H2LiftShips: Beyond Luna
by Bob Freeman
Indies United Publishing House

"Tang thought to himself, They never should have given dogs the ability to talk."

In the first chapter, readers are asked to "Imagine a world, exactly like ours, but different." This is exactly what one experiences in this sci-fi adventure which explores the concept of space travel and the interplanetary world of commerce. Tang, an orange orangutan, and his canine work buddy, Jack, find adventure in their travels on the H2LiftShip, a cargo ship. Their work as deckhands allows them time to explore each stop's entertainment offerings, which for Tang means a trip to the nearest casino or illegal poker game. Both animals have acquired the ability to talk, and they interact with all manner of creatures both while on the ship and when reaching its destination. Just as promised in the first chapter, the two will encounter problems experienced in today's world as they travel between planets, the moon, and other locations in a galaxy that can be somewhat like the Wild West.

This page-turner is an inventive imagining of what life might be like in a future still ruled by the desire for wealth and power and in which space travel has allowed for the colonization of the moon, planets, and asteroids. With its gambling-addicted orangutan and his canine sidekick, the plot delivers plenty of humorous moments. Jack is somewhat innocent and lovable and is the perfect foil for the more worldly Tang. They are an unlikely pair, and their antics offer plenty of humorous moments. There are explanations of the nuts and bolts of space travel included, which some may find a little too technical, but the heart of the book centers on Tang and Jack. This fun read will certainly appeal to anyone who enjoys reading about what future space travel might be like.

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