Debatable Space by Philip PalmerDebatable Space by Philip Palmer

Debatable Space

byPhilip Palmer

Mass Market Paperback | September 1, 2008

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Flanagan (who is, for want of a better word, a pirate) has a plan. It seems relatively simple: kidnap<_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">Lena, the Cheo's daughter, demand a vast ransom for her safe return, sit back and wait.

Only the Cheo, despotic ruler of the known universe, isn't playing ball. Flanagan and his crew have seen this before, of course, but since they've learned a few tricks from the bad old days and since they know something about<_st13a_place _w3a_st="on">Lenathat should make the plan foolproof, the Cheo's defiance is a major setback. It is a situation that calls for extreme measures.

Luckily, Flanagan has considerable experience in this area . . .
Philip Palmer lives in London and is currently at work on a new book set in the same universe as DEBATABLE SPACE. He has written for film, TV and theater. Find out more about Philip Palmer
Title:Debatable SpaceFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:560 pages, 7 × 4.25 × 1.5 inPublished:September 1, 2008Publisher:OrbitLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316068098

ISBN - 13:9780316068093

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Killer Fun Every once in a while, when I am in a bookstore, I find myself needing to leave, but I have nothing in my hands. Sometimes it's because I am wandering around while the kids are in ballet and I need to get back to pick them up; sometimes it's because I came for something specific and it isn't there; and sometimes it's because I am in the middle of an indecisive phase. But I have an answer for all this. With time ticking away, I pick a section -- Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery, History, Biography, Fiction, whatever -- and I look for the first name or cover that captures my attention. If it is by an author I don't know I buy it. I've found this method can turn up some gems, and Philip Palmer's debut novel, Debatable Space, is a particularly shiny example of my spontaneous luck. It sat on my to-read stack for over a year, but I wish that I'd read it sooner. Palmer writes in the classic space opera mode: alien races, bloody battles, interstellar travel, big ideas, even bigger technologies, hot sex and an epic scope. And he does it with a joy I have seldom witnessed. It's one thing for me to enjoy a book and enjoy my time reading it, but it is quite another to actually feel the author enjoying the writing, and I felt Palmer doing just that all the way through Debatable Space. Palmer really loved writing this book. He loved his version of the universe and his imaginary technologies. But mostly he loved his characters, and that passion for Lena, Flanagan, the Cheo, Alby and the others makes [book:Debatable Space] one hell of a fun read. Some reviewers have complained about [book:Debatable Space]'s first person narrative and the way it shifts from character to character (think As I Lay Dying on speed), writing that it doesn't really work, but I think most of that frustration comes from their dislike of Palmer's characters. The biggest complaint seems to be that his characters are universally unlikable, which makes me cringe a little because I found them universally the reverse. Flawed, violent, occasionally nasty, but infinitely likable (I imagine that says something about me and the way I see the world) Setting aside Palmer's love for his characters, though, if a reader doesn't connect with them, I can see how [book:Debatable Space] could be difficult to enjoy. Luckily, I didn't have that problem and, while there were some times early on when the characters' voices seemed too alike, I found the first person narrative and multiple viewpoints refreshing. I was annoyed, though, with some of Palmer's more gimmicky moments -- such as a hang gliding sequence that used two otherwise blank pages to go "up up up" and "down down down" -- and I am not so sure this book will hold up to repeated readings. Still, I have great hope for his future works, one of which is already out there. I genuinely loved the time I spent in Palmer's universe. But if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get home that day all those months ago, I never would have found myself reading about Earth's next thousand years. Spontaneity is good. Try it sometime.
Date published: 2010-04-01