Space Orville Review & Mayapolcalypse Giveaway

Sher A Hart here with my next to last post if the Mayan calendar doesn’t restart when the clock ticks over from 12/21 to 12/22. I was wrong when I said I’d probably be reading or writing if the world does end. Instead I might be in Harry Potter World–unless the world ends at midnight. In that case, I’ll be asleep. Before then, I want to post my review of Space Orville by Jeff Whelan to give my readers more incentive to buy it if you don’t win. You’ll smile all the way to the Mayapolcalypse.

I’d like to thank Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer  and  My Life With Books for hosting this hop. Check out the button below, followed by a paraphrase of what Kathy says on her website:

The Mayan Calendar Ends on 12/21/12!
Does it mean the end of the World?
Probably not but just in case…
Which books would you save?

I pretty much knew I’d like to save Space Orville because I love SF, humor and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. So Jeff Whelan agreed to give away 3 ebook copies which I know you’ll love–unless you hate to smile. SPACE ORVILLE will take you out of this world to Whelan’s Reality-Free Zone.

Here’s the blurb:

Space Orville, a young Earthman of 16, is relishing his new life as an independent “grown-up”. He has just been accepted as an apprentice with Morphean Gaming Systems and has moved into an Earth-orbiting apartment with his companion, NeutroFuzz, to test holographic video games. As a result of a questionnaire he answered in the back of a magazine, Space Orville finds himself recruited by the Universal Protection Service to rescue a brilliant inventor who has been kidnapped by a group of diseased refugees seeking a cure for their malady. But these exiled aliens may have more nefarious plans for this inventor’s device. Initially perplexed, Space Orville becomes thrilled at being recruited for this dangerous mission. He is therefore bummed to find his autonomy stifled when he is partnered with a warrior dwarf to fulfill his assignment.

Meanwhile, two agents from the OmniCosmic Alliance are in pursuit of a dangerously powerful and deranged scientist, Bizmo the Inconceivable, who has escaped from prison with a device that can alter reality and enslave every living mind. When these two missions collide, Space Orville must find a way to work with this new team of real “grown-ups” while maintaining a hold on his newfound independence.

SPACE ORVILLE is not only a rollicking, interstellar adventure loaded with a host of unusual creatures, fascinating alien landscapes, mind-altering concepts and wordplay, but an exploration of how learning to work with others is a large part of learning to be one’s self.


Now for my book review!

Space Orville - Kindle EditionSpace Orville – Kindle Edition by Jeff Whelan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Space Orville is a rocketing good time, right up my space-alley. Let’s agree now that my review won’t be as funny as the book, so go buy Space Orville and read for yourself. Here’s a sample of what you’ll experience. Space Orville starts out living on his own at 16 to design games on a spacey space station but ends up on a mission to make the universe (all twelve layers) safe. Kind of a 12 layer space-cake adventure.

My favorite character is Neutrofuzz who does so many things I never heard of before that it takes neologism to describe them. Yeah, made up words. I can’t remember a single one, but I loved Whelan’s humorongous (humongous/humorous) SF adventure.

Space Orville ends up in kahoots with all sorts of strange characters. Strange inventions also end up in Kahoots, I guess with each other. I think Jeff Whelan is in kahoots with Terry Pratchett to find new ways to play with words. I’ll eat my irreplaceable fog napkin if Whelan isn’t paying homage to Discworld’s Great Atuin on a grand and more luminous scale. Okay, I won’t eat my fog napkin because it’s irreplaceable. Book joke.

Along the way to saving pretty much everything, Space Orville meets characters with names like Miles O’Teeth, General DeKay, and bad guys like the Candy Apple Weezlebums (you know, the gooey ones that stick in your teeth). What a mouthful. Then add Bizmo the Inconceivable and try to swallow. Face it, Bizmo sounds like that chalky pink medicine—except he causes indigestion for everyone.

The bad guys make it hard for Space Orville, Neutrofuzz, the Spoonies (who are, obviously, spoon shaped), a very large banana, and other inventive characters to catch them. It takes a beautiful and smart female to calm the male beasts, and not just her Spoonies, along the way. Then there’s either a descendant of Bozo the clown or some Bazooka bubblegum character involved, maybe a cross. The imagination that went into the creation of the scenery and characters is more inconceivable than Bizmo.

I did find some minor errors and point of view jumps. Also, everyone except Space Orville had a first name or a single name, so reading his whole name each time felt awkward. Compared to Whelan’s outstanding creativity and humor, the problems were insignificant—like gnats on Miles O’Teeth. Midpoint, the missions switched into high gear so the middle didn’t sag. I had a smile on my face for most of the ride. The end included a growing up moment that made me very happy as a parent. Whelan also wrote a real resolution that reminded me why I prefer standalone books. Having said that, I hope he writes more Space Orville books because I’ll be in line to read them.

Never mind stars. I give five Luminous Numinas to Space Orville.

View all my reviews

About the author:  From an idea born in 1982, Jeff’s first full-length novel was finally completed in 2001. Ten years later, he discovered the wonders of e-book self-publishing and is delighted to have a way to share his story with readers hungry for a departure from adolescent wizards and teenage vampires. Matters of life and death, it turns out, don’t have to be so serious all the time.

I actually emailed Jeff about some of the name origins  and he shared this answer and picture concerning Zabooka:

As for the name “Zabooka” – that one I just pulled out of thin air some years before I used it in Space Orville. It was originally the name I gave to one of our old cats and, crazy little feline that he was, it suited him. I think I was thinking of a bazooka that didn’t quite fire correctly ‘cos that cat had energy to spare and rarely had a handle on it. That doesn’t quite describe the Grand Visionary of Narvosis very well, but I still liked the name for him.

And as for Zabooka’s appearance, that is a description of the last real Halloween costume I ever devised for myself some 25 years ago. When dressed in such fashion and inevitably asked what I was supposed to be, I always replied, “I’m a Miracle”. I wore that costume annually for years after that. Wanna peek? I got my wife to dress in a similar fashion with me once upon a time and what I’ve attached is one of the only existing photos of what I believe Zabooka looks like.”

Pretty cool, huh? Please check out Joey Pinkney’s YouTube Interview with Jeff Whelan here, along with his full author bio and links to reviews, interviews, and guest posts. His guest post with Lia London about the use of imaginary words in “Nonce Sense” was my favorite. Here’s what Jeff looks like when not in costume and missing his funny glasses (check his twitter picture for those).

You can check out Jeff’s poetry and short fiction at his blog, and learn more about him at his author page at The Independent Author Network or Space Orville’s Facebook page. Jeff also has a very active Twitter account as @SpaceOrville. Followers welcome!

SPACE ORVILLE is available for the Kindle at Amazon, for the Nook at Barnes and Noble and in other e-reader formats at Smashwords.

Now it’s time to enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re finished, please check out the cover reveal and 5 eBook giveaway of Free Souls, Susan Kaye Quinn’s final book in the awesome Mindjacker trilogy. I would also want to save her series if the world really did come to an end.

Before you go blog hopping to all the other family friendly giveaways in the linky below, don’t forget to comment. Thanks for visiting and see you soon!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Sounds like a way fun science fiction book. I need a beak from serious drama and this sounds perfect for that.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment. As a reader, I, too, like breaks from all the serious drama and dystopian sci-fi that’s so popular these days. Space Orville is there to put a refreshing smile on reader’s faces. Thanks again!

  3. I haven’t read a SF book in a while- but this sounds so good. I enjoy the genre and think this is one I will like! Thanks!

  4. I certainly hope so, Jess. Would love to hear your response! Thanks so much for checking us out! Cheers!

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