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Bill, the Galactic Hero [Paperback]

Harry Harrison
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 1979

It was the highest honor to defend the Empire against the dreaded Chingers, an enemy race of seven-foot-tall lizards.

But Bill, a Technical Fertilizer Operator from a planet of farmers, wasn't interested in honor-he was only interested in two things: his chosen career, and the shapely curves of Inga-Maria Calyphigia. Then a recruiting robot shanghaied him with knockout drops, and he came to in deep space, aboard the Empire warship Christine Keeler. And from there, things got even worse...

From the sweltering fuse room aboard the Keeler, where he loses an arm while blasting a Chinger spaceship, to the Department of Sanitation far below the world-city of Helior, where he finds peace, job security, and unlimited is Bill, a pure-hearted fool fighting a deluxe cast of robots, androids, and aliens in a never-ending losing battle to preserve his humanity while upholding the glory of the Empire.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description


'Simply the funniest Science Fiction book ever written' -- Terry Pratchett

'The Catch-22 of SF' -- Irish Times

'Wonderfully funny ... irresistable' -- Brian Aldiss --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Harry Harrison is one of the established greats of SF The Stainless Steel Rat is his most popular creation 'The Rat can hold his head up high amongst the most elevated superhero company; Bulldog Drummond, James Bond and Flash Gordon' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Made Me Laugh Nov. 9 2003
It's very rare for me to read a novel (especialy an SF novel) that can make me laugh out loud, but this one made me, several times. It's about a lunkhead named Bill, kidnapped and pressed
into the military, who encounters bad luck after bad luck, all the while trying desperately to maintain his cheerfulness, indeed his humanity. Harrison tweaks a lot of people in this book--Heinlein's gobbledygook in _Starship Troopers,_ Asimov's Trantor in _Foundation Trilogy_ (who takes out the garbage on a planet completely covered in buildings, with a hundred billion or so people?). This is a funny book, half humor, half
horror, and might be just Harrison's best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Roaring satire of Military S.F. Feb. 18 2002
This is one of the unacknowleged treasures of Science-Fiction. It's funny, biting, and to the point .It's crisp satire who dared touch sacred icons of Science Fiction like Asimov's Foundations (The planet in the central episode is clearly Trantor)and Heinlein's Starship Troopers. A little gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down Nov. 15 2001
I haven't read a book such as this in many years. You felt sad for Bill the way he was enlisted in the army. Harry Harrison kept Bill's adventure always interesting and exciting. Never a dull moment. What amazes me the most is Harry Harrison in-depth understanding of the military. This story is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic send-off of a classic June 4 2001
This is a classic (originally published about thirty years ago) parody of RAH's "Starship Troopers". As parody and satire, it works very well; a bit less so if you want to read it as a simple "adventure book". A needed counterpart to all militaristic science-fiction, good, or bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really fun read April 7 2011
I stumbled across this book kind of by accident, and it turned out to be a really fun read. The tone is quite light hearted, but with a slightly cynical social commentary and my only regret is that the book wasn't longer. Luckly there are 6 more books in the series.

The story is full of vibrant imagery, and unique science fiction concepts, all presented with a tongue in cheek approach. It reminds me of reading 2000AD as a teenager, the author is surely passing a sly wink at his audience as he lays down a great yarn.

I bought the book used, which kind of adds to the charm. After if finish the book i immediately ordered the remaining 6 books in the series.
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