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Release date: 26th September 2016
Genre: Comedy space opera
Hook: Suicide Squad meets Galaxy Quest
Cal Carver is having a bad day. Imprisoned and forced to share a cell with a cannibalistic serial killer, Cal thinks things can’t possibly get any worse.
He is wrong.
It’s not until two-thirds of the human race is wiped out and Cal is abducted by aliens that his day really starts to go downhill.
Whisked across the galaxy, Cal is thrown into a team of some of the sector’s most notorious villains and scumbags. Their mission should be simple enough, but as one screw-up leads to another, they find themselves in a frantic battle to save an entire alien civilization – and its god – from total annihilation.
A hilarious, fast-paced space adventure from the author the Independent calls “the new Terry Pratchett.”
About the Author
Barry J. Hutchison is an award-winning children’s author, comic book writer and screenwriter, and now author of books for grown-ups. Writing as Barry Hutchison, he has written over 70 books for children and teenagers, both under his own name and using a variety of pseudonyms. As Barry J. Hutchison, he writes the ongoing sci-fi horror serial, The Bug, and the Space Team series of comedy space opera novels.
Barry lives in the Highlands of Scotland with his wife, two children and an annoying dog. His biggest fear is that someday someone will find out how much fun his job is and immediately put a stop to it. His second biggest fear is squirrels.
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Find the official Space Team trailer here, or view it below.
A short extract taken from Chapter Three.
“Hi,” Cal managed, despite the jaw clamp.
The officer looked him up and down with very obvious distaste, then stepped back.
“Sshk t’un-cha,” he said. Or words to that effect, at least. He marched back two paces – literally marched, with the swinging arms and everything – then stopped. Two burly masked men appeared around the corners of the elevator and stepped inside, almost getting wedged in the doorway. They each took a different side of the frame, and there was a hiss from below as the clamp disengaged.
The frame slowly raised, but Cal could tell he was being lifted this time, rather than floating. The men waddled around until he was facing the wall, then side-stepped out through the narrow elevator door.
Cal was shunted around in the frame as the men shuffled him out. They were both heavily built, but he could hear the groaning and grunting under the strain. The one on his left muttered something below his breath, but it sounded like a load of gibberish.
It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a dignified entrance.
The room came to an end twenty or thirty feet ahead of him, in a swooping white wall that featured the same logo the officer wore on his jacket. There were several objects between Cal and the wall, which he felt could be broadly categorized as ‘chairs’ and ‘not chairs’.
On the ‘chairs’ front, he counted three. They looked more or less like standard office chairs, with wheels, swivelly bits and what looked from that distance to be reasonably good back support.
The ‘not chairs’ were harder to define. There were more of them – eight or nine, maybe – and they ranged from something that was definitely a coffee table, to something that might have been a lampshade. If it was a lampshade, though, then it was one that had clearly been designed by someone who’d never seen a lampshade before, and who had also just taken a potentially fatal amount of LSD.
As to what most of the other stuff was, he couldn’t begin to guess. It all looked quite cluttered, yet starkly clinical and utterly devoid of character at the same time. It reminded Cal of the time he’d worked in a customer services call center which, despite everything that had happened recently, remained the worst six hours of his adult life.
Cal’s frame was set down on the polished floor. His head jerked around as a strap at the back of his neck was undone. A moment later, the mask fell away. He opened and closed his mouth, waggled his jaw from side to side and rolled his tongue, stretching everything.
Then he considered how all that must look to the officer standing in front of him, and stopped. He cleared his throat.
“Hi there,” he said. “I know you’ve probably heard this before, but I think there’s been a mistake.”
“Turrak skie,” the officer barked, nodding to one of the grunts.
Cal had no idea what he had said, or even what language it was. He fell back on a strategy he’d learned for talking to foreigners during the year he’d spent living in England: ‘When in doubt, shout it out.’
“I said,” he began, raising his voice and dragging out each syllable, “I think there’s been a—OW!”
There was a sharp, sudden bee sting behind his right ear. Now the mask was off, he could turn his head to see one of the helmeted soldiers stepping away, something that looked like a small pistol in his gloved hand. A needle, no longer than the pin of a thumb tack, poked out of the stubby barrel.
“Jesus. What did you do?” asked Cal. “Did you just stick a pin in my head?”
“Norruq tunshun-a kai?” said the officer. His voice was flat and bored-sounding, but raised slightly at the end indicating he was asking a question.
“What? I don’t…”
“Norruq tunshun-a kai?”
Cal glanced from the officer to the soldiers on either side. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re saying.”
“Norruq tunshun-a kai? Norruq tunshun-a kai? Norruq tunshun-a kai? Norruq tunshunderstand me? Do you understand me? Do you understand–”
“Wait! Yes!” Cal yelped. “Yes, I understand you! That’s great! That’s just… it’s awesome! But listen, like I was saying, I think there’s been a mistake.”
The officer gave a dismissive wave of his hand. “Take him through,” he said, and the grunts moved to lift the frame again.
“Take me through? Take me through where?” Cal asked, as the two men shuffled him around in a semi-circle, revealing a room positively brimming with ‘chairs’ and ‘not-chairs’ alike. The men began waddling him forwards, in the direction of a set of wide double-doors at the opposite end of the room.
“And be quick about it!” the officer barked. “He does not like to be kept waiting.”