Review of 'Launch Something!'

Launch Something! by Myung-hoon Bae

launch_something.jpg From Amazon: Earth is experiencing a sweltering heatwave caused by a second “sun” a shining object in the sky that either looks like Pac-Man or a pizza missing a slice, depending on who you ask. As this object increases in size and risks making Earth uninhabitable, the Korean government decides it has to do its part and help the US-led Allied Space Force. Launch Something! is a sci-fi novel about a Korean Space Force that contains his quirky brand of political satire.

Sounds great doesn't it? Yeah, I had problems reading this or even following what was going on. I am not sure whether it was the long confusing Korean names or what it was. There is a helpful list of characters at the front of the novel which I found myself continually turning to but even so…The novel was relatively easy to read but I just couldn't follow or really get into it. At the heart of the story is how the Republic of Korea (ROK) Space Force deal with the unexpected appearance of a “pac-man” shaped object near the moon. With only a single pilot, Master Sergeant Han Summin, and hampered by any sort of reasonable budget they resort at the beginning of the novel to, perhaps somewhat expectantly, shouting “Launch Something!” when the object appears. The complications of the political fall-out then are manifest as Major General Lee Jongro, Vice Minister of Mars unexpectedly arrives on earth and wades into the confusion.

Sure, it might be political satire but it is of a kind that is tedious and difficult to follow. I would dearly love to say that I enjoyed “Launch Something!” particularly from the promising description and fun cover but, sadly, I cannot. I found this tedious and unrewarding with very few of the promised laughs in evidence. Perhaps it needs someone to pay far more attention than I was willing to give so I acknowledge that this could just be my experience.

Rating: “A slight glimmer of hope, but mostly awful”

Review Date: 2023-04-07

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Hanford Star

Publication Date: 2022

ISBN: 9781739822545