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Hal Spacejock [Kindle Edition]

Simon Haynes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An incompetent space pilot, a massive debt and a twenty-four hour deadline...

Freighter pilot Hal Spacejock has a life to die for: His very own cargo ship, a witty and intelligent flight computer ... and a debt so big it makes the GFC look like a rounding error.

Hal's an upright sort of guy, and he won't take jobs from gun runners, drug smugglers or politicians. On the other hand, a loan shark's brutal enforcer is camped on his doorstep.

Faced with an impossible choice, Hal chooses an impossible job ... and gains an impossible co-pilot into the bargain.

The first three Hal Spacejock novels have been collected in 'Omnibus One' (US$7.99), which includes a bonus short story: 'Hal Spacejock Visit'.

Editorial Reviews


"Fast, funny, quirky, enthralling comedy adventure" - Tom Holt

"A very funny science fiction read" - Fiction Focus

"Riddled with slapstick humour and glib one-liners" - Courier Mail, Brisbane

"Simon Haynes is the Australian Terry Pratchett" - Midwest Book Review

"An underground cult hit" - January Magazine

From the Publisher

The first book in a series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1955 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bowman Press; 4 edition (August 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HGAJV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,876 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced Space Romp August 7, 2006
The cover blurb compares Hal Spacejock to Red Dwarf, so I went in expecting that same level of silliness and humor. (Rather, that level of humour -- Australian spelling, after all.) And silliness it delivers. Hal Spacejock, incompetent pilot on the cargo ship Black Gull, lands a job transporting robot parts from point A to point B. On his side is the old robot Clunk. Against him is, well, pretty much everyone else, from warships to desperate thieves to debt collectors to dockmasters who object to Hal's habit of accidentally setting their planets on fire.

The book moves along at a nice pace, and there are some entertaining bits. The "How much for that robot in the window?" exchange made me laugh. A lot of Haynes' computer and robot tech parallels today's PC-related troubles, such as Clunk the roboth having to clean up the code for the Navigational Computer. Then there's the accounting rationale behind disposing of perfectly good robots for tax and warranty reasons. All of this is discussed with a sharp eye for the absurd. (There were moments when I thought I was reading about my own office.)

What lost me from time to time was when the balance switched too far to the silly side of things, at the cost of plausibility. Hal felt too incompetent to have survived this long. It's funny that he can't land his own spaceship, and that he doesn't know what any of the buttons on the console actually do, but it leaves the reader wondering how he managed to get the ship at all, and how he got to where he is without getting himself killed.

Once or twice, complications felt like they were thrown in for the sake of another gag, as opposed to being natural consequences of the story. It's a very tricky thing to balance humor and suspension of disbelief.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traditional but hilarious April 4, 2007
The incompetent-but-lucky man with his capable-but-frequently-eyerolling companion who repeatedly (and thanklessly) saves his butt seems to be a staple in humorous science fiction. Hal Spacejock and his robot sidekick, Clunk, are no exception. I won't say that this story has anything new and novel to offer, but it sure is a good time. I especially enjoyed the random side scenes, like Hal's altercation with a stubborn automatic door. If you like outlandish SF like Red Dwarf and the Stainless Steel Rat, check out Hal Spacejock.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In space, no-one can hear you laugh September 11, 2011
Can't believe I have had this in my reading pile for over five years. I picked in up in Oz back in June 2006 and it kind of buried itself in my pile of books.
It's not bad and the author does show potential. It took a while to get going, initially I was slightly underwhelmed but by the end I discovered I had grown more fond of Hal and Clunk then I was expecting.

It's slapstick space humour with a daft cago pilot and a sidekick robot that is slightly less daft. Here they try to transport a dodgy cargo in a ship that is barely spaceworthy and mayhem is the order of the day.

So it grows on you and it does have some very nice moments. Not Douglas Adams yet though.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Funny (At Least Not To Me, YMMV) November 11, 2011
By Art
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pretty much the sole point of this book is to be funny, and, at least for me, it wasnt. The comparison to Hitchhiker's Guide is way off; Hitchhiker's is deliberately so whimsical, fantastical and over-the-top that most of the time you'll either smile/laugh or groan -- lack of any reaction at all isnt an option, at least not most of the time, whereas I had no reaction at all to most of the attempts at humor here. Hitchhiker's Guide worked because it continually swung for the fences -- and even if it sometimes fell flat, the homeruns were homeruns. (Who doesnt remember the importance of a towel, or the significance of 42?) Unlike Hitchhiker's, this book tries for singles, and even if a few of them hit, its not enough to forgive the stinkers.

Since humor is so personal, probably not much else to add to the review apart from a few random examples from the book -- Hal is so dumb, his computer gives him an advert for "Chess for the Intellectually Challenged" (title was something like that anyway) when they are playing, and when Hal expresses surprise/outrage, the computer explains that its part of a series, would he like to see them all? If it makes you smile, great, this book may work for you. Me, no reaction.

Hal is so poor that at the spaceport there is an "A" parking lot for the rich with exclusive resteraunts and top notch amenities, a B parking lot with fast food joints and a chaotic garage, a C parking lot with vending machines for food and some random tools thrown around, and Hal has to park way out in "Z" which is basically a junkyard. The docking agent calls him and orders him to report to the spaceport proper, and Hal doesnt want to walk (no shuttle from "Z") so he tries to steal the car from the maintenance robot but has to shoot him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Problem with Hal is he's unlikable as well as inept December 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Imagine Red Dwarf with a cast consisting only of Rimmer and Kryten, take away most of their character traits and personality, and you'd approximately have Hal Spacejock and Clunk.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny guy-action book May 28, 2012
By G. Cox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is difficult to write because both the wife and the husband in this particular partnership have read it, disagree, and we only have one account from which to write a review. The wife is less impressed because it seemed kind of stupid in places (she would probably give it only 2 stars), but the husband assures her that it's funny in a guy kind of way. They both agree that action and ridiculous adventure come at a fast pace and that Clunk is a sympathetic character. They disagree about whether the term sympathetic applies to Spacejock, however. They both like the ending.

Assuming the book was meant to appeal to the lighter side of a male audience's taste, the four stars of this rating reflect the husband's opinion (and the wife just rolls her eyes in the background).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun! Warning: British Humor
If you enjoy "British Humor" (like the four book trilogy, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") you will enjoy this insane comedy. At least, I did. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Jim Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll die laughing - if Hal doesn't die first.
Hal Spacejock is an incompetent space pilot at best, and his ship, Black Gull, is barely space worthy. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Charles A. Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start to the series...
Is it just me, or did I hear the voices of Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn while reading this book? I think not. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Robert D. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just a fun book!
Published 1 month ago by kay3k
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable. Very funny.
I really liked it. The Humor was at times juvenile at other times over the top. But always very funny. I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old; I'm proud of that. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rich Halecki
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun to read.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fun sci-fi story.
Published 4 months ago by Silke Jager
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining!
I enjoyed this book and will be reading more of Hal' s adventures. It is a welcome break from most science fiction books that are about alien wars, monsters and battles.
Published 5 months ago by Fit Tech
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious romp
Delightful, spunky and fun, laughed out loud many times,
Non-stop excitement. I'll definitely be continuing on into the next adventures.
Published 7 months ago by Jeffrey Morse
4.0 out of 5 stars This was an entertaining book that I enjoyed. It was free so that was...
This was an entertaining book that I enjoyed. It was free so that was good. I started the second but I have not gotten into it like the first.
Published 7 months ago by L. Fairbanks
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story. I especially like the robots
Good story. I especially like the robots, but I believe that was intentional. Hal is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but with a little help from the robots, he is able to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by bwalla
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More About the Author

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock series, the Hal Junior series, and the upcoming Harriet Walsh series, as well as several dozen short stories.

He is also the programmer and designer behind Spacejock Software, and is responsible for popular programs like FCharts, yWriter and yBook.

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