The Cats of Copenhagen by James Joyce
This children’s book from the author of ‘Dubliners’ and ‘Ulysses’ is short, bizarre and meant to be whimsically anti-authoritarian. Reading it, one wonders if the theories about Joyce suffering from syphilis are true.
Operation Star Hawks 1-6 by Sean Dalton
This pulp sci-fi saga about a Special Operations group who do daring deeds in outer space is wonderful fun. Sean Dalton is the pen name of Deborah Chester. Oddly Books 1&2 are called Space Hawks and Books 3 - 6 are called Star Hawks. No explanation is given for this. Our heroes are Bryan Kelly (hero with tragic past), Dr Beaulieu (testy), Samms (loyal dolt), Phila (lady of war), Siggerson (doubting Thomas), Operative 41 (half alien mercenary) and Ouoji (sentient ship’s cat). Dalton also wrote the crappy ‘Time Trap’ novels.
1. Space Hawks
This 1990 novel sees Kelly head off a mission, get betrayed by the obvious traitor, face the alien Salukan and be subjected to the mind sieve. Operative 41 fancies Kelly’s sister, something never mentioned again. Good.
2. Code Name Peregrine
This 1990 novel sees Kelly and his gang infiltrate the Salukan home world to smuggle a defector back to Alliance space. The mission goes to hell in this very good adventure.
3. Beyond The Void
This 1991 novel sees Ouoji pad around. A squadron of Alliance ships vanish into a void. Kelly and his gang encounter the body snatching Visci aliens. Okay.
4. The Rostma Lure
This 1991 novel sees Kelly and co go undercover on a slave world. But their cover is blown leading to violence, treason accusations and a cliff-hanger. Good.
5. Destination: Mutiny
In this 1991 novel sees the gang under investigation after their disastrous last mission. Operative 41 is a renegade on the run and Kelly is locked up in rehab. But the gang get back together, steal their ship, elude a galactic dragnet, rescue Operative 41 and restore their honour and glory. Good.
“I’ve been screaming at imaginary spiders on the wall.”
6. The Salukan Gambit
This 1992 novel is a nice finale to the saga. The event of Book 2 come back to haunt the Star Hawks. Kelly and Operative 41 get an unexpected task and the humans and Salukans have unexpected rapport.
“Had taught her to conceal all things from her voice except pleasant, willing submission.”
“You piece of cowardly dung.”