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Second Course (Hal Spacejock Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Simon Haynes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

Sonya picked up a missile launcher and aimed it at the back of Dent's head. "Who are we invading?"
Dent spun round, slopping his coffee. "Put that down, woman! You think these are toys?"
"Range eighteen kilometres, blast radius five hundred metres ... this ain't no toy."
"You know your weapons," Dent said grudgingly.
Sonya swung the tube off her shoulder and propped it up with the rest. "What's Curtis doing with all this stuff?"
"Trade war," said Dent. "Very hush-hush. Can't discuss it."
"What do you have for me?"
Dent put his cup on the workbench and retrieved a wooden box. "I designed this myself," he said, snapping the catches open.
Sonya looked inside. "A gun?"
"No ordinary gun." Dent took the weapon out and held it up to the light, which shone right through it. "A glass gun."
"I see. And the advantage is?"
"It's invisible in water. I had a devil of a job perfecting a transparent battery, I can tell you. Here, take a - Oops!" Dent grabbed for the falling gun but it struck the edge of the desk, tumbled onto the floor and shattered. Dent swept the pieces aside with his foot. "As you can see, it's easy to dispose of the weapon in an emergency."

- * - * - * - * - * - *-

A mysterious female passenger, an inventor with a basement full of deadly weapons, and a teleporter network built by a long-lost alien civilisation ... just some of the challenges facing Hal Spacejock and his metal sidekick Clunk as they fight for survival in the cut-throat interstellar cargo business.

Featuring the incompetent Hal and the long-suffering Clunk, Second Course serves a piping hot dish of interplanetary chaos stuffed with more laughs than a cracker factory and more action than a politician's expense account.

80,000 words (340-350 paperback pages). Uses British spelling.

- * - * - * - * - * - *-

What they’re saying:

"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

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)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HW4F9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fun Read September 7, 2006
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian SF Reader July 31, 2007
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing November 28, 2006
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it. Really funny.
Published 3 months ago by Kylie Brydon
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 2
If you liked the first book you won't be disappointed by this one. I am planning on getting the rest of the series I like them so much.
Published 8 months ago by john p ryan jr
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Future????
It is never a dull day in the future with Hal and Clunk. As a former Truck Driver it would be a dull day if we knew that the future would not have someone like Hal at the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tony D. Piroli
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you start it, it is hard to put down. Full of humor and mishaps...
I have read 4 of the Hal Spacejock books each and every one is fun and exciting. You will root for Hal and Clunk thru each adventure and feel like you are a part of the story. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Henry W. Kingen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel to the series.
This series is great, I plan on reading all of the books in this series. The humor is top notch.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Catastrophic Hero
This is a wonderfully genuine and simple comedy. I mean simple in that the author seems to use only clean, slapstick humour rather than sarcasm. Read more
Published 19 months ago by rjwhiddon
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Hal epitomises what the future, in all propability, would be like for most of us. A complex world(s) that we navigate with great difficulty and hopefully with as much mirth as this... Read more
Published 22 months ago by B. Berkhuizen
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
Luck and perserverence trumps knowledge and skill as long as the tin wingman is there to put things back together again.
Published on October 7, 2012 by RUWAZOO
5.0 out of 5 stars I am loving this series
When I read the first book in the Hal Spacejock series. I was really excited that not only have I found another series to get invovled with, but also by the prices of the others to... Read more
Published on August 28, 2012 by Greg
5.0 out of 5 stars A Funny, Chaotic Space Romp
The second Hal Spacejock book is even better than the first (free) one. As noted by other reviewers, Hal becomes a more real and likeable character, although no less out of touch... Read more
Published on February 25, 2012 by systemguy
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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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