Cloneworld, by Andy Remic, Solaris, RRP£7.99, 608 pages
If you’re looking for something that mixes the sensibilities of Blackadder and an Iron Maiden album cover, with a pinch of vintage 2000AD thrown in, then look no further.
Cloneworld is the fourth of Remic’s novels to feature Combat K, an interstellar black ops unit fighting for the Quad Galaxies (humans) against the Junks (aliens). Two survivors remain from previous instalments, Franco Haggis and his commanding officer Pippa. The former is sent to a war-torn planet divided between clones and cyborgs. His mission: to retrieve a vital artefact called the Junkala Soul.
Franco, however, is not the most focused of warriors. Within short order he’s managed to behead a popular TV hostess and been thrown in jail. He then goes on the run with an insane, mutating female cyborg, and events spiral out of control.
Penetrating insights into the human condition? Not really. Characters pondering their destinies? Hardly. Ballsy, hilariously over-the-top SF entertainment? Absolutely.