a spurious science-fictional gloss being the two people who might enjoy this book. Lee Montgomerie Interzone 1986< Less
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Product Details

Dodo Books
February 23, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.48 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
4.25 wide x 6.88 tall
Product ID
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