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Second Course (Hal Spacejock Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 351 pages

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Editorial Reviews


"Madcap Space-based action" Australian Bookseller + Publisher

"The rich variety of characters and the very clever humour is attention-holding from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next in the series" CMIS Evaluation

"Anyone who has ever had a frustrating run-in with a computer, or had to suffer bureaucratic thuggery, or who just wants a great story that will keep you smiling, this book is for you" /dev/random

"A breezy and enjoyable read" The Adelaide Advertiser

"Imagine Wallace and Gromit in the space cargo business ... a very funny followup from sci-fi supremo Simon Haynes" TravelLink Magazine

From the Author

The Hal Spacejock series consists of the following novels and short stories (so far!)

1. Hal Spacejock (Also available in French)
2. Hal Spacejock: Second Course
-- Hal Spacejock: Framed (Short Story)
3. Hal Spacejock: Just Desserts
4. Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch
-- Hal Spacejock: Visit (Short Story)
5. Hal Spacejock: Baker's Dough
6. Hal Spacejock: Safe Art
7. Hal Spacejock: Big Bang
8. Hal Spacejock: Shaken & Stirred (TBA)

The first three Hal Spacejock novels have been collected in 'Omnibus One', which includes 'Hal Spacejock Visit'.

Simon Haynes also writes the Hal Junior series, which is set in the same universe. This middle-grade series features a ten-year-old boy living aboard a futuristic space station. Look out for cameos by adult characters from the Hal Spacejock books, as well as in-jokes for Spacejock fans to enjoy.

1. Hal Junior: The Secret Signal
2. Hal Junior: The Missing Case
3. Hal Junior: The Gyris Mission
4. Hal Junior: The Comet Caper (TBA)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1690 KB
  • Print Length: 351 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bowman Press; 3rd edition (August 17, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 17, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HW4F9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,839 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim C. Hines on September 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
They say humor is one of the hardest genres to write. Most science fiction authors simply have to write a story that matches their readers' tastes in SF. Simon Haynes has to hit the mark with both the SF element and the humor. Unfortunately, for me, the humor didn't quite hit the mark.

Haynes is getting some good press with his Spacejock books. He just signed with an agent, and it sounds like we'll be seeing a U. S. release for both books. So what's not working for me? I think there are two things going on:

1. The characters aren't always as sympathetic as I'd like. When our heroic pilot Hal Spacejock ditches his loyal robot Clunk at a museum, it felt like we crossed the thin line between "lovably incompetent pilot" and "selfish jerk." To be fair, Hal redeems himself a bit later in the book when he thinks something has happened to Clunk ... but overall, he toes the jerk line a bit too much for me.

2. Cohesiveness. There's an episodic feel to the books. As in the first Hal Spacejock book, Hal's goal in this one is pretty straightforward: deliver cargo A to point B without getting blown up, smashed by killer robots, ripped apart by apes, and so on. Naturally, he encounters obstacles to this goal. But I find myself wanting these obstacles to all tie together thematically, or else by reappearing in a significant way at the end of the book. For example: Frodo's obstacles in Lord of the Rings help demonstrate his own strength and courage, while also showing the power of the ring, setting the stage for his final choice at the volcano. To pick an obstacle from Second Course, the ancient civilization plot could have been cut out altogether, and I don't think it would have changed the overall story that much.

Don't get me wrong. There's some good stuff here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
There is a pilot named Spacejock
At flying he's a complete crock
He's such a spazz
A robot he has
To stop him from crashing in drydock

Bad limericks yes, I am sorry. Spacejock is just a bad limerick kind of guy, though.

The Spacejock books are remarkably consistent in tone and quality. All of them have been amusing, and all of them have had the same general feel throughout.

Hal, again, is useless unless he is making coffee or actually involved in bashing something.

In Second Course, Hal undercuts the head of a freight company for an important bank contract, and makes a deadly enemy.

Haynes then proceeds to lampoon plenty of things along the way, as the freight company head sends an immigrant in need of papers with the deadly combination of military and accounting training after Spacejock, to slow him down.

The bank contract neglects to point out the lawless and dangerous aspect of the destination.

Teleportation. Museums. Killer robots. Deadly dangerous Autochef concontions, and an AI briefcase.

Along with Clunk, you really don't need much more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fahim Farook on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I finished Simon Hayne's "Hal Spacejock: Second Course" yesterday and I must say that I enjoyed this book several magnitudes more than the first one. (And that is not to say I didn't enjoy the first one - as you'd see if you read my review of the first book :p )

This book certainly shows that at least some authors mature over the course of years :) The first book was enjoyable and a smooth read but the humour wasn't a primary factor - especially in the conversations between the characters. From the opening pages of "HS: Second Course", the humour in the conversations is much more evident. I can't say much more without spoiling the story for people and so I won't. Just take my word for it - or read a sample and judge for yourself :)

Another thing which really drew me to this book was the complexity of the plot and the hairpin twists and turns that Simon introduces into the plot. There is a bit towards the second half (which again I can't comment about for fear of spoiling) which has so many plot elements packed together in a few chapters that Simon must have used a compression program :p It has lost alien civilizations, deserted planets full of alien technology, lonely towers standing guard far out to sea and a lot of other things that I really enjoy reading in a science fiction novel. In fact, I wish I'd written this one :)

About the worst thing I can say about "Hal Spacejock: Second Course" is that I don't like the cover as much as the cover of book one. Now don't get me wrong, Dion Hamill is a good artist and there are elements in the cover of the second book that I do like but Hal looks a bit grim and old and Clunk looks a bit shifty eyed in the second book. Now the first cover (by Les Peterson) has what I'd think of as the "classic" Hal pose and while Clunk looks a bit big and purple in that one, he still looks really cheerful. And that's how I personally see the books - one big, cheerful read :)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rip8fan1 on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is every bit as good as the first one in the series, and it is amazing how much Simon can get into one book! He goes between characters quite easily, and doesn't lose characters for chapters and chapters.

There is not much Science in the book, and his 'jabs' into the Software Industry are really good, if you 'get' them! I just can't wait to play 'Minesweeper' in the 35th century!

Hal is intrepid as ever, and does 'abandon' Clunk, but there isn't much choice. Hal has to get some cargo from point A to point B, and there are so many hurdles in doing so.

Clunk has to help Hal, and in doing so, must also help himself out of a few jams. There are so many hurdles and obstacles, that you might get lost, but it is such a quick read, that you shouldn't.

Sonya is a villian that might have turned to the good side of Hal, but is trying to have the cargo detoured before reaching point B.

The above three characters are pictured on the cover. There are other villians (and even a few helpful characters) in the book, and Simon mixes them up quite well.

Another winner!!!
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