A few months ago Sprinkles heard about a Kickstarter project initiated by Jake Parker for a book about spaceships. Knowing how much Caramel loves spaceships (see, for example, his review of Star Trek: Ships of the Line by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda), Sprinkles decided that they would back the project. Just last week, the book finally arrived in the mail, and Caramel was delighted. Below, he shares his thoughts about Kepler’s Intergalactic Guide to Spaceships. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, after months of waiting, you finally have Kepler’s Intergalactic Guide to Spaceships under your paws! How does it feel?
S: So tell me about the book. What is in it?
C: Spaceships, spaceships, spaceships! (I’m trying to sound like the spaceship guy in The Lego Movie.)
S: I see. And I of course know the book has spaceships in it, because I know its title, but I wanted to know what kinds of spaceships.
C: All kinds.
S: Real spaceships?
C: No. Fake ones, obviously.
S: So they are all inventions of the creator, Jake Parker, right?
C: Yes. And they are all very cool. My favorite one is Zahhak; I think it looks the best.
S: Tell me more.
C: The Zahhak is an attack fighter. The full model is called XAF-9 Zahhak. It’s 13 meters long and has a crew of two pilots. It can have a variety of weapons, and it is powered by two Thrasos Engines. And it was created by the Xovax system.
S: Wait! All of those are made up, right? I mean, there is no real thing called a Thrasos Engine, or a star or planet system named Xovax, right?
C: True, but that is also why this is an awesome book! There are so many spaceships Jake Parker thought up and drew, and they are all so cool!
S: So let me see if I get it right: there are many many fictional ships the author / illustrator created, and it is kind of a guide book of these.
C: Yes. But I think some of the guide is incomplete. The ship Alastor is supposed to be a heavy weapons fighter, but the entry for its armament is empty. Which can’t be, because it is a fighter, and is supposed to have weapons of some sort.
S: Hmm, maybe the guide is created by this Kepler guy and he does not have full information.
C: Yes, Kepler does seem to have full information on all the enemy ships, even though he has not seen all of them. But maybe he does not know the Alastor very well.
S: Okay. So tell me a bit more about Kepler. What or who is he?
C: He is a ship repair person, working in Spartha’s North Quadrant, probably a made-up place, but sounds cool. And he knows a lot about ships.
S: He is named after a famous scientist; did you know about Johannes Kepler?
S: Well, Kepler is one of the fathers of modern astronomy. He lived around the same time as Galileo and developed the laws of planetary motion. He also did some work in optics, and that was useful for telescopes. And his work led to Isaac Newton‘s development of the laws of gravitation and all that good stuff.
C: That’s cool! But I don’t think the Kepler in the book is a human, or even a bunny. He looks more like an alien.
S: I thought he also looked a bit like some of the characters in the Beast Academy books.
C: Yes, kind of. The book is very colorful, also like those books. But those books have a definite disadvantage against this one. They have no spaceships!
S: Totally agreed, Caramel. Though I do like the Beast Academy books, they are mainly for math learning fun. They are not for learning about amazing spaceships like this one.
S: Before looking over this book, I really did not know much about Jake Parker. But I think you would actually enjoy some of his other work too. He wrote a really sweet book about a little robot who makes friends with a sparrow.
C: Yes, we found a librarian reading it on YouTube; it is a neat book. Maybe we can put a link to it here?
S: Sure. Here it is:
C: I really like this story. You know I like robots, too, maybe as much as I like spaceships.
S: Do you like robots or spaceships more?
C: Hmm, I can’t choose. I love them both.
S: I know. It is a hard choice. And this little robot is very cute. Jake Parker says he was influenced in his art a lot by Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, and you can see it a bit in the pages of the book, right?
C: Yes, not at all in the Spaceships book, but I can definitely see some of it in Little Bot and Sparrow. And maybe after this review I can go and reread some Calvin and Hobbes.
S: Yes, of course. Marshmallow has already reviewed our copy of The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury. And you can definitely read it again.
C: I might. But then again, maybe I will continue to look over the spaceships in this book.
S: I know, right? I think you won’t get tired of this book for a while.
C: True. One can never get tired of spaceships, and one can never have too many spaceships. So no, I won’t get tired of this book at all.
S: That’s great Caramel. So let us wrap up this review. Can you describe the book in three words before we do that?
C: Colorful spaceship fun.
S: I like that description! Okay, what do you want to tell our readers then?
C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!