Debatable Space

Debatable Space

3.7 14
by Philip Palmer

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Flanagan (who is, for want of a better word, a pirate) has a plan. It seems relatively simple: kidnap 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

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Flanagan (who is, for want of a better word, a pirate) has a plan. It seems relatively simple: kidnap 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 Lena that 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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

It's rarely a good sign when an author tells readers with "sad grasshopper minds" to skip ahead if they're bored, as Palmer does in this muddled debut space opera. After grabbing readers with action sequences revolving around a plan to use former President of Humanity Lena Smith against her despotic son, Peter, whom Lena tenderly calls "the most evil human being who has ever lived," a series of long, rambling "Excerpts from the Thought Diary of Lena Smith, 2004-" bring the action to a screeching halt. Lena's description of her thousand-year life and accounts of her sexual escapades and theology will weary many readers. The concepts, writing and plotting leave a great deal to be desired, and Palmer's attempt at humor centered on the notion of powerful, intelligent flame beasts addicted to bad television also falls flat. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Flanagan is a space pirate with big plans that involve kidnapping Lena, the daughter of the Cheo, who rules the known worlds, and demanding an enormous ransom for her. His plans go awry, however, when his target proves to be more than he bargained for, and her father less willing to ransom his child than Flanagan could wish. Hard sf meets action-adventure in this rapid-paced tale of a kidnapping gone wrong and the luckless anti-heroes who are more interested in surviving than in killing. Featuring cool-headed, sharp-witted characters who are neither heroes nor villains, this strong debut belongs in most sf collections.

—Jackie Cassada

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4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.60(d)

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Debatable Space 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Braze More than 1 year ago
I couldn't finish this book. I managed to get about 1/3 of the way through it before giving up. The story is disjointed and Charactarization is inconsistent. "oh hey, my friend died... to bad."
Decepticons More than 1 year ago
This book was not good. First, I'll give credit to the author, Philip Palmer for trying something new and different. Unfortunately, it didn't work. This book comes across as some sort of strange hybrid-cross of Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, Lewis Carols Alice in Wonderland and any number of hard core sci-fi novels. It's Hitchhiker's Guide but fails to maintain that non-stop zany quality that kept fans of The Guide rivited. It's the non-sense of Lewis Carol without Carols skill to keep readers turning pages in spite of the fact that they're reading a book about nothing. Finally there are pages and pages dedicated to how things work but also huge gaps in other bit of technology is explained in vast detail, another is left with no explanation at all. T here's also too much cliche in a not-fun way. The half-man, half-animal character is named...Harry (hairy, of course). The half-human, half-cat character is...wait for it, ally (as in The major alien races we hear (little) about are the Hebbie Jebbies and the Sparklers. After awhile, it's just hard to take seriously. In the opening few pages we see the crew of Flanagan's huge pirate ship bemoan being caught up to by the vast fleet of the Cheo (millions of warships)'s doom, it's the end. And then they easily defeat them with a few tricks and that's that. Nor any mention of how the Cheo's fleet caught them (no faster than light the book actually spans 100s of years, although this isn't covered except in a hokey "time passes!" sort of way). Debatable Space had it's moments, but overall it was just too much cheese without the intention of being cheesy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The problem with Debatable Space as the are NO characters to root for. Lena may be one of the most vilianous characters ever, and Flanagan is a scum. Then there's the milue which gets harder to credit the longer the book goes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All l'm doing is defending the mother's side of the story. Her baby, her choice. Nobody else's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darka, would you like to have been aborted? How about your closest friend? Family members? A baby is alive, no matter if it's inside the mother or out. The whole "it's not alive" sh<3>it is something people made up to cover for their unwillingness to pay for the consequences of sleeping with their boyfriends. T.T
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My point is that i think the government is too involved in our lives. If people want to kill their babies let them because it really only effects them. The world is oo over populated so why bring a baby into the world that wont even get good care or chance at life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darka, if your point is that the baby is living off the mother, then what do you think about elderly people or deathly sick people? Would you kill an elderly person because they cannot provide for themselves, they cannot do anything for themselves, and they have to live dependent on others? It is NOT their fault they cannot live indepently. Just the way babies don't CHOOSE to live, but they are alive. THEY ALSO DESERVE THE CHOICE of they want to do with thier lives. If the problem you have with abortion is that women get raped and don't want a baby, then my answer to you is that rape only accounts for about two percent of abortions. And we should deal with rapists better and should teach women to better protect themselves. If you have unprotected sex, that is YOUR CHOICE. You may get pregnant. You talk about how it is a woman's body and the woman's choice, but what about the baby's body and the baby' choice. It is their life and thier choice as well.
TinaTawdre More than 1 year ago
Cut this book by 200 pages at least. So long-winded. Some nice thematic ideas, but like looking for needles in a haystack.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Lena is traveling solo in deep space glad to get away from the perfection of thirty-first century Earth when the computer implanted in her brain informs her that a pirate ship is heading her way. The leader of the pirates Flanagan wins the battle and boards her ship telling her she is a hostage to be used in negotiations with Cheo the dictator of Earth. He knows of the special relationship that exists between the two of them and intends to exploit that.------------- Lena knows that when it looks hopeless, the Cheo will let her get killed. Flanagan has plans and one includes the liberation of his homeworld Cambria a slave colony ruled by Doppelganger Robots who are inhabited by the minds of the elite on Earth. He has a plan that would allow the crew to disconnect Cambrina from the universal web. From there he convinces the pirates from all over the galaxy to help him disconnect the beacons which would result in isolating Earth and freeing the empire. The only problem is the empire has warships in the millions and the pirates have ships in the six digit range.----------- Philip Palmer writes a terrific space opera and DEBATABLE SPACE would make a great marquee movie in the tradition of Star Wars. Alien races co-exist with humanity and the aliens are major characters so readers feel as if they actually exist. Readers ride an orbital roller coaster that takes us to various planets in the galaxy, making the audience realize how enslaved the human race is if they don¿t live on Earth.------------ Harriet Klausner