|With Blonde Bombshell, Tom Holt enters darkest Douglas
Adams territory, and doesn't manage it very well. This is Holt's first SF novel all
his previous works have fallen firmly into the humorous fantasy field, but now he has
attempted to write a humorous science fiction novel, with mixed success...
A bomb is on
the way to destroy the Earth. It becomes uncertain as to the morality of its mission and
decides to investigate further before detonating itself. The bomb has been sent from Ostar
where the dominant canine race live in harmony with their pet humans (who they have
trained to throw sticks really well). The director of the institute that launched
the bomb has a human called Spot. The dogs want to destroy the Earth because the human
music broadcast willy-nilly into space is disturbing their peace and quiet. And so a bomb
which later develops a conscience is sent on a mission of destruction.
The bomb disguises itself as a literal blonde bombshell Lucy Pavlov is the
beautiful, talented, wealthy, CEO of PaySoft Industries. PaySoft is the revolutionary
operating system that runs on every computer in the world. Unfortunately she doesn't know
that she's a bomb. She's held that fact back from herself. But she does know that
she's sexy and super talented. Plainly she's just Bill Gates vision of himself, only with
There is much observational humour on the human condition and the book is full of
cultural references and replete with (usually rather juvenile) jokes about our interaction
with computers. This is exactly the kind of thing that Douglas Adams did so well (and
which Tom Holt does so poorly in comparison) The plot is (or perhaps more accurately the
plots are) complex and intertwined and it is far from clear until very late on if, or even
how, the threads that he weaves are going to come together. Indeed, I am far from
convinced that they do.
This is very minor Tom Holt which suffers by comparison to similarly themed stories
that other people have done much better.