Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Rob Grant’s Colony

  • This topic has 136 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Dave.
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  • #269824
    Warbodog
    Participant

    It’s connected to his buttski.

    A thread for anyone who enjoyed the perverse delights of the Backwards re-read and is ready to jump to another universe in search of more (I assume, I’ve not really read it).

    The book has four parts. Maybe we could take it at a part per week, unless that’s too fast and you have a better idea? (Part three looks to be twice as long as the others, so could be split).

    If this turns out to be an extremely niche interest, or enthusiasm wanes, synchronised structure won’t matter so much.

    If you need some time to get the book, we can make it Covember.

    #269826

    I’d want to wait until we get a definitive ‘no’ from the chaps about doing Rob’s novels for a second series of the Book Club, but if that’s not on the cards then definitely up for this. I’ve never read any of them so it’s something I’d like to do at some point.

    #269827
    Spaceworm Jim
    Participant

    I’m up for this. Loved Colony when I first read it, I’d go so far as to say I enjoyed it more than Backwards. It would be great to discuss its flaws, jokes that went over my head and if anyone else saw and heard Styx as Banjo Kazooie in their mind’s eye. I was around 11 or 12 years of age, so maybe it hasn’t aged as well as Banjo Kazooie, although the way its not commercially available and needs a bit of hunting down in order to get a second hand copy does make it similar to Banjo Tooie, as well as coming out the same year (well, in the US anyway. We had to wait another year here, but we had copies of Colony to keep us entertained so much that I forgot to buy Banjo Tooie until it was sadly too late.)

    Just to make it clear, I am definitely up for a reread of Colony.

    #269828
    Ridley
    Participant

    (well, in the US anyway. We had to wait another year here, but we had copies of Colony to keep us entertained so much that I forgot to buy Banjo Tooie until it was sadly too late.)

    “You are a journalist, we can get it on import.”

    #269829
    Spaceworm Jim
    Participant

    Haha! Brilliant.

    #269830
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I’d want to wait until we get a definitive ‘no’ from the chaps about doing Rob’s novels for a second series of the Book Club.

    I mentioned it a couple of times before to check (this is also a check). It’d be nice to get a full DwarfCast series, but maybe more the sort of topic they’d cover in a one-off? Does anyone know their customer support number?

    #269831
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    Thank you for your enquiry. Our call centre hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please try again later.

    But srsly, I don’t want to rule it out completely, but if we do do it, it won’t be for the foreseeable. We’re doing Smegazines next and there’s 23 of those, plus we’ve got an idea for another series which needs to start at a specific time in about a year, so I’d suggest you guys go ahead now if you’re keen.

    #269832
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Okay, best give it a few days’ grace in case anyone’s getting a book delivered and to prepare our Rob Grant Bingo cards, unless we can’t contain ourselves.

    #269833
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Rob Grant Bingo cards

    GRATUITOUS CLIFFHANGER: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    BESTIALITY REFERENCE: _ _ _ _ _
    GENITAL INJURY: _ _ _ _ _
    JAILBAIT LECHERY: _ _ _ _ _
    CALCULATION OFF BY 2 (HARDBACK ONLY): _ _ _ _ _
    MORE GENITAL INJURY: _ _ _ _ _

    #269835

    I’ve ordered a copy but won’t arrive until the end of the week. Annoying it his only book that’s not digital to!

    #269837
    Dave
    Participant

    I’ve also ordered a copy (arriving late next week) so maybe we can kick things off properly in a week or so?

    #269838
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I’ve got an ebook. I don’t remember where I got it, but not a legit place.

    #269839
    Spaceworm Jim
    Participant

    There’s an audiobook read by Mark Williams too. I think it’s all up on youtube.

    #269840

    I’m away for a week and have no cash so I might be late joining you all.

    #269842
    Ridley
    Participant

    #They have no money

    #269867

    My copy of colony has arrived.  It had a train ticket in it as a book mark

     

    Standard Day Single

    27th october 2005

    Chelmsford – London

    9.20gbp

     

    Was there a consensus on when we’ll start and also how much we’ll read each time?

    #269868
    Dave
    Participant

    My copy of colony has arrived.  It had a train ticket in it as a book mark

     

    Standard Day Single

    27th october 2005

    Chelmsford – London

    9.20gbp

     

    Please can we try and avoid advance spoilers, some of us haven’t read the book before.

    #269869
    Warbodog
    Participant

    My Dirk Gently Omnibus had a nice 1977 Silver Jubilee leather bookmark included, God save.

    I thought one part per week starting each weekend as a suggestion to improve upon or see how it goes. Trying to keep it manageable for people’s time without spending ages on something that there’s a risk we might not be that into.

    #269870

    Sounds reasonable.  Part one is only 56 pages, seems a good place to start at least.

    #269871
    si
    Participant

    Please can we try and avoid advance spoilers, some of us haven’t read the book before.

    There’s a colony… Oh shit, sorry.

    Actually, you know, I say that, there might not be. It’s a long time since I read it. I might join in with you all.

    #269872

    My copy of colony has arrived.  It had a train ticket in it as a book mark

     

    Standard Day Single

    27th october 2005

    Chelmsford – London

    9.20gbp
    Please can we try and avoid advance spoilers, some of us haven’t read the book before.

    This is actually the opening prologue, a man from Chelmsford travels to London by train to colonise the city.

    #269873
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I thought it was a biography of Billy Colony.

    I saw this book in shops around the time it was released, but rather than being interested in the new sci-fi comedy project from the former co-writer of my favourite show, my reaction was more “how DARE you.” Because obviously all space comedy is the same and he should have just stuck with Red Dwarf if he wanted to write more of that (I was about 15).

    I listened to the abridged audiobook passively in 2015, but don’t remember a thing about it. Which might mean the story or narration wasn’t engaging or whatever game I was playing at the time was too engrossing, that happened a lot.

    #269875
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh, I thought this was an autobiography told from the POV of Rob’s colon.

    #269877
    Jenuall
    Participant

    Colony is actually the only Rob Grant book I haven’t read so I would have been interested in joining a readalong of this, but I doubt I’ll be able to source a copy any time soon sadly (and I’m wary of trying to find an ebook version “on the high seas” so to speak!)

    #269878
    Dax101
    Participant

    The audiobook is on youtube. Read by Mark Williams.

    #269882
    si
    Participant

    Oh, I thought this was an autobiography told from the POV of Rob’s colon.

    Followed up, of course, by the views of his Fat.

    #269883
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Oh, I thought this was an autobiography told from the POV of Rob’s colon.

    Followed up, of course, by the views of his Fat.

    And his graphic struggle with Incontinence. The trilogy wasn’t a total shock after Backwards.

    I’d guess people don’t count Quanderhorn as a Rob novel, since it’s not solo. But it’s also different as it’s pretty much a straight-up linear novelisation with a bit more first-person introspection, from what I remember anyway.

    #269884

    Gorden Bennett, lucky Juleit May isn’t directing.

    #269942
    Warbodog
    Participant

    #269955
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Part 1, chapters 1-5 spoiler-free feelings (but still probably don’t read)

    It really is quite Red Dwarf (specifically novel ‘Dwarf). More than I was expecting really, but it’s comforting. Since most people probably read it because of that connection, there are the touches of familiarity you’d appreciate when going from Simpsons to Futurama or something. Except more specifically similar.

    I took more specific notes if points come up, but I’m enjoying it. And the bits that are characteristically Rob made me laugh a lot, more in an at-him than with-him way. A lot of the time, I can hear his non-existent audiobook reading in my head.

    #269956
    Stilianides
    Participant

    Thanks for starting this thread.

    I’ve just begun my re-read and will post my thoughts on the first section in a day or two.

    #269962

    Having just read chapter one, agree very much that it feels novel Dwarfy. I mean, it opens with a man who has lost everything and is about to be beaten up by thugs. Basically exactly how IWCD opens.

    That opening line, about feeling like the unlikeliest man alive reminded me of Hitchhikers. Not the first time we’ve compared Ron’s writing to Douglas Adam’s. These guys are obviously cut from the same cloth in some ways.

    Even down to it all being a big misunderstanding feels like something that would happen to a Hitchhikers character.

    #269963
    Warbodog
    Participant

    The name O’Hare will always remind me of my first space opera.

    Around the same time I was watching Junior Red Dwarf, SpaceVets.

    #269964

    I’ve never seen that before and I feel like it’s been made entirely as a joke.

    read a couple more chapters last night. It struck me that we’ve not been told exactly where this is set. I’m assuming another planet but could just as well be Earth at this point right?

    #269965
    Dave
    Participant

    Bucky O’Hare was excellent in a naff sort of way. The designs and toys were good.

    #269966
    Warbodog
    Participant

    It struck me that we’ve not been told exactly where this is set. I’m assuming another planet but could just as well be Earth at this point right?

    Chapter 5 will take care of your exposition info dump needs, but I think it’s mentioned earlier than that as being climate-controlled Antarctica.

    The original Bucky O’Hare graphic novel was some zany satire, indiscriminately having a go at conservatives, activisits and UN bumbling alike. The designs are iconic to me, but I was over action figures after my Batman-Ghostbusters-Turtles marathon.

    #269967

    Isn’t it luck I’m about to start chapter 5 then.  Maybe I missed the bit about the Antarcitca.  In chapter 2 it’s described as being carved out of ice or something along those lines, but assumed it was off world I think.

    #269968

    Oh yeah, whilst I generally do not mind at all Rob’s twisted psychie and his love of torturing his characters and generally being a bit gross … the idea of a handjob from a woman who had a hand with a vagina grafted onto it is possible a bit much.

    #269969

    Having read chapter 5, lots of reoccuring themes between this and Red Dwarf.

    Firstly 27 TV channels … “groovey funky channel 27” … just find it interesting Rob has returned to that number again.

    A ship too big and too vast to build on Earth, though I get the impression the Project is significantly larger than Red Dwarf.

    A ship that will take it’s crew great distances away from Earth over many centuries.

    An Earth that’s dying due to global warming.  Not quite the same in the RD books, but it basically becomes a dump due to pollution and such and is then abandoned by the colonies.

    As short as that chapter was I really enjoyed that world building it briefly gives, which is what I like about sci0fi in general, is it’s capacity to create any version of humanity it wasn’t near or far future and building interesting and complex worlds around it.

    It partly what makes the RD novels so interesting, as that it allows them to expland on the universe they created and bring in information about Earth that Lister et al wouldn’t know or discuss.

    #269970
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Yeah, chapter 5 filled things in nicely and felt like a natural break point to start talking about it before it properly gets to the plot.

    – Eddie is the stock neurotic loser in the Rimmer mould (boring accountant is maybe a bit too stock), but with a few too many undesirable traits cumulatively piled on, like Rob doesn’t want us to build an attachment. Of course, he doesn’t have the benefit of a familiar TV incarnation and Chris Barrie performance. Maybe Rimmer would be less likeable if you’d only read the books?

    – I didn’t wince at the violence or take it seriously, because after all we’ve made of Rob’s sadistic streak, it was just funny to see him up to his old tricks and imagining the group reaction to classic Rob. “Exploding Eddie’s reality into a white-hot eruption of electrified suffering.” Standing ovation.

    – Instead, it was the psychological darkness that got to me more, like Eddie’s musings on death and the later casino chapter, which gave me a sense of the sickening intoxication of gambling addiction.

    – I don’t know if Rob’s been outspoken about global warming or if he just finds the environmental apocalypse to make for compelling/credible sci-fi, but I was reminded of Garbage World too. A spaceship the size of a city invites more comparison than anything else, but they obviously have different purposes.

    – I’ve seen geostationary space lifts in Arthur C Clarke stories and novels, but maybe they were already fairly established in sci-fi (there was one in Star Trek: Voyager before Colony too).

    – I took note of a “disease-riddled cock,” but I’ve mercifully forgotten the details.

    #269971

    Maybe Rimmer would be less likeable if you’d only read the books?

    without wanting to totally derail this thread into a Red Dwarf discussion, is Rimmer really that unlikeable in the books? In Infinity he gets on Lister’s pecks pre-accident and it a bit annoying, but post accident he sort of fairly quickly gets a duplicate of himself who takes the focus off Lister and squarely looks at why Rimmer is a bit sad, but not altogether a bit fo a dick like he can be in the show.  Then from there he’s generally quiet mature and a part of the team in all situations.  Getting out of BTL, dealing with the time dilation, rescuing Lister from Garbage World, then again rescuing him from Backwards world.  He can be a bit self centred but he generally does the right thing, or tries to, most the time.  And doesn’t really exist to wind Lister up in a way he does in the show as there simply isn’t time for it between all the mis-adventure going on.

     

    I didn’t wince at the violence or take it seriously, because after all we’ve made of Rob’s sadistic streak

    Given Rob’s seeming fascination with violent and grousome images appearing in his/Eddie’s minds eye when he masturbates, presumably we can start to understand where the obsession for including it in his writing comes from,

    That aside, I hadn’t really read Eddie at this point to be unlikable, more directly as the book puts it, unlucky.  Amusing things seem to happen when he is in the room so far, but otherwise he hasn’t done a lot.

    I assume climate change is used as a world ender because a) it can be and b) the 90s it was a brand new red hot topic wasn’t it.  Sea levels rising, hole in the o-zone layer, greenhouse gasses.  It was relatable.  And being just a few years post cold war, I’d expect most would have lost the appetite for nuclear destruction.

    The idea of the space lift is an interesting one, because presumably it is quite unstable, and any civilisation sufficiently advanced enough to build a ship in orbit would have more efficient ways of getting material and equipment up there.

    – I took note of a “disease-riddled cock,” but I’ve mercifully forgotten the details.

    I did enjoy that because the dude was trying to sell it in it’s undesirable state.  But also they way Rob describe his handing of it, just made it a rather ridiculous image.

    #269973

    It is so wonderful to be reading something that, to me at least, is recognisably Rob, and not having the faintest idea what’s going to happen.

    Regardless of whether you’ve read the RD novels before, there’s always a sense of knowing what comes next as you know the show so well.

    Chapter 6 is so full of suspense, and long but it didn’t feel it. I was really rooting for Eddie and I’m bloody angry for the outcome.

    “just tag his toe and roll his bell” is a wonderful line

     

    ”deeply in the uncharted waters of the Cape of Loonyness” it’s classically Dwarf, a very s5/6 line.

    #269974
    Dave
    Participant

    I just finished the first section. I agree it feels very IWCD, especially early on with the sections that evoke the opening McIntyre chapters from that book. But the more it goes on, the more it starts to feel like its own thing, albeit with a similar voice to the Dwarf novels (except Last Human, obviously).

    I like that Rob is quick to introduce all these high concepts and then almost immediately start having fun with them by pushing them into the realms of absurdity. Another trait that feels familiar from Red Dwarf.

    It might be nice for there to have been a bit more getting to know the main character by this point – he’s fairly broadly sketched – but maybe there will be more to come on that front soon.

    And yes, regarding the violence and sex, the inner thoughts of the lead character here do seem to shed some light on Rob’s preoccupations, don’t they?

    #269975
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh, and also: the lowercase title in the “by the same author” section confirms that it *was* only the K that was mirror-flipped in the title of Backwards after all. Case closed!

    #269976
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Yeah, it kicked off for me with the back-to-back world-building and casino chapters after the early ones felt a bit generic dystopia (and I was thrown by the perspective shift to the other guy for that one chapter until it came back, expecting more of an ensemble).

    Chapters 6-9

    – My chapter 6 note to self: how can the least violent chapter be the most tense and sickening?

    – Learning about Eddie’s childhood made him more sympathetic. “He thought all dads yo-yoed between drunken misery and outrageous, flamboyant generosity.” Rob can be mature when he wants to be.

    – Ah, it’s the literal cameo of the roulette wheel from the paperback cover. Now waiting on the severed head in the jar floating in space. This reminded me of the Better Than Life and Backwards covers/titles highlighting the first part only, then leaving you to discover the rest on your own. Maybe that’s even a recommended publishing strategy.

    It is so wonderful to be reading something that, to me at least, is recognisably Rob, and not having the faintest idea what’s going to happen.

    Definitely.

    – Genetic hybrid creatures are mentioned in passing. I wonder if they belong to Chekhov.

    – I wouldn’t suck the open wound, personally

    – I think chapters 7-8 had the first Backwards-style cliffhanger where the scene just carries on immediately. He’s changed his approach.

    – The identity swap deal felt a bit too amicable and lacking in drama, but then he pulls the rug out at the end and kept me excited for more.

    #269977

    Well Gordon is a bit of a prick isn’t he!

    I forget this earlier, but Willflower is awfully close to Wildfire.

    Those last few chapters of the part are a much better read now that things have gotten going.  Agree with the Backwards-style cliffhangers … there was something a little unnecessary about them, especially so early on.

    I like that there’s that twist with the identity swap, it did feel a little easy to get Eddie onto the ship … but glad that it just adds to his continued lack of luck as it were.

    I kinda hope we get some glimpses of what happens with Gordon on the ground as Eddie’s story propels him across galaxies, but I suspect that isn’t going to be the case.

    #270002
    Stilianides
    Participant

    I’ve only just finished Chapters 1-5, but they are quite enjoyable.

    It’s kind of hilarious that Rob once said (probably on Comedy Connections) that he left because he wanted to do something other than Dwarf. The opening section here is not exactly a departure from what had gone before.

    It’s probably entirely coincidental, but odd that C.P. Gordon is so similar to C.P. Grogan…

    #270003
    Jenuall
    Participant

    Read up to Chapter 5 myself now, it’s zipping along at a very nice pace so far isn’t it! I recall Incompetence having a similarly healthy penchant for getting on with things quickly so I guess it’s just part of Rob’s style.

    Plenty of Dwarf vibes coming across so far, both in terms of settings and character archetypes. The mention of “poise” and “elan” had me thinking back to Emohawk as well

    #270006

    he left because he wanted to do something other than Dwarf. The opening section here is not exactly a departure from what had gone before.

    Yeah its very similar in theme and style.  I suspect what he wanted to do was have the freedom and ability to explore things outside the Red Dwarf universe and writing partnership.  He and Doug had been together 15ish years by that point?  Don’t blame him wanting to flex his own writing muscles.

    And frankly, given Last Human vs Backwards and series vii and viii … I don’t blame him.

    #270018
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Anyone catching up should feel welcome to share their thoughts as they go and can hopefully avoid seeing too many spoilers.

    But we can keep up the momentum and crack open PART TWO: GENERATION I, whenever you like to do your reading.

    Looks to be a similar length to part one, or a bit shorter.

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