Reviews of No Phule Like an Old Phule (2004)
Review by archren (2006-03-20)
Sometimes it seems like there’s more humorous fantasy stories out there (Discworld, etc.) than humorous SF stories (Hitchhiker’s Guide, etc.). And that may still be true. However, from Robert Asprin we do have some good stuff for the SF side, namely the “Phule’s Company” series. “No Phule” is the fifth book in this series, and the first one I’ve read.
Willard Phule is known as Captain Jester in the Space Legion. He’s the captain of Omega company, and by being wonderful and competent has arrayed the brass against him. So the SF equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency (here known by the acronym AEIOU) has just dropped by for an inspection. He is also a billionaire, with extensive holdings in various enterprises, including casinos. His father has just dropped by one of his casinos and decided to show the management team just how much better they should be running things, if they were as smart as he.
Overall this is a fun, easy read with some incredible groaner puns. It mocks some of the finer points of the military SF tradition as well as governmental and bureaucratic targets. A few times it had me laugh out loud. I will certainly find some of the earlier books in the series, and save them up for when I’m in a bad mood. They should certainly help.