"I think that's Bonnie."

Hal looked pleased. "I'm glad you like it. My name's Hal, by the way. Hal Spacejock."

"The quirkiest genre satire to hit bookstores

since Terry Pratchett's Discworld"

The West Australian

Dedicated to my family

Chapter 1

Hal Spacejock was hunched over the Black Gull's flight console, studying a small chessboard balanced amongst the toggle switches, warning lights and status displays. Recently he'd read an article promoting the ancient game, claiming it would sharpen his mind, improve his memory and increase his attraction to the opposite sex.

After two hundred and seventy-six losses in a row Hal was beginning to doubt the article's claims. He didn't feel any smarter, and he couldn't remember the last time he'd spoken to a member of the opposite sex, let alone attracted one.

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