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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review of STARSHIP TITANIC (as it appears on

Lost In Space!
Reviews of Unknown or Underappreciated Books

Starship Titanic by Terry Jones

Hello and welcome to what will be an occasional feature on my blog!
So – what, exactly, do I mean by 'unknown or underappreciated'?
To put it simply – not everyone is a Kevin J. Anderson or David Weber or Eric Flint or Robert Heinlein. Some authors – I would venture to say, MOST authors – produce perfectly fine books: readable, enjoyable, well-structured, skillfully plotted and with fully-developed characters. And yet, something happens.
They never quite get the recognition they deserve. The book slides into obscurity, and the author – having watched their baby disappear from the public eye – often follows.
Well, no more!
I've been reading SF for basically my entire conscious life, and when I like a book, I hold onto it. So, for you lucky, lucky readers, I'm diving back into my stacks to find books which deserve another shot at the sunlight.

Imagine, if you will, Hitchhiker's Guide meets Monty Python.
Oh, brilliant! As a fan of both, this would seem to be the ultimate book for a person like myself.
British science fiction meets British insanity – what could be more perfect?

In the late 1980s (yes, I know, we're going back to another century here, but bear with me. There's a point to this time travel) Douglas Adams was on top of the science fiction world.
His Hitchhiker's 'Trilogy' was hugely successful, existing as books, a television series, and a radio series. A movie deal was in the works. What media was left? Well, obviously, the realm of computer games! (Remember, this is pre-XBox, pre-PS, and just barely post-Atari.)
'Give us something,' he was told, 'that we can use to make a text-driven adventure. It's got to be something with a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it has to be something that you haven't written yet, because we don't want the players to know how the story goes before they play.'
Um, what? You can imagine Adams thinking.
'Oh, and it would be nice if it was related to the Hitchhiker's books but not part of them, or at least nothing major.'
Excuse me?
Well, eventually Adams remembers about the Starship Titanic – here's the reference, in full, from Life, The Universe, and Everything:

Many speak of the legendary and gigantic starship Titanic, a majestic and luxurious cruise liner launched from the great shipbuilding asteroid complexes of Artifactovol some hundreds of years ago now, and with good reason.
It was sensationally beautiful, staggeringly huge and more pleasantly equipped than any ship in what now remains of history (see page 110 [on the Campaign for Real Time]) but it had the misfortune to be built in the very earliest days of Improbability Physics, long before this difficult and cussed branch of knowledge was fully, or at all, understood.
The designers and engineers decided, in their innocence, to build a prototype Improbability Field into it, which was meant, supposedly, to ensure that it was Infinitely Improbable that anything would ever go wrong with any part of the ship.
They did not realize that because of the quasi-reciprocal and circular nature of all Improbability calculations, anything that was Infinitely Improbable was actually very likely to happen almost immediately.
The starship Titanic was a monstrously pretty sight as it lay beached like a silver Arcturan Megavoidwhale among the laser-lit tracery of its construction gantries, a brilliant cloud of pins and needles of light against the deep interstellar blackness, but when launched, it did not even manage to complete its very first radio message – an SOS – before undergoing a sudden and gratuitous total existence failure.

That's it. That's what he had to write from, a snippet that is mostly about the early misapplication of Improbability equations.
No wonder it took him until 1998 to get the thing written, coded, published and distributed.
Then came the suggestion: Why don't you write a book to go with the game, tie it in, we can broaden our marketing?
The response was probably interesting but not particularly germane, except that in the end, he didn't write it.
Terry Jones did.
Yes, that Terry Jones. From Monty Python. Who frequently appears nude in the sketches and movies.
What, you might ask, does he know about writing a book?
As it turns out, not much.
He had the plot of the game to follow – simply put, the starship Titanic doesn't undergo a SMEF (sudden massive existence failure) as much as dematerialize. It reappears above, of course, Earth. Smashed into a house.
Four Earthlings are there; three of them are invited aboard the ship while the fourth scarpers off. They then encounter various difficulties in trying to get the ship to function as it should and return them to Earth.
To this bare-bones plot, various details are added: industrial espionage, insurance fraud, sabotage, labor unions, and a faulty Mega-Scuttler bomb.
The whole idea is ridiculous.
Then again, so is the idea of hitchhiking across the galaxy, and he made pretty good hay from that.
Ah, but the problem with Starship Titanic is that Adams didn't write it, Jones did, and he lacks the former's deft touch with the ridiculous.
The dialogue is stiff and forced, at best. The plot is, as mentioned, ridiculous, and the resolution requires a deus ex machina straight out of classical Greek theater.
Yet there are moments of levity, of humour, where Adams' direction is apparent, where the intervention more direct.
Alas, they are too few and far between to justify the book as a whole.
If you want to read this, go ahead. It's still out there. Perhaps you can find one at a yard sale, or a library book sale.
If you're interested in the game, well, the web site still exists., though it doesn't seem to do much. Finally, if you really want to play the game, there are instructions here:

And what happened to the game? Well, text-driven games were a dying breed by the time Adams (a notorious procrastinator and ignorer of deadlines) finally finished his end. The PlayStation was out, the PS2 two years away, the Xbox three years away – so the whole thing was, like the eponymous starship, doomed from the start.

Moving forward – I welcome your comments and suggestions! If there is a book YOU want me to review, drop me a line! You can find me on Facebook (very creatively, Adam Gaffen) or you can send an email to OR you can simply leave a comment here!
Thanks – and I'll be back soon with another lost treasure!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

ANOTHER new book by CM - Color Me Pretty

Title: Color Me Pretty
Series: A Duet #2 (this is the final book in the series; the first book, "Paint Me Beautiful", can be found here:
Genre: New Adult/Romance/Anorexia
Mature - Ages 16 and Up Due To Some Language and Sexual Themes
Goodreads Link:
Goodreads Link to Book One:
Release Day: June 15th, 2013
~~~!!!SALE!!!~~~ "Paint Me Beautiful" will be on sale for 99 cents from June 8th - June 15th


"I've done it this time.  I've really screwed up.  I've made a mistake, and I'm afraid that it's going to cost me everything - my family, my career and most importantly, Emmett Sinclair.  He saw the beauty inside of me, looked past what I was becoming on the outside, and gave me his trust.  Everyone thinks I tried to kill myself; I think I made a mistake.  They all say I'm halfway to the grave; I say I've been reborn.  Nobody knows what I'm going through, so I'm going to have to fight harder than ever before.  The problem is, I no longer know exactly what it is I'm fighting for."

Official Webpage:
Facebook Friend Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Barnes and Noble:


~CM Stunich~

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

CM Stunich - NEW BOOK - Real Ugly (no, that's the title!)


Title: Real Ugly
Series: Hard Rock Roots #1
Genre: A New Adult Rock Star Romance
Mature - Ages 18 and Up Due to Dirty Language and Raw Sex
Goodreads Link:
Release Day: June 10th, 2013

"Turner Campbell is an asshole.
I f*cking hate him.
But I can't get enough either.
He sings like an angel and f*cks like a devil.
If I could, I'd run away and never look back because to tell you the 
truth, I think this man might be the death of me.


Naomi Knox is a bitch.
I can't f*cking stand her.
But I can't stop thinking about her either.
She looks like an angel and plays like a devil.
If I could, I'd f*ck her good and forget all about her, but to tell 
you the truth, I think this woman might be my last saving grace."

Official Webpage:
Facebook Friend Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Barnes and Noble:


I'm looking down, so I'm not paying attention to where I'm going. 
Doesn't matter anyway. When people see me coming, they get out of my 
'Hey!' a girl shouts as our shoulders slam together and my cigarette 
topples out of my mouth. 'Watch where you're fucking going!' A 
crumpled ball of leather slams into my chest before I get the chance 
to process that the chick standing in front of me is the girl from the 
bus last night, the one on the couch. Holy fuck me. She looks even 
better in the daylight. She's tall, fucking got legs for days, and her 
tits are practically falling out the top of an asymmetrical tee that's 
cut up and hanging in long strips over her bare belly. Skin like 
porcelain, orange-brown eyes that bite, and swollen lips. Hell to the 
fuck yeah. She's exactly my type. My irritation at having her bump 
into me dissipates right away, and I switch on the charm.
'Hey, baby, do I know you from somewhere?' I shake out the crumpled 
leather as she scowls at me and realize with a start that it's 
actually my jacket. Must've left it on her bus last night. I wonder if 
we fucked. If we did, then it's a memory I'm sad to forget.
'Yeah, last night when I cleaned your puke off my carpet and pulled 
your dick out of my friend. Hey, next time you decide to screw a drunk 
chick, make sure she's sober enough to remember her own name. Can you 
do that for me, Turner?' I lick my lips and shake out the jacket, 
tossing it over my shoulder with a scowl of my own. Hot as this chick 
is, nobody talks to me like that. If I've ever fought for anything in 
my life, it's the right to be respected. Even a tight body and a 
dangerous scowl can't change that.
'Hey, if I touched your friend, it's because she wanted me to.' I snap 
my fingers and lean in close. 'Oh yeah, and it's none of your damn 
business.' Hands come out quick and hit my chest, knocking me back a 
step. Mostly from surprise. She isn't as tough as she thinks.
'Next time you pass out on my bus, I take payment from you in the form 
of diseased body parts.' She waves her hand at my dick and then she 
tries to turn away. My fingers on her shoulder spin her around and 
this time, she hits me right in the face.
'You fucking bitch,' I snarl as she stands her ground and stares me 
down. 'I could have you kicked off the tour for that shit. Or thrown 
in jail. Who the hell do you think you are?' The woman raises her chin 
and takes a deep breath while the wind teases her auburn hair around 
her soft face. She's acting fierce, but I can see right through her. 
This chick is vulnerable, half ready to crack. Wonder if I could help 
her along a little? Broken souls are my specialty.
'My name is Naomi Knox,' she says and then takes a step closer to me, 
so close that the toes of our shoes touch and her breasts brush up 
against my chest. Almost immediately, my cock springs to attention and 
gets hard as a fucking rock, expanding along the length of my thigh 
and pressing against the tight fabric of my jeans. Fuck that hurts. 
Guess this my penance for wearing girls' pants. 'And I'm not afraid of 
you, Turner Campbell, so fuck off.'
She spins on her heel and smacks me across the cheek with her hair. As 
she moves away, I see something in her face. I don't know what it is, 
but it triggers something else in me. I know I've met this girl 
before, and I'm not going to rest until I figure out where.


~CM Stunich~