The Intergalactic Cup By Simon Gill

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On Paniathon, the National Boffball Council is looking to bolster the national squad and raise interest in the forthcoming Intergalactic Cup it is hosting. The Council members’ attention turns to Earth. As other galaxies fill their teams with the meanest, most devious and violent inhabitants, a human boy’s grossly mistaken teleportation is observed by scornful, but amused antennae. Reviews: “I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. The storyline is both complex and well developed. The author did a fine job of bringing the galaxy and all of its characters to life. While fictitious and fantastical, even the aliens had characteristics and emotions with which I could relate. The lighthearted humour sprinked throughout made for an exceptionally pleasant read. I would enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone looking for an action-packed, sci-fi or sports-related tale. It kept me guessing with plenty of twists and turns right up until the very end.”

“This book was a blast to read! No hardcore science fiction, but very imaginative. I read three or four books a week, mostly science fiction, and this book was a very nice change of pace. The author did an outstanding job with the development of the main character. This book is a safe read for Jr High and up.”

Extract: “Bright rays of purple light slowly extended towards him as the cycle picked up speed. He backed himself against the wall but with nowhere left to go the first purple rays fell upon him. There was no pain, just the opposite. It felt like a thousand feathers were being run along his skin from head to foot. But this didn’t stop him screaming as he saw out of the corner of his eye the right side of his face stretching out towards the Ultrabox before disappearing into a rainbow of individual colours. As the hammering noise from his Ultrabox reached fever pitch there was a sudden swoosh as he felt his whole body sucked into the machine like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dust.”

BILLY is like any other fourteen year-old boy, with a few exceptions — he’s isolated on an alien planet inhabited by two metre tall, green bugs and being used as a marketing gimmick to boost ticket sales for the most spectacular sporting showcase in the galaxy. Then there are the gruelling training sessions against the training bots and boffball cannons. That’s before he even steps into the tank.

During the tournament, Billy and the team mates must overcome a variety of outlandish, alien teams – horned, clawed and winged, trying to roll, burrow, splurge, morph, regurgitate and bludgeon their way to victory.

“The tentacle launched the ball towards another pile close to Billy. The ball landed slap in the middle of the brown Plopper gunk. As Billy ran to close it down it immediately shifted into a new form.

The crowd reared back in disgust as a giant, evil-looking skull materialized. One of the empty eye sockets housed the ball, whilst the mouth, full of sharpened teeth, snapped open and shut like a set of those wind up teeth that chatter across the table.

The jaw looked capable of biting his arms clean off. He tried to clear this thought from his mind and remind himself that by and large he was merely dealing with a pile of goo, albeit shaped into a hideous, bodiless, flesh-eating monster.”

For Billy and the Paniathons, hard work isn’t enough – tactical changes, sacrifice, a revival of ancient, lost abilities and some human qualities are all used as the tournament progresses. This doesn’t go unnoticed by Korak and the Drakarts, who view Paniathon and more specifically, Billy, as an increasing threat to their own plans to win the trophy.

In the tank Billy has to face fierce alien boffball teams, whilst out of it, he and his team mates have to deal with sabotage, assassination attempts and betrayal as they strive to become champions of THE INTERGALACTIC CUP.

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About Don Sloan

I am a former journalist with a major daily newspaper and now am a full-time Indie book reviewer. I love to write, read, drink good wine, and take short naps in front of my fireplace here in the North Carolina mountains.
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