Gestapo Mars by Victor Gischler
Titan Books, 276pp standard paperback, £7.99 cover price
£1.79 on Kindle (Jan 2016)
Reviewed by Alex Bardy (Twitter: @mangozoid)
The alarmingly friendly-sounding Gestapo Mars arrived out of the blue after a recommendation by a Titan rep (Hi Lydia!), and I’ve got to say that as lighter reads go, this was tremendous fun and a genuine treat after some of the stuff I’d been working through at the time (ironically, factual WWII historical accounts).
That said, Victor Gischler is a new name to me, but my-oh-my did this prove an enjoyable read. Dubbed “An unapologetic science fiction novel of sex, violence, and Nazis”, I’m sure I don’t need to add that this is politically incorrect on so many levels, yet nonetheless provided more than a few uproarious bouts of laughter during the few days it took me to get through it – I am a notoriously slow reader at the best of times, but that’s by the by..
Anyway, this is a short novel about Carter Sloan, an old-school deadly assassin who has been woken up some 258 years too late, brought into a future in which ‘conventional’ assassins are too easily identified, and thus finds his somewhat old-fashioned ‘skillset of yore’ makes him uniquely placed to do his duty for the New Reich. The New Reich however, are experiencing some internal conflict of their own, resulting in Sloan’s orders frequently swapping from “Kill the daughter of the Brass Dragon” to “Keep her safe at all costs!”… And as for the legendary daughter of the Brass Dragon herself… well, let’s just say that the scientific breakdown of the Kardashian effect is a must-read. Oh yes, add into the mix one of the most manic-depressive computer systems since Marvin the Paranoid Android, exploding dogs, one delightfully brutal Sergeant Hamfast F. Kolostomy (the F stands for something that isn’t in any French dictionary I’m aware of), and that terrifying moment when the ice cream man cometh, and you have yourself quite the jolly ride in all truth.
Screwing around, swearing a lot, and leaving a trail of destruction are all part and parcel of this barmy adventure tale, and our hero does have a handy knack of always putting his finger on the right button so to speak… read into that what you will, but do treat yourself to this amusing read, it really is laugh-out-loud funny, and possibly not suitable for those of a sensitive disposition.
* This review originally appeared on the British Fantasy Society (BFS) website here