A new author from Hirst’s fresh talent range is Ruth Wheeler, with her debut All Aliens Like Burgers, a funny and well-meaning take on the genre which, while it doesn’t reach dizzying heights, is a satisfying first effort. Tom Bowler is a typical middle class Generation Y young man, who seems distinctly unfazed by large spaceships advertising jobs that he applies for, and eventually gets, attempting to fill his gap year with something other than drifting aimlessly. This job, however, is local in the local cluster sense rather than a Starbucks one, and he soon finds himself based on the planetoid Truxxe, where all manner of adventures ensure.
Wheeler’s characters scream with shades of Douglas Adams and similar veins of comedic science fiction. Her imagination pops from page to page, and the reader can quite happily be absorbed in her world of android supervisors and Glorbians. It’s not, perhaps, on a par with other efforts in the same vein, but it passes the time. The author’s hand is fluid, but does stumble on occasion. The problem isn’t so much in the dialogue – that’s snappy and fluent – but in the expositional moments, in description and casual adjective use. We don’t always need to know how the character has done something, as it soon becomes wearing; we just need to know that the character did it. The plot, as well, while generally well constructed, may not hold the attention of a non-genre fan for too long, this being targeted loosely at a younger market of science fiction readers.
Regardless, however, this is a step above many first time authors out there, and we’re keenly looking forward to what Wheeler, with more experience under her belt, puts out next.
[isbn name=”All Aliens Like Burgers”]978-0955714931[/isbn]