The Left Hand of Dog

SI Clarke 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When her dog is abducted by intergalactic bounty hunters for a crime she didn’t commit, Lem is taken along for the ride. She’d been making an effort to be more adventurous but waking up squashed into what felt like a coffin with a full-grown German Shepherd on the Starship Teapot was really taking it too far. Lem and Spock’s only hope is to join forces with a disparate group of fellow detainees and escape their ridiculously cute jailers. Can Lem and her new friends find a way to clear their names and get back home?

~~~~~

I really enjoyed this short, daft, and heartfelt sci-fi. On the surface it doesn’t require much heavy lifting from the reader and can be read just as an episode of welcome relief from all the stress and ills of reality. You can go deeper if you like, as the novel addresses subjects such as gender identification, self-worth, and the importance of honest relationships, but it’s not a preachy story by any means. This is to be the first of the Starship Teapot series and given the richness of the characters introduced in these mere 150-odd pages, I’m already looking forward to the next novel.

Just a heads-up – you may want a pen and paper by your side when you read this, to note down all the sci-fi film, TV, and videogame references (I found 14* shows/films/games, plus a possible nod to Teletubbies). Just in case the author is considering it, a list at the end of each book would be a nice touch.

Publication date: 17th August 2021

* I found one or more references to the following works: Red Dwarf; Firefly; Star Trek; Back to the Future; Doctor Who; Foundation; Avatar; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Lord of the Rings; Terminator; Star Trek Deep Space 9; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Star Wars; Deus Ex

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