Thursday, 28 November 2013

Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot Review

Review By Patrick Challlis

Written By
Walter Koenig 

Published By
Permuted Press

Science Fiction, Comedy


From the mind of Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series, Babylon 5) comes Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot - a science-fiction comedy unlike anything you've ever heard before! When an alien invasion annihilates most of humanity, it's up to a small pocket of survivors to restart civilization. There's just one problem: they're all losers.

From an Irish pub to the Florida Everglades, from the outermost reaches of space to the innermost regions of the mind, join a rag-tag group of humans and aliens as they face the end of one way of life and the beginning of another.

Packed with absurdity, pathos, wry observations about human nature, and a story that will keep you on your toes until the final word, Buck Alice is an emotional journey you'll want to take again and again. 


Both before and after I read 'Buck Alice', I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect and still don't really know even after I've read it.

I decided to give it a go for a couple of reasons actually.  One, I'm a bit Walter Koenig fan from his 'Star Trek' and 'Babylon 5' days and was really interested in just what kind of writing style he would have when writing fiction.

His autobiography flows nicely and shows some great insights into his career so I was really eager to get my hands on this as well.  Well, what we have here is one of the weirdest books that I have read in a long time.  In fact, I would say that it almost feels as though you are tripping out on something while reading this.

The story itself is well written for the most part.  Koenig has done a good job of putting a brand new spin on to the whole idea of people surviving at the end of the world.  One of the most interesting things about the book is that Koenig's characters aren't gung ho style action heroes.  Instead it's the oddballs, the social outcasts that survive and this is their story.  For the most part, this works and gives us some absolutely hilarious moments.  They feel utterly unique and so human in their imperfections that it raises the quality of the story.

Talking of humor, some of it here is completely off the wall and because of that, it just doesn't work 100% of the time.

On the downside, the story is quite guilty of jumping all over the place so there were a couple of moments where I was a little bit lost as to what was actually going on and that took me out of the story a little bit.  It's not in a majorly bad way but it's enough to get a little bit confusing in places.

All in all, this isn't an awful book by any stretch of the imagination.  The story  itself really brought forward memories of reading books by people such as the legendary Douglas Adams but with a slight touch of Terry Pratchett.  It's just a shame that the couple of bad moments take you out of the story enough to be distracting and that costs it a couple of points.

That said, it's still well worth picking up but is one that is a bit like a book version of Marmite.  You either love it or you will hate it.

Story 6/10
Characters 8/10
Cover 7/10
Recommended 6/10
Overall 27/40

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