Angry Young Spaceman

Angry Young Spaceman

by Jim Munroe

No Media Kings/Four Walls Eight Windows

Sam Breen, our hero, has decided to give up an easy life of wealth and fighting-for-the-fun-of-it in order to become an English teacher at some random galactic backwater. As he trains for his stint, we meets some fellow teachers assigned to his particular quadrant — people like Hugh, the romantic Lunarian, and 9/3-0001, a roboman suspected of being, well, “defective.” Assigned to Octavia, a planet with a liquid (but breathable) atmosphere and a population that’s almost human (if you can count having eight tentacles as being almost human), Sam quickly comes to realize his role as a pawn in the unnatural expansion of Earth’s culture, a disturbing parallel to ecological disasters that have already stripped the planet of its seas and forests and all animal species other than humans.

Sam’s dealings with his Octavian students and peers are quite humane, though, and despite his violent past, he manages to earn the respect of his students and Jinya, a silver-eyed native for whom Sam falls, hard. Soon, Sam finds himself despising Earth’s domination of Galactic culture, squashing the traditions and values of entire civilizations in a single generation. Of course, said civilizations are more than willing to undergo this transformation, as Engilsh is the language of business in this here universe, and nobody wants to be an economic backwater.

Despite the heavy implications of all this, Angry Young Spaceman is a very enjoyable read, and I get the feeling that Munroe spent a year or two as an Japanese exchange teacher, trying to make giggly youngsters understand the meaning behind the words they so proudly wear on their clothing. The book’s narrative tone is nothing but fun and for all its deep cultural implications (Munroe had a stint as an editor at Adbusters, which may clue you in), it doesn’t detract from its fast pace and humorous tone. Well worth reading.

Four Walls Eight Windows:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

From the Archives