“Slant Six” by Christopher F. Cobb

Well, this is certainly Space Opera on steroids. We have the typical anti-hero: Loman Phin, rocket racer and “salesman,” a shady character who flies below the radar of the authorities. Who, of course, hire him for their own nefarious purposes, in this case delivering a beautiful and mysterious stranger to a far-off destination. During the journey, all sorts of fantastic adventures happen, with the action only pausing long enough to set up another twist in the plotline.

Meanwhile, we get the expected revelations of Phin’s past and dig deep into his character and the devils that drive him. Which turn him into a sympathetic, believable character, just like we wanted him. The supporting cast is well described and a bit larger than life, the settings are past sensational, and the ending is written with the kind of courage and skill that most writers hunger for.

A light touch of humour throughout, a smattering of x-rated scenes and a theme about the rights and feelings of robots round out this cosmic kaleidoscope. Oh, yes, and a part-humorous, part-serious sidekick in the person of a metre-high “facsimile” called Little Mann. Or Little Man, depending on which page you happen to be on. Regrettably, this author did not choose to complement his considerable talent with the services of a good editor, as many small errors of this sort attest. Otherwise this would be a five-star review.

Recommended for Space Opera fans of the more forgiving sort.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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