Bill the Galactic Hero

I’ve been trawling through a lot of retro sci-Fi books lately and enjoying them more than some of the modern-day space operas. This book was written in 1965 by Harry Harrison and is the first book I’ve read by this author though I’m of course aware of his Stainless Steel Rat series.

It feels a lot like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers with it’s anti-war messages and following our “hero” Bill through boot camp with the space troopers, on through Refuse Collection division on Helior and finally to the prison world of Veniola the story is straightforward, almost simple. The language is reeeally dated for sci-Fi, much more so than earlier Asimov would be, talking about teevees and atomic rifles. It’s not meant to be a serious, serious book but when it talks about Bill making sure he had his sandwiches and cakes of dehydrated luncheon meat it does feel a bit out of place. Add Bill’s dearest wish to become a Technical Fertilizer Operator and you get the picture.

Fairly enjoyable 173 pages but glad it was no longer. Very much a child of it’s time and that time is definitely the 60’s!

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