Galaxy Man (Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller): Doesn’t succeed

Note: Since the writing of this review, the title of this book seems to have been changed to Galaxy Man.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsSFF book reviews Candace Sams Electra Galaxy's Mr. Interstellar FellerElectra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller by Candace Sams

About this time last year, a kerfluffle erupted on the internet concerning Candace Sams’ futuristic romance Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller. The drama aroused my curiosity, and I had the urge to seek out the book and see for myself what all the fuss was about. My TBR pile objected, glaring menacingly at me and muttering about how I didn’t have time to read space romances when I had shelves full of fantasy to read.

All that changed when I took a good long look at FanLit’s challenge list. Here at FanLit, we strive to read and review every author listed on the site. Earlier this week I happened to notice Candace Sams was still on it. Finally, an excuse to read Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller!

To my surprise, the book is not as bad as I expected. It’s not a book you can read for the unintentional humor. Mostly it’s just “meh,” and I’m not quite sure whether it wants to be serious or campy. When it’s serious, it’s on the dull side. When it’s campy, it’s amusing in a cheesy sort of way, but the humorous elements are rare until late in the story.

SFF book reviews Candace Sams Electra Galaxy's Mr. Interstellar FellerThe plot concerns Sagan Carter, a beautiful Earth cop who joins forces with hunky but arrogant Keir Trask, a seven-foot green man from the planet Oceanus. They’re trying to stop an interplanetary smuggling operation, and to that end, Keir goes undercover as a contestant in a glitzy male beauty pageant. Sagan poses as his manager. The date is given simply as “The Future,” and this isn’t the future you might find in serious or semi-serious science fiction. This is more like The Jetsons, only dirtier. Everything has a corny space name. (Oddly, though, the security cameras still use tapes…)

The two fall instantly in lust, followed in short order by love. Unfortunately, the early chapters are a bit of a slog, consisting mainly of long-winded, exposition-laden arguments interspersed with lusting. Keir is chronically evasive, Sagan has a temper, and sparks fly. Oh, and Keir has a rather…special…male endowment.

The mystery aspect of the plot, in which Sagan and Kier try to figure out who the smugglers’ Earth contact is, suffers from a dearth of fleshed-out characters in the story. It’s easier to guess who the villain is when there are only a few characters it could be.

The Mr. Interstellar Feller competition is something of a lost opportunity. We don’t actually see much of the pageant, and it doesn’t even start until about halfway through the book. When it does start, there’s some campy humor, and the story could have used some of that comic relief earlier. And again, it suffers from a lack of fleshed-out characters. Sams could have done so much with the other contestants. (How about a red herring where one of the entrants tries to sabotage Keir and appears to be part of the smuggling plot, but is really just a prima donna jealous of Keir’s studly green gorgeousness?) As it is, the only fully developed contestants are either part of the investigation or part of the crime.

Overall, Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller doesn’t succeed as a serious novel or as a farce; nor does it work as an unintentionally funny “train wreck.” I haven’t read enough futuristic romance to know whether that subgenre’s usual fans would enjoy it, but from my own perspective, I can’t recommend it.

Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller — (2010) Publisher: In the distant future, Captain Keir Trask is hunting dangerous weapon smugglers and has tracked them all the way to Earth. In order to bring these felons back to the planet of Lucent, he has reluctantly agreed to go undercover as a male beauty pageant contestant. The only problem is that the Earth Protectorate agent assigned to work with him is driving him insane. Captain Sagan Carter has orders to make sure her high-and-mighty alien counterpart completes all the requirements of the Electra Galaxy’s Mr. Interstellar Feller pageant; otherwise he’s to be escorted to the nearest deportation area, never to return to Earth’s surface.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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