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FARSCAPE: House of Cards

Keith R. A. DeCandido, Author, Rockne S. O'Bannon, Created by
Keith R. A. DeCandido, Author, Rockne S. O'Bannon, Created by . Tor $6.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8125-6162-3
Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
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With its slip of a plot and screwball ensemble, this slim spinoff of the hit Sci-Fi Channel series of the same name reads like a high-energy episode. The Moya, a sentient Leviathan starship, is home to a crew of good-natured outlaws, renegades and misfits led by Comdr. John Crichton. Relaxing for a spell in the Uncharted Territories, Crichton and his cronies are duped into visiting Liantac, a casino planet, where Rygel, their irresponsible insectoid sidekick, promptly loses the Moya in a card game rigged by Netoros, a woman with considerable power and ambitions for her planet. Paying off Rygel's debt requires Crichton and his crew to perform a series of services for Netoros that seem benign on the surface, but are really part of a ploy between Netoros and the interstellar authorities to boost Liantac's free-falling economy. DeCandido (Star Trek: The Next Generation: Diplomatic Implausibility) orchestrates events so that complications can be resolved as easily as they are in an episode's one-hour time frame, but he keeps the action brisk and the ongoing arguments between the characters sparkling with humor. No adjectives can faithfully re-create the show's trademark costume and make-up effects, but Farscape fans will find this frothy flight a tide-me-over to fill the between-season downtime. (May)

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