Author: David Fletcher
Publisher: Troubador Publishing / Matador
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy
Dumpiter is a humorous science fiction/fantasy novel reminiscent of David Moresses’s Warden Series and Jonathon Gould’s Magnus Opum. As in those novels we have a naive hero with a good heart but little else in the way of heroic skills. Through a series of events he manages to blunder his way into the right place at the right time, and with an unlikely band of friends save the day.
In this instance, our hero is an ex accountant names Renton, who sets off on a new occupation in the field of body paint with the hope of gaining more self confidence and a better chance at encounters of the amorous kind. On a trip to purchase body paint for a film, he stumbles upon a very nasty plot, the details of which we only discover as the story progresses. This mystery keeps the story ticking along as does the delightful cast of characters and he often absurd situations our hero finds himself in.
The Trail leads us to the planet Dumiter, a veritable rubbish dump of a planet, a kind of a massive recycling plant gone to rack and ruin. The big bad guy has used their desire for a better life as the carrot to lure them into a scheme that they now realize is never going to bring the rewards he promised, but how do they get out of it. As with all good fantasy stories, the odds seem impossible, but allies appear and help them to their destination.
The story is told in a very tongue in cheek manner that had me constantly smiling and occasionally chuckling aloud. Renton is accompanied by a feisty young woman who provides the interpersonal relationship of a semi-romantic kind, and a very laid back reptilian humanoid. Add some delightful things such as ‘blurting’ in hyperspace, huge one-teated mammals milked by mobile milk tankers (in which our trusty hero and heroine almost drown) and a vehicle that vaporizes anything that stands in its way and you have the makings of a very entertaining story. And that’s exactly what this story is, very entertaining.
It’s also very well written, structured, paced and edited into a fine product that I can’t fault on technical grounds. If you enjoy humorous science fiction then this is a must read. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it also has it’s fair share of absurd names.
Renton Tenting is the protagonist of Dumpiter and the ultimate unlikely hero – who, early into the story, is plucked from a carefully planned life and cast into a challenging and disturbing adventure, played out against a backdrop of space travel and distant worlds. In the future, mankind has populated much of the universe and is well on its way to screwing it all up. Renton is exposed to all manner of ridiculous oddities – the inside of a giant milking machine, a cult whose members live their lives on their hands and knees – and ultimately Dumpiter itself. This is where the real mess is, and where there are real problems for Renton…