Attention! Isambard Smith and his loyal and noble friend, the psychopathic alien headhunter Suruk, are back in a fourth laugh-out-loud installment. In the 25th Century the future of the galaxy rests on a knife-edge. The actions of one man could save the British Space Empire, or leave Earth at the mercy of deadly legions of ant-people. That one man is Captain Isambard Smith, and Earth is in a lot of trouble. After blowing up a top-secret enemy base, Space Captain Smith and his crew deserve a rest. But their holiday ends when forces unknown destroy the robot convoy they were meant to be guarding. Smith finds himself in hot pursuit of a mysterious vessel that can pass through dimensions, incurring the wrath of the dreaded Grand Witchfinder of New Eden--which would be much easier to deal with if his pilot wasn't cowering under the dashboard and his spaceship wasn't infested with man-eating toads. Meanwhile, the Empire is gathering its allies to form a united front against alien tyranny. Unfortunately, the delicate negotiations have been entrusted to Major Wainscott, a man who knows no fear and very little about diplomacy or trousers. Once again, Captain Smith must summon all his courage to unite humanity behind the Empire. His quest will take him on a journey to face his greatest fears: from the depths of space, through Hell itself--and even to France.
Rhianna Mitchell came to the attention of the Space Empire when she exhibited apparent psychic abilities. She first came to the attention of Space Captain Isambard Smith when she leaned forward whilst demonstrating kelp body oil in an extremely loose kaftan. He was so smitten and eager to woo her that he managed to disregard the fact that she had bizarre powers, was permanently under the influence of Martian Red Weed and was not even from the Home Counties.
Born somewhere on the galactic trail, possibly on New Marrakesh, Rhianna had a confused upbringing with her artistic mother. A potted history of her earlier life - emphasis on the pot - reveals periods spent in Woodstock, Tangiers, Morocco and finally Skegness, after her mother decided that maps were a tool of the System. Rhianna believes that life is measured in enlightenment, not years, but is fairly sure that she's 35. Somehow, she ended up on the New Francisco space station, where she worked in a health food shop and tried to remember where she had left her sandals.
Whilst being transported across the galaxy by Captain Smith, Rhianna began to demonstrate unusual powers, including a seeming immunity to gunfire. Alien warlord Suruk the Slayer demonstrated Rhianna's ability to deflect thrown cutlery, to the great surprise of everyone concerned. During the invasion of Urn, she was able to psychically commune with the mysterious sun dragons and even managed to get Captain Smith to talk about emotions, to the extent that he took his trousers off.
When not wearing a glorified collander on her head on behalf of the Space Empire's psychic research department, Rhianna acts as the self-appointed holistic wellbeing expert on board HMS John Pym. As such, she tries to encourage the others to express themselves in ways that don't involve killing things. She disapproves of the Space Empire's need to constantly claim new territory, but has just about figured out that genocidal space ants really don't want to be friends with anyone. Rhianna is now a valued member of the crew: even Smith's pilot, Polly Carveth, affords her a grudging respect for her gentle wisdom and never-ending supply of questionable cake.
By day a mild-mannered representative of the UK legal system, by night a hard living, hard drinkin', whoring and gambling stereotype of a driven artist, Toby Frost is everything a writer should be: thoughtful, articulate and incapable of retaining technical information for more than 5 seconds.
What's more he is that rare thing, a writer who actually got round to writing something. Sadly, nobody wanted to publish it, so he wrote something else.
The "something else" then sat in a kitchen cupboard in Newcastle upon Tyne for three months before being plucked from obscurity by Myrmidon Books, a fine and upstanding publisher if ever there was one. Thus was Space Captain Smith born.
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