Monday, 6 July 2009

Journey to Jupiter by Hugh Walters

Review #7 looking back at the old and largely forgotten science-fiction series Chris Godfrey of UNEXA.
With Mars now conquered Chris by-passes the asteroid belt and heads off to the nearest gas giant in Journey to Jupiter (pub 1965). Actually while writing this I discovered that after the Martian adventure there was a spin-off book I'd never heard of before involving Tony Hale having fun with his ham radio set. I'm glad I missed that.

With Jupiter being a long way away plucky Brit scientists have come up with a cunning plan to get there involving an ion drive that can go very fast indeed. Chris and his three chums arrive safely at Jupiter, but then danger arrives in what was frankly the silliest and most contrived plot development in the whole series.

The British scientists who are brilliant enough to build a rocket that can reach Jupiter have pressed some wrong buttons on their slide-rules and have miscalculated Jupiter's gravitational pull. It's stronger than they thought and there's no escape for the ship. I mean, is it really conceivable that space scientists would make basic mistakes such as getting inches and centimetres mixed up and ruin a multi-billion dollar space mission?

Anyhow, luckily the moon Io gets in the way of the falling ship and after landing there, having a spot of tea and a quick game of cricket, the Brits return home in triumph, again, ready for more adventure.

Next week Chris encounters his most terrifying danger yet: those oddly-shaped blokes called girls.

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