The Accidental Adventures of Mr Rail (Book 1): Blub
by Larry Appleseed
“You expect Blubs and Clackers to be dangerous, but you never expect a broom handle to hurt you, reasoned Master Galbage. The broom handle takes you by surprise.”
Kenneth, head of HR for a top secret observation post on the moon, responds to a frantic summons from Marvin, foil-hatted scientist and sole employee. They watch as Shub Niggurath pursues a snow-covered car down the street. Mr. Rail is driving said car to his first day at a new teaching position. When he arrives, the world as he knows it unravels. The administration wants to kill him, his kids don’t listen, and he’s expected to lead a field trip to another dimension. He struggles to survive as Kenneth and Marvin race back to Earth to save him. This is a zany Sci Fi Comedy in the vein of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, with the world building and portal hopping of Hyperion. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t really do series, but I’m going to buy the second one as soon as it hits Amazon.
Why I Chose This One
The cover lured me in. I really like minimalist artwork on covers. The first paragraph, though, hooked me. The prologue has a Men in Black vibe and teases some mysteries that develop later in the book.
What I Liked
- World Fish (and everything on it). Similar to the Discworld-toting Great A’Tuin. Only this planet-sized creature is an biosphere in itself, closely intertwined with life, the economy, and politics of the ecosystems that cling to its scales.
- Marvin and Kenneth. This was a fun comedic pair and their thread fleshed out the world building, placing Mr. Rail’s situation in a larger context.
- If nothing else, this is a great parable about the confusion and terror of teaching your first class as a new teacher.
What I Didn’t
- Throw marks. I know, I like the occasional typo. They make the novel more human. But this had enough that it was almost distracting.
- Was that a Phantom Menace reference?
- I found the ending a little abrupt. I still had a few unanswered questions. I realize Larry’s going to develop these in later books of the series, but I like it when books in series are self-contained.
Read This If You Like
- The Macra from Dr. Who
- Men in Black
- Douglas Adams
- Terry Pratchett
Blub blub-blub, blubs!