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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR # 387  (Vol. 8, No. 34)  This edition is for the week of August 20--26, 2007.

It Came From The PO Box
THIS INSTALLMENT:   Battle in Outer Space  |  Back to the CF Homepage
IT'S BACK!   Many years ago, I started It Came From The PO Box as a place to review media that genuinely arrived in my P.O.Box intended for my perusal and consideration. Over time, it also became a catch-all column for the odd artifact didn't have any particular place to go in PCR, as well as other stuff that was just sorta handed to me on the street. While these things had no specific time-frame to work in ("just like your opinion of this..."), I tried my level best to get everything done in a timely manner. Easier said than done and I didn't do very well with that. Eventually, as PCR took on new designs and new generic pages were invented to solve the problem of where to put infrequent contributions, the PO BOX column was abandoned (but not the box itself). As my work schedule changed and priorities shifted, things were still coming into the PO BOX --- things I intended to get to and publish in PCR, but never did. I'm ashamed to admit some projects slipped through the cracks and I ran horribly behind.
   The return of this column is my attempt to right this wrong, catch up on these reviews, and set straight my mission to finish the work that has literally waited months for publication (some other, lower priority, or off-the-wall ones have waited years, and I'm digging through them again).
   The spring and summer months have consistenly been my periods for radical change and this year is no different. Despite a "day-job" workload and increased video production taking more of my time, I want to get back to my commitment of sharing my thoughts with the readers who send great stuff to The PO BOX! It's back, baby!     CRAZED FANBOY, PO BOX 13991, Tampa, FL, 33681-3991.
Battle in Outer Space
Battle in Outer Space
by George Simmons Roth
Publish America, 92 pages

Longtime readers of Nolan's Pop Culture Review may remember George Simmons Roth as the man who wrote the compelling article on
preventing accidental nuclear war. In fact, George can wax eloquent on most any matter concerning the military, especially in terms of battles, weapons, strategy and the like.

Over the past year he became emamored of the idea of becoming a science fiction author. He will painstakingly point out to anyone who may misunderstand that what he regards as science fiction may not be what is generally thought of as science fiction. For example, Star Trek and its offshoots, George says, is science fantasy. Things like teleporters and faster-than-light travel go way beyond what is physically, or even theoretically, possible. (I observed that I always thought Arthur C. Clarke stuck pretty close to that as well.)

With this in mind, George set out to write a novel that, while ficticious in nature, would stay within the confines of what is scientifically valid, but just extended into the future. It is as he calls it, a "true" science fiction story.

George uses his prodigious knowledge of politics and war to lend authenticity to the predicaments of our heroes and villains. Here's the quick-and-dirty synopsis from the book's back cover:

This is a true science fiction story, as opposed to most novelettes, which are, in fact, science fantasy. The story occurs two hundred years from now, a time at which space cruisers of the World Federation Space Force pursue an Islamic terrorist battle cruiser to the planet Saturn. Saturn is of vital importance because that is where most of the world’s supply of the element Helium-3 is mined. At this time, Helium-3 is the major fuel for the world’s fusion engines. Fusion supplies the energy that powers the world’s advanced technological civilization. Without this critical energy source, the world’s economy would totally collapse.

The plot centers around one of the cruisers, Ranger, and its captain, Roger Nelson. The story includes a long chase through the outer solar system, with a diversion to the planet Mars. Mars is envisioned, not as it is now, but in the process of being terra-formed, and becoming a new habitat for permanent large-scale colonization. The Ranger has many adventures, including a final climatic battle with the enemy battle cruiser among the rings of Saturn. The plot centers around advanced and realistic technology, but also includes a minor romance. The basic theme of the story is simply that mankind’s perpetual struggle between good and evil will continue, even in outer space.

Now, I know Battle in Outer Space is a very generic-sounding title (similar to old Japanese creature-feature flicks), but it is what the story is about. The book is populated with very American-sounding earthy names like Captain Roger Nelson, who pilots the space cruiser Ranger which is part of the World Federation Space Force. If you think you've arrived in the middle of a '50s sci-fi TV show about this point, you're not alone.

But then the villains arrive with their ship named the Osama Bin Laden and you know you've just catapulted into the future. The juxtapostition of eras and terminology would make Battle in Outer Space a weird read on its own, but then throw in lengthy technical explanations of science and politics so the damsel in distress (well sort of, reporter Cyan Anderson who's sweet on Nelson) gets what's going on and you're in a whole new area.

I like some of the Martian names, like Lowell City and Galileo City, companies like the "Martian Consolidated Silver Mining Company" and the like. See, two centuries from now, we're quite cozy on Mars and we'd like to keep it that way.

George Roth has composed a story of a battle, not unlike today's battles, that take place on foreign lands fighting over the world's fuel supply. His basic prediction that terrorists will still be causing us this kind of trouble 200 years from now over the same thing, only in outer space, is what makes the story chillingly familiar.

At a comparatively thin 92 pages, it's certainly a quick and easy read.


The promotional copy I received from George is a 6" X 9" softcover and retails for $14.95 via mail-order from Publish America.

The online store to purchase Battle in Outer Space is Publish America.com. Enter "Battle in Outer Space" in the search engine, and if it helps, the ISBN # is 1-4241-7932-7.

The 42 Story House
by Todd Langen


A Star Is Found
Our Adventures Casting Some of Hollywood's Biggest Movies
by Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins with Rachel Kranz


"It Came From The P.O. Box" is ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.