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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More tea vicar?
A jolly good read, don't you know. If Lady Chatterly's Lover can be summed up as a useful book about gamekeeping, then the God Emperor of Didcot is an absolutely essential read for any budding religious despot who wants to control the world's tea supplies. To those of that mind I wholeheartedly recommend this book, because it will show you rotters that so long as tea...
Published on 18 Sep 2008 by Rawdon Cavalier

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More space fun
More stiff upper lip adventures as Isambard Smith and his demented crew protect and serve the British Space Empire. As everyone knows, the British exist on the moral fibre provided by tea, so when the tea producing planet of Urn in the Didcot system is over-run, then the whole Empire is at risk!

Can Smith, his crew and assorted friends take the planet back...
Published on 14 Aug 2012 by Nick Brett


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More tea vicar?, 18 Sep 2008
This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
A jolly good read, don't you know. If Lady Chatterly's Lover can be summed up as a useful book about gamekeeping, then the God Emperor of Didcot is an absolutely essential read for any budding religious despot who wants to control the world's tea supplies. To those of that mind I wholeheartedly recommend this book, because it will show you rotters that so long as tea drinking British people live and breathe, then you jolly well will not succeed in your evil despicable plans for world domination. Mocks the British. Mocks religious nutters. Mocks Prog Rock. Extols the virtues of the plucky underdog, so long as they drink tea. The Verulam Writer's Circle must be jolly proud of Toby and if they really have helped Toby fufill his destiny, then it a big hurrah to them. HURRAH! An absolutely splendid effort. It is too long a wait till the next book and I bet it's a hardback next time as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Ripping Yarns in the British Space Empire, 22 July 2009
This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
You might call Isambard Smith the Anti-Flashman, though the covers at first seem similar. But look closely at that cover. Does Smith have a scantly clad woman draped around his leg? No, he's got a dead body at his feet and holding a cup of hot tea. Proper.

Smith is about as different to Flashman as you can get. He's not a womanizer, a coward, or a bully for one (well, three) thing(s). About the only thing they have in common is a decent mustache. But Smith isn't a larger than life hero without flaws. Outside of a good fight he's downright awkward, especially around members of the opposite sex. But he also embodies everything we're meant to see in the British Space Empire - noble and refined, with its citizens carrying a stiff upper lip and not dealing with things like "feelings" in public. Dreadnought Diplomacy is alive and well. When one speaks of "civilizing" an alien culture, it refers to how the iron fist is used if talking sensibly to the silly buggers didn't work.

Smith's long time friend is a Morlock (or M'Lak) called Suruk the Slayer (Doom Purveyor, Son of Agshad Nine-Swords, Grandson of Urgar the Miffed). The M'Lak look vaguely like a thin version of the Predator but their personality better fits the "noble savage" archetype from classic adventure literature like King Solomon's Mines

To act as a foil to Smith and Suruk are two women: Pollyanna Carveth, a fugitive sex toy masquerading as the ship's pilot, and Rhianna Mitchell, a New-New Age hippie herbalist from the American Free States (think California). Despite the fact she is so unlike Smith - or perhaps because of it - he can't help but fall head over heals for her, nor can he help but blow almost every opportunity he has to score with her.

Like Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, parody and satire infuses much of the novels. Frost pokes fun at the Martians from H.G. Wells, the trenchcoats and sunglasses in The Matrix, and everything in between. While these parodies sometimes stick out as a little obvious in the first novel, by the second Frost has found his rhythm and the references are more seamlessly interwoven with the narrative.

The series is set in a future where the British Empire has risen once more, and with it an aesthetic throwback to late colonial England. The architecture is New Gothic, ships are designed with brasswork cogs and levers, and while the computers have normal displays, numbers are often displayed with rotating dials and a handy ticker-tape that prints out relevant information.

God Emperor of Didcot has Smith and his crew try to recapture Urn, principal planet of the Didcot System and supplier of sixty percent of the Empire's tea. This may not seem like such a big deal at first, but science has shown that tea with milk produces more Moral Fiber in humans than any other drink, and that this was the key to the first British Empire's success. If mankind is to survive the Ghast invasion, the tea must flow. To succeed they'll need the help of a commando unit so elite there are only five members, and Smith will have to visit Suruk's clan, who have recently gone under some rather dramatic cultural changes.

In both novels you can be assured of lots of laughs, tons of movie and book references, awkward romance, and a jolly good kick up old Gertie's backside. I'm particularly impressed how Frost has avoided the temptation of making the battles like an episode of G.I. Joe (where lots of shots are fired yet nobody gets hurt) just because it's a comedy.

(I also reviewed the first in this series, Space Captain Smith, so there is some overlap here)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adapt this for TV...NOW!!!, 24 Sep 2008
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
'God Emperor of Didcot', Toby Frost's second novel following the adventures of Captain Smith of the British Galactic Empire and his crew comprising a sex-toy android turned pilot, an incredibly violent alien, a hamster called Gerald and on occasion a half new age hippy woman/ half-ethereal alien, is a joy from start to finish.

Gently sending up sci-fi classics such as Dune (replace 'spice'of Frank Herbert's epic with 'tea' and you'll get the idea) whilst simultaneously parodying elements of our own world (nouveau arrivistes, new-agers and religious fanatics all receive a gentle or not-so gentle ribbing), it is full of truly laugh out loud moments. You don't even need to be a sci-fi fan to get much of the humour. Being British would probably help, since many of the targets are particular to this country, but even that isn't vital.

There is also decent plot & characters to go along with all the jokes. The adventures of Space Captain Smith are not simple spoofs, even if they do mock or lampoon other fictional genres along the way. The story here, a mix of Dune, War of the Worlds and Casablanca if that is possible, is properly constructed and you actually care what happens. Equally you care about Smith and his companions. Yes, they can be utter idiots and are drawn in broad strokes, but they are also recognisably human (even the aliens). If God Emperor of Didcot was simply a series of skits hung on a waifer thin plot it would probably still be funny but not as half as satisfying as it actually is.

I really cannot recommend this book, or its prequel, highly enough. I suspect that it will not be long before some bright TV producer picks up a copy and spots the potential for a TV adaptation. Reading both books I could not help but feel that this would be perfect for either (British) TV or Radio. Try it and see if you agree...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes One Proud To Be British, 9 Nov 2008
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This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
This second outing (no, not like that) for Captain Smith & his intrepid Crew is well worth investing your pennies in. Thwarting the dastardly Ghasts & awful Edenites as they try to undermine the Empire by stealing our Tea

Roll on book 3
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just another "Bored of the Rings", 18 Oct 2010
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
Fresh from a full-on assault on the entire sci-fi genre with Space Captain Smith, Toby Frost has this time around focused more narrowly on a particular target: Dune. But this is not simply a rehash of "Bored of the Rings" or, more appropriately, the giant pretzels of "Doon". Didcot, or "Urn", is a tea-producing planet that keeps the British Space Empire properly lubricated and suitably infused with moral fibre. Yes, the parallels with Spice are obvious - and played up - but once again the series is internally consistent while completely over the top.

The Ghast Empire - with their fanatical god-bothering allies, the Edenites - have launched an attack on Urn. But the tea must brew, and Urn be recaptured from the filthy ant-men hordes. Smith's old nemesis 462 is back, complete with steampunk monocle, and Gilead, with steampunk robot body (except for his bladder). Anyway, Space Captain Isambard Smith finds himself on Urn, dealing with convent schoolgirls, the Sauceress Sam O'Varr, and a nudist spec-ops warrior (apparently the author of "Small Unit, Deep Penetration", the standard handbook in the field).

There is still plenty of fun to be had here - the mockery is by no means restrained to Dune. Smith must rescue Rhianna, escape from Urn, bring back an army to free the planet, and defeat the Ghast hordes. Oh, and if possible, get his end away with Rhianna, if he can overcome his deeply repressed feelings. Suruk has skulls to collect and polish, Polly Carveth is still hunting for her perfect man, and Gerald is along for the ride. Smith is still a bit two-dimensional - but what dimensions! I still cant work out if he is army, navy, civilian adventurer or Company employee, and apart from the reference to schooldays, Smith's history is a blank page. This works though, because to the extent Smith is at all self-conscious, he is deeply repressed and avoids "feelings" or "emotions" as much as possible. We know more about Suruk the Slayer's family than we do Smith's. More about android Polly Carveth's as well actually.

Once again, Frost goes just a little bit too far, and probably beyond the point of reasonable people being able to differ about it, if not what exactly was the final straw. This is dashing heroism, low humour and superb space opera all rolled together. It made me want to try tea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly British space adventure, with tea!, 15 Sep 2008
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
The evil alien Ghast along with the religious fanatics the Republic of Eden have invaded Urn, the principle planet of the Didcot system and the main supplier of tea to the British Empire. Without tea the British will lose their moral fibre and the Ghast will wipe them aside.

The Hyrax, recently self-proclaimed ruler of Urn, is completely out of control, trying to impose totally unrealistic laws that result in the tea crop workers rebelling. With this rebellion Smith and his superiors plan to re-take Urn, but first they must recruit allies.

Smith and the crew now head back to Suruk's home planet within the Didcot system to recruit his family to help win the battle of Urn. But all is not as they hope and Suruk's family are more interested in seeing him go to law school rather than beheading his enemies.

Will the battle be won? Will Suruk convince his family to help? And more importantly, will the tea still flow?

Space Captain Smith was one of the highlights of the year for me, a really funny and gripping story that was a complete blast from cover to cover. God Emperor of Didcot had high expectations to meet and had to deliver everything Space Captain Smith did. I am very glad to say that it delivered everything I hoped for and more.

The characters are just as much fun this time and the new ones fit in perfectly. The dialogue is witty, enjoyable and never drags on, even during the duller moments (of which there are very few). The bad guys are great and in such a way that is perhaps even more entertaining than the good guys, at least some of the time!

Another of the highlights are the nods Toby Frost gives to other classics of the genre, each putting a smile on my face. A particular favourite is the Aresians, which are a very solid nod to War of the Worlds. Much like Space Captain Smith, you'll have to read this to fully appreciate just how good it is. Another must-read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious and fun..!, 29 July 2009
By 
G. A. Hurd (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
This is a really fun book, as good as a standup comic for entertainment -but being a book lasts as long as you want to read it. The Second British Space Empire is the greatest interstellar empire in human history: as rediculous and steely-eyed as the last one, anyone with a knowledge of British culture (imperial culture) will get every sly and witty and crude and silly joke made. Plot is a plus, humour is a pleasure. Though it does have a plot -quite a serious one too- but it's adventure's own reading, with a whiff of national pride and self-mockery. Prepare to be 'civilised.' Read, enjoy and laugh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing, 27 Nov 2008
By 
Iain McClumpha (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
If anything this second Space Captain Smith novel is better than the first, with our hero being very... heroic, Polly Carveth being heroic... and even Suruk getting to do some damage.

Can't say too much without giving the plot away... Ghast and Edenite spies are everywhere!
Just call it smashing ^_^

Excellent
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More space fun, 14 Aug 2012
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
More stiff upper lip adventures as Isambard Smith and his demented crew protect and serve the British Space Empire. As everyone knows, the British exist on the moral fibre provided by tea, so when the tea producing planet of Urn in the Didcot system is over-run, then the whole Empire is at risk!

Can Smith, his crew and assorted friends take the planet back amid strange aliens, puns and one liners?

Like the first book this is good fun and has some very nice lines in it. Sci-Fi humour is very hard to do, but the author does a pretty good job here and this is quite entertaining I have to say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More silly fun, 11 May 2009
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This review is from: God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) (Paperback)
This is the second of the Space Captain Smith books and it continues to be a great fun book while maintaining the ludicrous running gags of the first.
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God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith)
God Emperor of Didcot (Space Captain Smith) by Toby Frost (Paperback - 2 Sep 2008)
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