Monday, May 09, 2016

Spacetrawler: The Human Seat

by Christopher Baldwin

I discovered the webcomic Spacetrawler late in the game. I dimly recall that it was recommended (by a site I dimly forget) for those who enjoyed Firefly. I checked it out from the beginning strip and after a few pages added it to my web feed. A bit later I discovered that it was no longer active1. Alas! Anyway, I started to read through the saga, as computer time permitted. But since I was not allotted a lot of free computer time, I progressed slowly. Fortunately I've been able to obtain the first volume of the collected strips and can now pull it off the shelf at my leisure.

Spacetrawler tells the tale of six humans who have been kidnapped by aliens. You see, the galaxy is run by the Galactic Organizational Body. Earth has a seat on this congress, but it is unclaimed as we humans are not yet a space faring race. In fact, the entire solar system has been declared off-limits by the G.O.B. because we lack the advanced technology to join them. The G.O.B., on the other hand has loads of advanced technology--almost all of it created by a race called the Eebs. You'd think that would make the Eebs the masters of the galaxy. Wrong. Legally, Eebs are classified as "less than sentient" and thus are slaves to the rest of the galaxy. Most beings are cool with that, but you have a few with a higher morality. Some of them have banded together as Interplanet Amity and are fighting for species equality and justice. They're not doing too well. That's why they kidnapped the humans. Amity hopes that the humans can adopt the role of Earth's representatives, claim the planet's seat on the G.O.B. and lobby to get the Eebs declared as sentient.

In The Human Seat, things don't go as planned.

Why do I love the book? Probably because it's like the Marx Brothers in space. Well, maybe not quite that crazy. The story does go along peppered with jokes and hijinks. But there's also a dark edge to the series that cuts the laughter short from time to time. Even so, I want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

LibraryThing link

1) But there is good news. New adventures of Spacetrawler should begin in September 2016!

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