Oct 08, Sandy rated it really liked it. Coming to my rescue was a reader and friend, who made me an uncommonly generous offer. Would I like him to send me this copy, free of charge? Would I? Well, this dude was as good as his word, and the book arrived in the mail around a week later, thus allowing me to find out just what happened next to the series' hero, radio engineer Myles Cabot, after accidentally transporting himself to Venus and then leading the humanoid Cupians in a revolt against their antlike Formian oppressors.
But let me backtrack for just a moment. The novel was reprinted in toto 16 years later, in the January '41 issue of "Fantastic Novels Magazine" with still another beautiful cover illustration, this one by the great Virgil Finlayand finally in book form inas one of those cute little Ace paperbacks with cover artwork by famed illustrator Ed Emshwiller.
It was this Ace edition that my friend was good enough to send me. LP) released the novel once more inand since then, the book has remained out of print. And that's a real shame, because as my recent breakneck reading of the novel has served to reveal, the sequel is every bit as good as the original; in some ways, even better.
In this second installment, which transpires a full Earth year after the first, we learn that Myles has perfected his use of radio transmission of physical objects what my fellow Trekkers would call a "transporter beam" and is now visiting his home planet.
He calls upon his old friend, a Mr. Thus, "The Radio Beasts" is told to us by this Farley fella, as he recalls the anecdotes of his planet-hopping school chum of yore. And what anecdotes they are! Cabot's previous manuscript had ended happily, LP), with the Cupians having successfully shaken off the nearly year-old shackles of their Formian oppressors, and with Cabot's marriage to the winged and antennaed Cupian princess, Lilla.
The Porosian action in Book 2 kicks off with a rather shocking development, in which Yuri makes a sudden reappearance during the Cupian Peace Day celebration and assassinates Lilla's father, King Kew, thereby becoming the new king of Cupia! This, naturally, leads to a brand-new outbreak of civil war, with the turncoat Cupians and their Formian allies on one side, and the adherents of the Kew dynasty on the other.
But what Yuri is unaware of at the time of his usurpation is that Lilla, his cousin, is currently 1, miles north of the Cupian capital city of Kuana, at her Lake Luno island retreat, giving birth to the baby who would be the heir apparent after Kew's death.
Myles escapes from his jail cell after the assassination and undertakes that 1,mile journey on foot, experiencing a multitude of perils en route. And after 40 days of travel, he is greeted by great tragedy at Lake Luno, when he finds the island palace empty, his wife kidnapped, and his little babe dead, after having been stabbed by some cravenly villain.
Thus, Myles has no choice but to wander still farther, in the hopes of rejoining his scattered troops in the mountains north of Lake Luno, and later striking back for both Cupia and his bride While it may not be as wholly original in conception as Book 1, it compensates by being even more action packed and relentlessly exciting. The chapters are arranged in cliff-hanger fashion, relentlessly keeping the reader flipping those pages.
Like his old friend Edgar Rice Burroughs, Farley sported a simply written yet elegant style. No deep ideas or weighty themes are to be found in these books; rather, the emphasis is on story, on sweep and drive, on colorful characters and awe-inspiring predicaments. And in these areas, "The Radio Beasts" must be deemed a complete success. As for the book's title itself, there is some clever ambiguity to be found.
Of course, it refers to all the outrageous Porosian fauna that Myles encounters during his wanderings. But it would also seem to refer to our hero, as well as to archvillain Yuri himself, who at one point declares Myles to be a beast because of his alien provenance. But as Lilla later tells the scoundrel, "There may be some doubt about Cabot being a Cupian, but there is no doubt that you are a beast.
Farley makes the same scientific gaffes here as were found I Might Kill - Static Radio NJ - We Are All Beasts (Vinyl Book 1, quite naturally. For example, the sun should rise in the west and set in the east on Venus, not the other way around. The Porosian day should be equal to around of ours, not the roughly 24 Earth hours that we see here. The surface climate of the planet is not tropical and humid, with frequent storms, as Farley I Might Kill - Static Radio NJ - We Are All Beasts (Vinyl, but rather, well over degrees F.
The author is correct, however, when he mentions that the distance from Poros to the Earth is something like 25 million miles. But there are some other problems.
Early on, he tells us that Cabot had spent three years on Poros in all, whereas it had already been established that that figure was five years. In one scene, a woofus' "slathering jaws" are mentioned; that should of course be "slavering. Toward the novel's end, Myles tells his troops, regarding the Formian foes, "We must ask no quarter, and give none. We must go on until there is not a single Formian left living on the face of all Poros. For there is no room on any given planet for more than one race of intelligent beings Am I wrong in suggesting that the total destruction of all those Venusian life-forms is a tack to be regretted?
How much more right-on it would have been, if Farley could somehow have come up with a way to arrive at a less appalling conclusion. Even "Star Trek"'s Federation, after all, ultimately made friends with the Klingons.
One can only hope that things may alter as this series progresses, despite Myles having good reason to despise his I Might Kill - Static Radio NJ - We Are All Beasts (Vinyl foes. By the end of "The Radio Beasts," the antmen have seemingly been vanquished once again, as at the conclusion of Book 1.
And, again similar to the conclusion of "The Radio Man," here, too, both Yuri and Doggo go missing; possibly alive, possibly dead. Furthermore, at the close of Book 2's final chapter, Myles, still on Earth, receives an urgent SOS from Lilla in the middle of the night, and summarily transports himself back to Poros. What could that SOS possibly entail? I cannot imagine any reader who would not be compelled to find out, and so endeavor to lay hands on Book 3 in the series, "The Radio Planet" These first three books comprise a rather tight-knit trilogy, I have read; Books 4 and 5, "The Radio Menace" and the belated entry "The Radio Minds of Mars"are more tangentially connected.
As for me, I'm hooked, and now am going to have to try to get ahold of that third installment. Stay tuned View all 5 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I guess what I like about science fiction the most is the many slants and resultant sub-genres it allows. Of course, it can also be good old escapism.
A quick internet browse confirmed their connection. Farley's writ I guess what I like about science fiction the most is the many slants and resultant sub-genres it allows. Farley's writing ability, at least based upon this sample, matches the more acclaimed author. Label: SireSire Cat :9 A. Slight edge and corner wear on sleeve. Sleeve has been cut on one corner, price stickers on the sleeve. Label: Columbia Cat : Label: Orfeon Cat : EP The vinyl is assumed to be NM.
While there are a few things to be worked out--"Just Kids" comes off as a little overbearing at nearly five minutes--I think this is probably the best thing Static Radio NJ has done so far.
Even if you never liked the band before there is a chance you could really like this release. I'm really excited to see what the future has in store for Static Radio and hopefully we get to see it sooner rather than later.
Previous Review Slices: Modern Bride [7-inch]. Next Review Opeth: Heritage.
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