Sunday, October 2, 2011


Book: The Destroyer #47: Dying Space

Author: Warren Murphy

Published: 1982 (Pinnacle Books)

Pages: 196

Can fun writing be automatically thought of as good because it makes the reading experience a pleasure, even if that pleasure is laughing hard at seriously-meant dialogue and plot twists?

I think there’s inherent value in something like that, mostly because this book kept me very amused for a couple hours. It’s pure paperback pulp about a missile-controlling robot that is accidentally brought to life by two garbage men. The robot skins (!) one of the garbage men and takes his form to stay unnoticed while he goes to destroy Remo, a wiseass assassin who…you know, I don’t know what Remo did to the robot to piss him off so much. It was covered in previous books.

Anyway, they all end up in Moscow so the robot can stop the Russians from firing a nuclear missile—at the moon. The moon. Not at anything more alarming. Which, to whatever astrophysicists are reading this to keep their minds off NASA, I know blowing up the moon would screw us over down here. But in an indirect way that I’m sure y’all could figure out how we could live with. In this book, Russia is just so jealous of the US’s moon-conquering abilities that it wants to destroy the moon so we won’t have anywhere else to expand our empire. It apparently never crosses their minds to blow up our direct, terrestrial, and no doubt much easier because much closer nerve systems of big cities on either of our coasts.

So that was dumb and took all the tension out of the final couple chapters, which were action-packed and included a drunk randy scientist trying to make up for her unappreciated habits by helping the robot she built and a Russian commander who likes the “kinky boom-boom” Remo apparently stumbled into when he was trying to escape her room.

Two women in power; both of their sexualities are used as jokes meant to break tension. At least they’re both brilliant (when a man isn’t around to make them feel good). Hmpht.

They don’t get to live happily ever after, either, but everybody else does except in the epilogue the robot comes back to life and resolves anew to kill Remo. Of course he does.    

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