The Isambard Chronicles, by Toby Frost


Well-Known Member
May 24, 2008
Space Captain Smith
God Emperor of Didecot
Wrath of the Lemming Men

I'm going to post these three together. They stand alone but I really think you'll want to read all three once you read one. (There is another, see his Bibliography under his name)

Captain Isambard Smith might be seen as a futuristic version of Horatio Hornblower, if Hornblower were a good deal less intelligent and sure of himself and had three companions; Polly, his pilot, who is actually an intelligent sex toy, Suruk the Slayer, a savage alien who collects his enemy's heads along with old Shostakovitch recordings, and Rhianna, his hippie lover and representative of the Universe's higher powers. (in more ways than one)

These four have a series of adventures fighting foes of the British Space Empire. The horrifying Ghast, who drink a refreshing punch made of pulped minion and the terrible lemming men, doughty foes if they're not close to a cliff which they then throw themselves off. The Empire has colonies like Didcot, also called Urn, from which the tea must flow and Wakazashi, a strange theme park filled with all-powerful (and rather snobbish) aliens.

Frost definitely has the gift of being able to write comedy. He seldom tries to be funny but simply adopts a ridiculous premise and then plays it straight. The result never fails to be hilarious. At the same time his characters are not only real but likable and our disbelief in the British Space Empire is easily suspended. In my opinion these books compare favorably with Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat stories and Isambard Smith may one day take his place alongside Slippery Jim DeGriz, (though he would NEVER be seen with such a mountebank)
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Nov 6, 2008
I have A Game of Battleships on my too read pile. End of Empires i still need to get.