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Second Course (Hal Spacejock Book 2) by [Haynes, Simon]
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Second Course (Hal Spacejock Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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: 2142 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1877034096
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bowman Press; 3rd edition (August 17, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 17, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HW4F9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,007 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dogs & Horses TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the first Spacejock book and was hoping for the same with book two. It delivered! Still just as funny without any major changes to the personalities of the main characters. Clunk is just as dry and patient as ever, Navcom just as a caustic and sarcastic as before and Hal...well....poor hapless, Hal....no smarter than before and yet somehow he seems to have an aura of luck around him. (Good or bad, luck is still luck) We find Hal now happily ensconced in his new ship, actively considering membership to the Pilot's Guild, ambling about the universe taking cargo to and fro with not a clue where, how or when to get there. The beauty of these book is the lightness - so much Sci-fi is heavy and serious. Hal Spacejock is sort of the sit-com of Sci-fi and for me, that is a good thing. I gave the first book only four stars due to my own persnickety dislike of the names for the robots, with the second book, the names have grown on me a bit and I think the story and humor rate all five stars this go round! Off to buy book three in this series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 with his own ineptitude. His relations with his robot Clunk and his ship's Nav computer increase to the point that there are now about 2 1/2 main characters. The interaction between Hal and Clunk provides both additional humor and interest less evident in the first book. Like the first plot, this one is filled with obstacles to Hal's mission. He repeatedly demonstrates his ability to snatch success from disaster -- and sometimes vice-versa.

If you like a lot of zany excitement and humor with all the subtlety of a thrown brick, this book is for you. I am looking forward to starting the third book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hal Spa-see-jacque (when read by the Kindle Text to Speech) is an all-around good guy, when given the opportunity. More often than not, though, the universe is erecting houses of cards in front of him, and he keeps plowing them down. He's the sort that doesn't much like reading manuals or following bureaucracy.

With his robot Clunk, he's tasked to make a delivery, one that might put a competitor out of business. The competitor strives to slow him down. A lot of people try to do conflicting things, applying more and more pressure.

One big twist -- one of many lies actually wound up being true. I didn't see this one coming at all. As in the first book, the surrounding science is good, and all characters act logically.

In one of many great snippets, an entire planet is wiped out by DRM.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. Love the character interaction especially how robots interact with humans without seriously harming them. Very imaginative Author!
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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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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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