Few Are Chosen
Few are Chosen, by MT McGuire
I found it curious that this book should be classified as fantasy, because really it’s not. There’s no magic for one thing, despite the blurb (everything is explained scientifically as ‘quantum’). Sure it’s got “creatures of colour” to be politically correct, with wiggly antennae, but so what? It’s sci-fi straight down the middle. Well, comic sci-fi really, much like The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but with a plot.
The Pan of Hamgee is a coward, and very good at it. He’s been on the run from Lord Vernon for 5 years, longer than anyone else, ever, and is still alive (staying alive is not something that Lord Vernon likes to encourage in fugitives). This strange longevity brings him to the attention of Big Merv, a gangster. Big Merv is looking for a getaway driver for a string of bank robberies that he “isn’t” going to commit, and figures that someone who has evaded Lord Vernon for so long is just the ticket.
When Big Merv’s bank heists start accruing some strange objects, the Pan find it even harder to stay hidden. Not only are Lord Vernon’s dogs hot on his heels, but the Resistance too, and who is that strange old man that seems to know so much about him?
The book seemed a little slow to get going, but after a while it settled down to a good fast pace. The characters on the whole are well written, although I found Big Merv to be the least convincing – for a gangland boss he seemed far too chummy.
But really got me excited were the snurds. A snurd is a kind of car. But it’s not just any old car, it’s every James Bond car there has ever been rolled into one. Including the flying car. And the submarine car. And the car with the machine gun headlights, and armour, and chaff launchers, and… I want one!