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Sit down, get comfy, put on your favourite Paul Robeson track and blow the dust off your, er, dust covers because we’re back with another Book Club! Join the emaciated husks of Danny, Ian and Cappsy as they tackle Better Than Life Part Two: She Rides and discuss the first ever instance of the show stealing from the books as well as the very meaning of relative time dilation in an amazingly compressed space. And giraffes.

DwarfCast 121 – Book Club #5: Better Than Life (Part Two) (135.1MB)

As ever, thank you very much to those of you reading along who are continuing to present your points both large and small. Please feel free to get stuck into Part Three: Garbage World below. Next up on our pod calendar will be our commentary for Krysis so we’ll see you again very soon. Truuuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssst ussssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

58 comments on “DwarfCast 121 – Book Club #5: Better Than Life (Part Two)

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  • On the subject of Lister and Cat making a miraculous recovery and jumping out of their bio/med suits after only three weeks.

    Despite my internal image of the books from this point on being very series III-V for obvious reasons, I still try to keep in my head the image continuity of the books so I *try* and keep series I-II bunk rooms, drive rooms, gantries etc but I also try and keep (and succeed usually) the images of Lister and Cat being woefully unwell.

    SPOILERS for later books

    This is jumping ahead a little too but I do the same throughout all of Backwards when both Lister and Cat are adolescent throughout the whole thing.

    SPOILERS END

    Re dot matrix printers, I had one in my house until about 1997 or 1998 I reckon. Then my mum bought a new PC and ink jet printer etc.

    However, I had one at work until around 8 years ago. We’d print our invoices onto three-ply paper using a dot matrix. So you can imagine at the end of each day, a hundred invoices printing out, that thing would be making a racket for about 45mins. It was only when we moved office I made a push for us to get something more modern and just print multiple copies as needed, as it would be quicker, quieter, and cheaper. Especially as we had had that dot matrix break and we’d had to buy a used one off eBay to get the part to fix it a couple of years earlier.

  • what quinn_drummer said about dot matrix printers. you didn’t really get inkjets start to take over until computers went to windows and everyone starts doing DTP. I’ve got dot matrix homework from 1993.

  • (To bring it back to red dwarf – the folder with my English stuff also contains a script from my attempt to put on “Dimension Jump” as a play for, with the printout being a laser I think so we must have had one of those at school. While it does contain my cyberpunk Bliss-inspired drugs story, it sadly does /not/ contain the story I wrote about Garbage World which I would probably have got away with if I hadn’t actually had Lister turn up at the end.

    I couldn’t have been more 13 if I tried. these days I disguise my Red Dwarf fanfiction as spec scripts instead.)

  • Garbage World ONE is a corker and just about works as a short story on its own. Douglas Adams vibes again. Could have been one of The Ends of the Earth. “South Mars” is such a good sketch joke.

  • Lovely stuff as ever.

    It is interesting how quickly the stuff about Lister and Cat being withered and infirm goes away, but I guess they just needed to get on with the next part of the book without completely undercutting the drama of BTL.

  • Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but during tbe garbage world backstory chapter, they mentioned how Neptune was terraformed, which is a possible call back to Peterson’s Triton’s house.

    I’d have never picked it up if it wasn’t for the bookclub, and i thought it was neat.

  • On the light bee topic, in the books, isn’t this the first time hologram Rimmer has been off-ship? With Holly offline, it might well be the case that he doesn’t even know about this function…

  • Browser crashed and lost my long comment, so here’s a slightly abridged version from memory.

    ONE – What a headfuck of a scene-change.
    I have no coherent response to garbage world, whether it’s satire or whimsy. It’s both too believable and too unbelievable.
    Pleasantly unpleasant phrase: “The cleft of his buttocks wobbling hairily over the top of his jeans.” Particularly the idea that something can wobble hairily.
    Another brilliant bit is the fact that Earth “farted its way out of the solar system.”

    TWO – Bunks and maintenance decks make this feel more like the VI/VII Starbug than the III/IV one.
    “Lister didn’t really expect to find an access hatch leading straight down to Earth maintenance decks smack under the bunks, but it still surprised him when he didn’t” is another masterful comic sentence.

    THREE – This whole section is utterly chaotic, and bringing in the toaster at this point is just perfect.

    FOUR – Lightning igniting oil rain – what an image.

    FIVE – The engines are back up and running again then are they?
    Entering the black hole immediately makes me think of Last Human rather than this book.
    I’m not convinced the image of spaghettification presented here is entirely in line with scientific theories.

    SIX – No chance Rimmer and Cat would team up. Also, I like the fact that Talkie has become an de facto part of the crew for the moment.

    Rimmer’s response to discovering the acid rain is definitely that of a more mature, thoughtful character. Perhaps it’s because they’ve had less time to sit around getting annoyed at each other, but the characters here definitely feel both more thoughtful and more proactive. It’s easier for them to put their problems and dislike of each other aside.

    SEVEN – So that’s where Russell T Davies got the idea of the TARDIS towing the Earth across the universe from!

    EIGHT – Benny Goodman and his Orchestra is a Rimmer line and I have no idea why they gave it to the Cat.

    NINE – This is proper Hitchhikers territory here, and while I don’t think the war stuff is biting or insightful enough to warrant much praise, the Scottish goalkeeper is a hilarious moment.
    There’s some real body horror in this section, isn’t there? The human cars bit is hilariously repugnant. Doug must have popped to the shop at that point.
    I can’t remember the exact description in Polymorph, but is this the first description of GELFs as an acronym?

    TEN – Kryten is still David Ross here.

    “This was possibly the worst thing that could have happened. Saved, yet again, by the Toaster. Now it would scale new peaks of obnoxiousness.” The joy of revisiting these books is partially in utterly brilliant Grant Naylor lines that aren’t burned into my brain from over watching.

    TWELVE – Rimmer’s “he’d bonk anything” reaction doesn’t quite work as well after the whole 34 years alone thing. They can’t just revert back to the old status quo.

    SIXTEEN – The attack on Rimmer is a very welcome change from the original script, and really imaginatively done. It’s not exact, but there’s a vague sense of the older he is, the smaller the things he’s getting angry at.

    SEVENTEEN – Talkie is basically being Holly here, which is a bit weird.

    TWENTY – It’s a bit of a shock, previewed in the previous chapter. Lister really can’t get a break, can he? At the same time, I’ve watched too much sci-fi and fantasy with false deaths, to the extent that this slightly annoys me at this point. Even though it’s handled quite well here.

    Which brings me to the awkward question – what’s going to be next? You can’t possibly do a DwarfCast on eleven and a half pages of prose. Will it be a combination of ‘The End and After’ and ‘Cyberia’?

    One thing this part has confirmed in my brain is that the books would make a really good high-budget comedy-drama series. Ten episodes a series, the first two would be the two Grant Naylor books, the third could be Backwards, then the cliffhanger at the end of that could be slightly changed to involve them finding an alternate universe with a Starbug that has Rimmer, Kryten and Kochanski aboard. Last Human would make a great final series with a proper ending.

    Who wants to help me start developing it?

  • Despite my internal image of the books from this point on being very series III-V for obvious reasons, I still try to keep in my head the image continuity of the books so I *try* and keep series I-II bunk rooms, drive rooms, gantries etc

    This jumped out at me in She Rides when Rimmer’s suddenly long leg was described as khaki, because I hadn’t been trying hard enough to not think of him in a shiny green jumpsuit.

  • As a scientist, the whole acid rain setpiece really strains my credulity. It’s just not feasible for any kind of acid to work that quickly (the Alien films have this problem too), or for such a substance to be present undiluted in such quantity on Earth, a planet with lots of water hanging about. It’s a good dramatic sequence but I find it hard to swallow.

    Then there’s all the black hole stuff of course, but it’s easier for me to suspend my disbelief on that, maybe because it’s so common in science fiction to just do whatever with black holes.

  • When re-reading the book I forgot how much the Toaster was in the plot. It’s quite strange as the character (is that the right word for an electrical appliance) was the main character in the book and in White Hole, and then had to wait for a quarter of a century to return. Maybe Doug and Rob just eat a lot of toast in the late 80s/early 90s.

  • Alright, alright. Clearly that didn’t come across as tongue in cheek as I thought.

    Anyway the Garbage World stuff is actually my favourite bit from these first two books. Mainly because it’s new. Ed Bye did comment (I think in the lockdown commentaries) that the giant cockroaches was the one thing he ever vetoed, so it seems that as with White Hole they wanted to rework this plot into the show but ended up scrapping it. This is probably common knowledge so forgive me but I haven’t seen it brought up yet.

    One more small point is the Smegazine comic that was set during Lister’s long life on Garbage World. A nice companion to the Mimas Crossing comic, and David Lyttleton’s art is lovely and grotesque as always.

  • That’s a point … we’ve known for a while that there was talk of making Garbage World into an episode, or it would be a part of White Hole or something. Basically, that that part of the story in the book was to make it on screen but was deemed to costly.

    Given that from IV onwards, the show somewhat retcons itself and borrows from the books continuity a bit more, do you think Rob and Doug had it in their minds that Garbage World was the fate of Earth and that’s sort of why any illusions of getting home are more or less dropped going forwards?

    Although my own theory is somewhat squashed by Doug’s original ending to VIII of course.

  • I’d forgotten quite how bizarre the stuff on Garbage World in FOUR gets, and how epic. I remembered Lister befriending a cockroach and riding around on it (I wonder if Rob and Doug had seen Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) but not that it flew, or Lister eating the sofa. It’s difficult to envisage any of it as an episode at the time. No wonder Ed said no! I love Lister ranting at the Earth and then trying to make a pact with it and finding the olive tree. Pretty powerful. He’s an everyman on a hero’s journey here, even undergoing apotheosis with the cockroaches regarding him as a sort of god.

    I don’t get “This cockroach could have played Nose Tackle for the London Jets”. Why is Nose Tackle a position in Zero-Gee football?

  • Why is Nose Tackle a position in Zero-Gee football

    Sounds like a tackle via a sort of nose dive doesn’t it. Odd that is has its own position, but maybe zero-gee football has offensive as well as defensive positions, and on of them is floating g around waiting to dive head first down the pitch to take out your opponent.

  • Ah OK, turns out the answer is “The same reason it’s a position in regular American football”, which I know nothing about. I just wrongly assumed it was a made up thing and part of the joke.

  • Right, I’m a bit behind on this so I need to get on with it.

    ONE

    This is another one of those lovely short-story chapters that feels like it could be a completely different book in its own right. The concept of Earth becoming a dump planet feels quite Hitchhikers and I love the silly touches like the Eurovision-style voting.

    I also love the passage about him dangling over Europe and then dangling no more – those few short sentences (the group ending “e woz”) are all perfectly-formed little nuggets of the type we’ve come to appreciate in these books.

    Although still having Pluto as a bona fide planet now dates the book. It will always be a planet to me. #JusticeForPluto

  • TWO

    This is one of those great bad-to-worse action chapters with some lovely writing in it – the part about Lister still being surprised to not find an unlikely escape hatch under the bed always cracks me up, and I love the Iron Man style construction of a protective suit that’s completely impractical.

    The thing that really stood out for me in this chapter though is how poorly-defined Starbug is in the novels so far. Obviously it’s not in the first book as they only had Blue Midget up to that point, but when it turns up in the White Hole section there’s very little description other than it being beetle-shaped – it feels like there’s an assumption that you know it from the show. Aside from odd lines here and there, there isn’t a description of the shape and size of it at all really. Which is a bit of an impediment when you’re trying to imagine Lister’s journey through the ship, especially given that it covers rooms that were unseen in the TV series at this point.

    Starbug’s three-spheroids shape might not be apparent if you’d never seen the show, and (unless I missed it) there hasn’t even been a reference yet to it being green.

    Also, given the rooms and size of the spaces described by this chapter it feels like this is a bigger ship than the Series III Starbug – it’s Series VI sized at the very least, if not quite as big as Tikka-Starbug.

    I guess it’s just interesting that so much of a key location is left to the reader’s knowledge from the TV series and not even conveyed in the text of the book.

  • THREE

    Just a short comedy chapter really, but the Toaster’s dickish comments and the payoff of them all having to eat toast (with Kryten having to eat Rimmer’s portion to boot) *really* feels likes something that would have worked on TV. It’s like a deleted scene. Even down to the punchline of “keep eating the toast.”

    Also, the scrambling of Holly is a great idea – subtly disturbing and explained nicely.

  • FOUR

    This chapter leans heavy on the environmental themes that I guess were quite prominent and popular at the time the book came out. I like that it balances quite genuine heartfelt stuff like Lister’s Herculean efforts to outrun the acid rain and oil and all that hellish stuff with absurdities like him eating a bit of sofa (just a tiny bit) to impress some giant cockroaches.

    It’s interesting to think about this chapter in terms of the infamous abandoned/refused idea for Series IV to feature a giant-cockroach script. Given how much White Hole changed in the adaptation to TV I guess we shouldn’t necessarily assume that the TV version would have been identical to what we see here in the book, but it’s an interesting what-if.

  • FIVE

    The silly bit of business with Kryten forgetting to say twenty seconds because he was listening to the Cat, and then missing saying five seconds because he was apologising for missing twenty seconds is a great comedy bit, and I can almost hear it in my Mind’s Ear being said in the TV show.

    It also might be the point at which book-Kryten goes from David Ross to Robert Llewellyn for me.

    The weird spaghetti-orgy scene on the other hand, I couldn’t imagine fitting in the TV show in a million years (or three).

    I do love the visceral energy of Red Dwarf being ripped apart by the black hole though.

    Oh, and the toaster is back to $£19.99 here after being just £19.99 earlier in this section. I wonder if the $ signs were wrongly removed by an over-diligent editor who thought they were a mistake, and they didn’t catch all of the examples and put them all back.

  • SIX

    Kryten’s exploding/spare noses made me laugh a lot.

    Also, my first instinct when given the island’s location was to check whether it matched with Fiji. But it doesn’t, sadly.

    Also, the start of this chapter says the rest of the crew think Lister has been on the planet for 24 days, but at the end of it Rimmer says it’s only been 16 days. Did he put an extra week in his revision timetable again?

  • SEVEN

    “Jasmine” is a lovely little understated bittersweet moment on a par with “Moonlight” from TPL.

    It really feels like the Kochanski mentions start to ramp up here. Almost as though they’re preparing us for something.

  • NINE

    The idea of transferring war impulses onto sport is actually very astute, I think.

    Plus the gag about the Scottish goalkeeper always makes me laugh. One of those Red Dwarf jokes that has stuck in my head forever.

    All of the GELF stuff yet again feels like the kind of thing that could sustain a novel all of its own, but having the potted-history version is so much more fun.

  • TEN

    Well, they got rid of the Polymorph quickly, didn’t they? What a twist – I thought they might get a lot more material for the book out of that, maybe even adapt the whole episode.

    Joking aside, the Toaster killing the Polymorph is a great little action-comedy moment, especially Kryten’s exasperation with being saved.

  • ELEVEN

    An interesting little detail here is that this version of Red Dwarf doesn’t appear to have a fleet of Starbugs or Blue Midgets or White Giants, just one of each. Just three shuttlecraft seems far too little for a ship the size of a city.

    Also, the shapeshifting of the Polymorph is so much more interesting in the novel version. I like the idea of it instinctively choosing shapes to solve immediate problems like this.

  • <

    Oh, and the toaster is back to $£19.99 here after being just £19.99 earlier in this section. I wonder if the $ signs were wrongly removed by an over-diligent editor who thought they were a mistake, and they didn’t catch all of the examples and put them all back.

    I don’t know what the proper style is when it comes to fiction, but when working with multiple currencies at work I’ll always use the currency ISO (GBP, USD, EUR) after the figures rather than before to avoid any confusion, especially as e-mail clients in different territories haves been known to get confused over currency symbols and spit out nonsense code.

    I wouldn’t expect a book to do this, but given that it’s being read (especially at times it is being said out of a characters mouth – although I don’t think that’s ever the case here) , and it involves two currencies merged into one (which presumably would have come with a brand new currency symbol), it would make absolute sense for clarity to write it out either “19.99 dollar pounds” or “nineteen dollar-pounds and ninety-nine cent-pennies”

    Also, really appreciate your little chapter breakdowns/comments Dave as it means I haven’t had to read the book(s) itself since halfway through Infinity.

  • TWELVE – TWENTY

    Basically, Polymorph isn’t it. But with a few interesting changes.

    – a rat, not a snake. I think a snake is scarier.
    – Lister being willing to bonk anything is nowhere near as funny when it’s Rimmer’s internal monologue, and when you don’t have the performances and energy of the actors doing it live.
    – Rimmer’s plan to escape the Polymorph is to load everything into Blue Midget and escape. But didn’t they just blow Blue Midget up? Is this a mistake and it should be White Giant?
    – The Polymorph ‘woman’ who seduces Cat feels far more explicitly described as a male sex object here. I don’t know if Frances Barber would have been willing to don an orange PVC suit and thigh-length boots.
    – I like the more thoughtful and logical way that the Polymorph ‘gets’ Rimmer here, via the hologram simulation suite.
    – The montage of frustrating moments from Rimmer’s life is really quite affecting, and one of the most sympathetic sequences involving the character.
    – Kryten killing the toaster is pretty brutal.
    – Teasing the death of one of the crewmates in chapter NINETEEN is a nice little break from the linear narrative and definitely builds up the tension ahead of the final Polymorph fight.
    – That final fight feels like it’s over very quickly, and Lister’s death feels like a shock but not a very logical or particularly well set-up one – he’s dead because the writers want him dead.

    But I guess with Lister dead that’s pretty much the end of the novel, right? It’s not like there’s anywhere the story can go from here.

  • I wouldn’t expect a book to do this, but given that it’s being read (especially at times it is being said out of a characters mouth – although I don’t think that’s ever the case here) , and it involves two currencies merged into one (which presumably would have come with a brand new currency symbol), it would make absolute sense for clarity to write it out either “19.99 dollar pounds” or “nineteen dollar-pounds and ninety-nine cent-pennies”

    Yeah, that might make more sense. I can just imagine an editor thinking that $£19.99 is a mistake.

    And Talkie does say it out loud once or twice here, when he’s saying “what do you expect for $£19.99” or “not bad for $£19.99” or whatever.

  • Also, really appreciate your little chapter breakdowns/comments Dave as it means I haven’t had to read the book(s) itself since halfway through Infinity.

    Cheers! I’ve enjoyed reading along and making these notes as it’s made me think about the books in a new way.

  • Which brings me to the awkward question – what’s going to be next? You can’t possibly do a DwarfCast on eleven and a half pages of prose. Will it be a combination of ‘The End and After’ and ‘Cyberia’?

    I’d rather not combine the books like that. A final podcast to tidy up the end of BTL but also reflect on the experience of the two Grant Naylor novels overall would be a nice palate-cleanser before moving on to Last Human (after Christmas and New Year I guess).

  • Spot on. It’ll be shorter than the usual 1.5-2 hours, you’d hope, but BTL Part Four will get its own cast.

    We are considering splitting up Last Human differently though – Part 1 is tiny and Part 3 is about half the book, so we might ignore the official parts and divide it into three or four equally sized chunks by page count. If so, we’d make sure the break points make sense narratively, and let you know in advance how much to read in each go.

  • We’re recording the Dwarfcast tomorrow at 3pm. Still a bit of time for you peeps to get your comments in before roughly 2pm for them to be considered!

  • One – It’s endearing to have the Eurovision gag. It’s a fairly obvious joke to do – especially at that time – but these little references to when Dwarf was written (eg. Felicity Kendal, Norweb…) add a sense of nostalgia now, and they are fairly infrequent so don’t date things too much.

    Two – Lister’s escape here is described with really dramatic and, like many other parts of this section, it’s something that would have been very difficult to achieve in the TV version. In my mind’s eye I still obviously see it as Craig who is in danger of having his groin damaged by drops of acid, and it was probably best to leave this section to the imagination of the reader without trying to recreate it.

    Three – I slightly prefer the depiction of Talkie Toaster here to the TV version. In White Hole, presumably due to time constraints, he is pretty much a one joke character (albeit a funny one). I guess he’s a one joke character here too, but his description of the specifics of a black hole both serves as exposition and has a nice pay off with them all eating toast at the end.

  • I don’t suppose it’s too late to suggest doing Backwards before Last Human? I know that’s the wrong way around, but Last Human is just such an… ending, that it’ll feel weird doing Backwards after it.

  • Four – Lister’s cries of “Do it” and “Kill me” immediately bring to mind Arnie in Predator. Perhaps intentionally as it must surely have been on Rob and Doug’s radar at this time. The cockroach stuff would have been near impossible for Ed at the time, but it would might be more feasible now due to the advances in effects and it does feel very cinematic.

    Six – Dwarf has occasionally suffered from weak simile gags and, “It’s like trying to find a can of lager at a student party” isn’t exactly strong. There are hints of Rimmerworld in other sections of the chapter, probably coincidentally.

    Seven – It’s interesting that Kochanski remained Lister’s ideal in the books at this point, whereas she was getting fewer and fewer mentions in the TV shows.

    Eight – Although Polymorph is directly referenced here, this short section feels a lot more like Psirens.

  • I don’t suppose it’s too late to suggest doing Backwards before Last Human? I know that’s the wrong way around, but Last Human is just such an… ending, that it’ll feel weird doing Backwards after it.

    Backwards narratively continues straight on from BTL too, whereas Last Human doesn’t if memory serves.

  • Nine – The anti-war stuff is a little heavy handed, but not to the levels of “What else is new?” The comments about genetic engineering and sports did partly foreshadow how things went in the world, though.

    Ten – The Talkie Toaster becomes hero stuff is all a little too twee, if that’s the right word, for me. Even if all is not what it seems.

    Eleven and twelve – The descriptions of the Polymorph, from its perspective, help to flesh out the TV episode even if the repetition of the kebab scene now feels old hat. The change to a rat perhaps indicates Rob and Doug’s dissatisfaction with the snake prop, even if that doesn’t entirely make logical sense.

    Thirteen and fourteen – Understandable that they decided to stick very closely to the TV show here. A little frustrating though, as presumably their first drafts of the TV scripts were very different and maybe some other ideas could have been incorporated.

  • Sixteen – This section is more worthwhile – and Rob and Doug make better use of the literary form – by revealing Rimmer’s unspoken thoughts. While none of them are staggering, they all feel in character and add a little to understanding him as a person.

    Seventeen – The oddest thing to me reading the book again now, is just how long Talkie Toaster sticks around for. You would have expected them to dispense with him much earlier and, dare I say it, he was starting to get a little Scrappy Doo by this point. :) I also can’t really imagine several of his lines of dialogue being voiced by David Ross.

    Eighteen to Twenty – The alterations here are all welcome and set things up for the final section of the book. Indeed, after the revelation of Lister’s death, you would expect there to still be 100 pages remaining in which to tie up the loose ends.

  • SEVEN. Lister’s plan to tow the Earth back to the solar system is such a romantic idea. Never mentioned again, is it? I wonder whether it would have been returned to in THE Last Human, along with Lister being creator of the universe.

  • Overall I think Garbage World is one of the stronger parts of either of the Grant Naylor books. The stuff on Garbage World itself is grander and more fantastical than I’d remembered, and both that and the escape from the black hole are some really great bits of writing. The Polymorph section is a nicely adapted version of an episode I don’t hold in as high regard as most people seem to. I like pretty much everything they changed, and GELF history is another cracking bit of world-building. With one very short part left to read I’d say that while Infinity is objectively the better novel, I’ve enjoyed BTL just as much.

  • FOUR: “You finally really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up!”

    Lister making peace with cockroaches by, literally, extending an olive branch.

  • NINE: Here it is; as big a reference to Blade Runner as you’ll get in Red Dwarf prior to 2009. A vacuum cleaner being pursued by a Gelf Runner.

  • TEN: I realise this is all set up so that Talkie can supposedly defeat the Polymorph with some ashtrays, but Kryten’s bouts of violence just don’t feel right here. Especially,when you consider that the emotion which is stolen from him shortly will be his defining one; guilt.

  • TWELVE: Ah, where the abridged audio book decides to take a very strange cut and have Lister killed by eating the shami kebab. Bizarre.

    Meanwhile, in the actual book; one of the most famous scenes in Red Dwarf history and I find that my eyes historically just kind of skim over the prose when I get to this chapter. The shrinking boxer shorts bit; um, it just doesn’t work nearly as well written down.

  • SIXTEEN: Phew, a bit of variety here with Rimmer’s anger. While none of the memories that are triggered are particularly funny (I guessed we were spoiled in Infinity with the extended Gazpacho Soup monologue), it’s still a much welcome needed deviation from just “Polymorph dialogue and some stage-direction prose”.

  • SEVENTEEN: Interesting that Rimmer here is the peacenik version from the TV show. I think it was revealed in Red Dwarf Quarantine that this was something that Chris Barrie pushed for as he didn’t like the original version of an anger-free Rimmer. Rather than reverting to their original idea when it came to doing the book, Rob and Doug stuck with that.

    NINETEEN: Can’t say I’m particularly fond of this poncey mini-flashforward. It’s just a rather silly tease of something that is revealed in the first paragraph of the next chapter. It seems wrong for a novel, and more like a publicity for an upcoming soap-opera plotline.

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