Reviewed by Simon Fonov
Starship Titanic: A Thorough Review
Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic is written by Terry Jones and was published by Ballantine Books on October 27, 1998. The book is a science-fiction filled with humor and comedy. Set in a story-line similar to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, the story takes place in the far future on the Starship Titanic which has undergone a major catastrophe. The story is about three earthlings who board the Starship when it lands on Earth and proceed to its home-planet, Blerontin, with different story arcs (an AI bomb, romances, drama, and an insurance scheme.)
The most likeable character in the story would have to be Leoventus. He is a thoughtful yet slightly arrogant architect who designed the Starship Titanic. Leoventus is a witty and tragically misunderstood character who is persecuted by the media and the paparazzi. His awful romances also make him pitiable and easy to connect with.
The central conflict in the story would be the catastrophe that befalls the Starship Titanic. Leoventus creates his greatest masterpiece, the Starship Titanic. But the construction of the ship becomes sloppy and crude once he begins accepting Blerontian workers. The ship is then attacked by space-dictator Antar Brobostigan to try to financially destroy planet Yassacca. The moment it sets sail, the ship undergoes existential failure. The starship teleports to Earth and 3 Earthlings board the ship. The story’s climax occurs when one of the humans must diffuse the AI bomb so the ship doesn’t explode. The conflict is resolved when the ship ends up returning to Blerontin.
The central theme in the story is prejudice. And, to be more specific, racial and social prejudice between the Yassaccans and the supposedly lower-class, Blerontian race. Two Earthlings, Dan and Lucy Gibson, find themselves stuck between a race war of the working-class Blerontians and the high-class Yassaccans. "Many men of course became extremely rich, but this was perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of because no one was really poor, at least no one worth speaking of." (Terry Jones pg 60) This quote is a great example of the social injustice existing in the book and in the real world. The prejudice is that the poor aren't worth speaking of.
I would rate give the book Starship Titanic 4 stars. While the story is comical and bears a lot of slapstick humor, the plot is still difficult to follow. Even still, this book was largely entertaining and I enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to any sci-fi or comedy lover, Starship Titanic fits both those descriptions. If you enjoyed this book, you should also check out the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy by Douglas Adams. These stories also carry Douglas Adams's wit and humor, and are maybe even a little better than Starship Titanic. I appreciate you taking the time to read this review and hope that it has helped you with your choice.