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Review: Consider Pegasus – SI CLARKE

Consider Pegasus - SI CLARKE

Genre: Sci-Fi, Satire, Space Opera

LGBTQ+ Category: Ace, Non-Binary (Trans Allegory)

Reviewer: Jay

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About The Book

A secret unicorn, a desperate family, and a cop dead-set on hunting them down.

Lem and the rag-tag gang of galactic adventurers on the starship Teapot are set to become roadies for the galaxy’s hottest band – but an urgent call from Bexley’s family means the rock stars will have to wait.

Bexley’s soon-to-be-born sibling has a big secret: wings. On their world, skeledivergence is outlawed, so the Teapot crew swoop in to help the family escape.

But their planet won’t let them go that easily. Hunted across the galaxy by a fanatical and eerily familiar cop, the Teapotters must find a way to outwit their pursuer and secure a future for skeledivergent people everywhere.

Dive into the next adventure in this satirical space opera series. Artfully intertwining deep themes with tongue-in-cheek humour and intergalactic ridiculousness, Consider Pegasus is a must-read for fans of John Scalzi’s take on Fuzzy Nation or TJ Berry’s Space Unicorn Blues. Scroll up and grab your copy now!

The Review

I loved this book.

Why? The author follows in the hallowed footsteps of writers like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. Like those sci fi ‘greats’, they use humour and superficially light-hearted stories to shine a light on our own prejudices and taboos. They are never afraid to confront racism, sexism, homophobia, and the rights of anyone who is ‘different’ in any way, for example gender, mental health or ability, or physical attributes. 

The story continues the saga started in The Left Hand of Dog and followed by Judgement Dave. It would probably be best to read the books in order. The stories themselves can be treated as standalones but the unwary reader who dived in at book 3 would miss a lot of references, back story and general fun. Lem, the trans narrator, was originally kidnapped with their dog Spock and flung into a new life on the Starship Teapot. Consider Pegasus has, as its main focus, Bexley, the captain, and her family. But we meet various characters and species from the earlier books too. 

Good sci fi (as opposed to the subgenre of space opera) should always make us stand back and consider our own planet and species. It should also have at its heart some kind of scientific explanation rather than the magic of much speculative fiction.

The science in this book is clearly subject to known rules of physics, but Lem is not a scientist and does not understand it any better than the average reader will. Nor do they completely follow the scientific arguments in the galactic court case that forms the finale of the novel. It is perhaps sufficient for them to know which experts to believe. 

And in the end, after exploring prejudices and their horrific results, the story is about found family, love, and trust. It is beautifully written and well structured, with well developed characters and a gripping plot. I would recommend it highly, with, as already mentioned, the caveat that The Starship Teapot series is a series that should be read in sequence. 

The Reviewer

I’ve been doing book reviews on my website, crossposted or linked to various social media, for a few years. I read a number of genres but I really enjoy all kinds of speculative fiction so thought I’d like to share my views with you. I love sci fi and other speculative fiction because of the way it can, at its best, make us see ourselves in a new light. Quite apart from the exciting stories, of course! I used to be an English teacher, and I’m a writer (fantasy) so I can be quite critical about style etc. but I hope I can also appreciate properly some books that don’t appeal to me personally but might be simply perfect for others. I have, obviously, read widely, and continue to do so.  

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