The Cyclon Death Machine by Glen Larson and Robert Thurston is the second book in the Battlestar Galatica series.The story was a good fun adventure story but a very poor science fiction story.What I mean by that is that there was no logic at all in the way things work, it felt like it was written by one of the same idiots that wrote the marvel space comics of the 1970's while they were hopped up on drugs.Maybe I am more forgiving of fantasy than I am of science fiction but the logic and the science behind this story doesn't even hold out to the first step.For one thing the humans have basically self sufficient ships in the galaxy but are still restrained to follow a very linear path through space.This would work better if space was either divided by jump holes or some other form of interstellar drive that requires star systems to operate.Instead we have the fleet being trapped in interstellar space by a rogue planet which just so happens to have a super powerful laser on it.If I even need to explain the issues with that you don't know the basics of physics because in order that a laser would be functional it anywhere regarding interstellar distances with the power to destroy a spaceship it would need a power source that would have to be almost a sun.The rogue world where the story takes place also presents many difficulties as it has a gaseous atmosphere which is warm enough for the characters to breath. All of these problems could have been easily dealt with by putting the whole encounter in system but because the authors wanted to increase the grandeur of their creation they made it very weak in reality.The overall story is one of redemption for the character of Croft who was a former colony commander who had turned to piracy to enlarge his income and had been unwilling to kotow to the leaders who wanted to tax his income.However when the death laser is aimed at the fleet from an icy planet the ship needs someone who has the experience in those conditions so they call on Croft and his vicious crew for help.The group is aided by some clones but mostly it is the inherent heroism of Croft which makes the mission succeed even as he redeems himself in his eyes as well as the eyes of the fleet.In many ways what I got from the book is that even though we are in a certain place either through our own actions or those of others whom we do not control, we all have the opportunity to make the world a better place and take control of our own futures.Overall this was a decent story which was ruined by delusions of grandeur.
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