Nebula Yorker seems like an average guy but at the age of 26 he is about to have his world turned upside down. The year is 1986 and Neb is waiting for the arrival of Halley’s comet when a strange visitor by the name of Mr. Tict appears out of a ball of light. Mr. Tict explains that Halley’s comet is really an intergalactic space station/casino which he is the Concierge of and he wants Neb to be his assistant.
Neb is then transported to the casino and finds several different types of aliens that all coexist as part of the Council of U. He also finds a staff made up of mostly androids and a very much alive John Lennon. That’s not all, Neb also finds out that time travel is possible which leads to a mystery that affects the casino and the life Neb thought he knew.
Halley’s Casino by Mark JG Fahey is a book with an awesome concept that Science Fiction fans will love. I can’t imagine how the process for planning this book must have worked because there is so much going on. While I thought the story here was a little light, I loved how the author managed to create a universe along with some complex characters. He goes into great depth describing the Casino, the history of it, the aliens that visit it and how everything works. One of my favorite scenes of the book was when some of the alien races questioned Neb on how Earth people can create a show like Star Trek yet be so violent to each other. There are also some funny scenes where a couple of popular rock bands perform for the casino customers but aren’t sure where they are.
If there was any downside to this book it came from giving the history of the casino. There was so much information given in chapters eight and nine that I felt myself not being able to keep track of it all. From there the focus then returns back to the characters on the casino and things start to pick up again. I also found myself getting a little confused when we got into the time travel part of the story, though in all honesty whenever I see the idea in stories I get a little confused.. I still enjoyed the idea of how the casino crew can change history but try not too. This leads us to an idea that you see repeated throughout the book which is: “always move forward.”
Halley’s Casino is an ambitious novel.This book works on a lot of different levels, it’s a Science Fiction novel but can also be considered comedy, satire, alternative history and even human drama. I love the concept of a casino in space but what really kept me interested in the book was the characters. Even the villains in the story are more shades of grey then black and white. To me the story in Halley’s Casino was secondary to the concept of how different life forms would interact in a universe where anything is possible. There are some similarities to Star Trek but in the universe of Halley’s Casino the humans are not as advanced and are considered dangerous. Check this book out if you are looking for a fresh spin on the Science Fiction genre.
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