A Company of Stars

Christopher Stasheff, Author Del Rey Books $19 (309p) ISBN 978-0-345-36888-1
In this venture into science fiction, Stasheff mines the same comedic vein that marks his light fantasy Warlock series ( Warlock Rock ). Fleeing the threat of forced matrimony, Ramou Lazarian skips college and heads for New York. His worsening fortunes turn when he rescues Horace Burbage from a gang of street toughs. Horace, an aging actor whose prospects are dwindling, offers Ramou a place in the newly formed Star Company, founded to carry the timeless pleasures of live theater to the outer colonies. But the prudish Elector Rudders, leader of the LORDS party, is campaigning to censor or eradicate live perfomrances, and focuses specifically on the Star Company and its plan to bring the vice to other worlds. The race is on: Can the company assemble, gather supplies, find a ship and a captain, and lift off before Rudders grounds them permanently? Stasheff's arch, sardonic tone is amusing but sometimes suffocating, and his story, despite the occasional appearance of a robot-driven cab or automated cafe, could just as well be set in the 1950s, with the Company planning to tour the Midwest. Future volumes of this Starship Troupers series may feature alien worlds and space adventures, but this first installment is minimally promising. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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