Shakespearean ‘Star Wars’ series continues

Ian Doescher continues to rewrite the Star Wars saga in the manner of a William Shakespeare play in “William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back.”

As the Chorus says, “Tis for the Rebellion a dark time” as the Death Star has been destroyed and the Imperial troops have risen up, forcing the rebels to hide on the ice planet of Hoth.

Whether it is a soliloquy from the Wampa, R2-D2’s beeps and boops, Chewbacca’s growls and even Yoda’s odd manner of speaking takes on a Shakespearean ring as we follow the Rebels off Hoth, to Dagoba, into Exogor’s mouth (did you know the worm on the asteroid had a name and was capable of a soliloquy about his lost lunch?) and finally on Cloud City, the already grand story is taken to new and impressive heights.

Fans of the “Star Wars” movies and Shakespeare fans will both enjoy this pop culture mash up.

“The Empire Striketh Back” is publsihed by Quirk Books. It is $14.95. Get some friends together and do a reading!


A dark and twisted dystopian novel comes away with a glimmer of hope in Peter Liney’s “The Detainee.”

In a dystopian future, the Mainland is left to the powerful, while the older people, the infirm and the children no one wants to take care of are literally thrown in the garbage. “Big Guy,” a former mobster is one of the many older people sent to live on the island where trash is sent (it reads that it could be Manhattan, but never specifically said.) No one can ever leave the Island, the punishment satellites that orbit look for troublemakers, and attempting to leave will result in death. But on foggy nights, when the satellites cannot see as well, the “devils” -the wild feral children drugged up by the Wastelords who have grown to rule the Island – come to wreak bloody ruin on the ‘town’ Big Guy and his friends live. When Big Guy is attacked by a group of children, he is saved by a blind woman named Lena, a grown-up lost child who has taken refuge from the Wastelord by living in underground tunnels. She and Big Guy begin to make a home for themselves underground, along with two of Big Guys friends, and strangely enough, several children who they originally take as prisoner and reform.

They soon realize the way off the Island is to unite their people and rise up against the Wastelords. Will they finally get what they want most- freedom?

This is a pretty grim and gritty dystopian story.

It stays very dark for a long time, and slowly, bits of light begin to drift in until finally at the end, you believe these people might seriously have a chance. The story takes you by surprise and never lets up.

“The Detainee” is published by Jo Fletcher Books, an imprint of Quercus. It is $26.99 and 277 pages long.


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