ESCAPE FROM SPLATTERBANG by Nicholas Fisk

ESCAPE FROM SPLATTERBANG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unaware that their 13-year-old son has disobeyed orders and left the starship, Mykl's prospector parents blast off from Splatterbang pursued by burning bullets called Flamers. Stranded on the hostile planet, Mykl finds that a girl of ten or eleven, one of the scorned Romni tribe Mykl's father uses for a crew, has also been left behind; and it is she who recognizes and explains to him Splatterbang's unique ""life cycle"": Its strange ratlike animals live on plants but rely on the Flamers to cook them; the Flamers in turn feed on metal; and with the planet's metal depleted, everyone is hungry. That's why Flamers attack the metal Starships, why they devour one that comes to rescue Mykl, and why, on a second try, when the boy's father lowers a plastic cabinet to get the children out, the metal parts in the clamps attaching cabinet to rope make the ascent iffy. Readers are clearly intended to be impressed by the Romni girl's superior intuition, but the much-played-up ""life cycle"" isn't much of an invention and the story Fisk builds around it is mechanical and dimensionless in the extreme.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan