Humour and science fiction is a difficult act to pull off. Even Douglas Adams struggled after the first two Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books. This book is a wacky story, Iris Wildthyme of the title is a time traveller whose mode of transport is a London #22 bus, which unlike the TARDIS of Dr Who fame is “smaller on the inside”. Doctor Who already used a London Bus to travel through space in “Planet of the Dead”(2009). Iris’s nemesis is a murmuring poet called Anthony Marvelle with a gun-toting poodle called Missy as a sidekick. Marvelle steals Iris’s pinking shears which are able to cut through the Very Fabric of space and time (Very Fabric is capitalised in the text and seems very like a Terry Pratchett touch). Travelling through the galaxy there seem to be no scientific problems to be overcome and communication with alien species is undertaken without any explanation of how they are communicating in English.
Much of the action centres around Darlington: “Darlington’s the entire gateway to the entire multiverse, believe it or not. “I find it difficult to suspend my disbelief. Simon who has been given a Darlington bookshop is a character like Arthur Dent or Rory in Dr Who, a rather clueless earthling taken along for the ride.
Oh, and there is a sentient vending machine called Barbra. I think maybe the author has had too much cheese too close to bedtime or something.
My rating 2.5 out of 5