Reviews of Spartan Planet (1968)
Review by clong (2006-07-09)
Oh, for the glory days of Golden Age scifi, when men were men and readers were adolescent hormone addled teenage boys.
John Grimes brings the coed crew of a Federation Survey Ship to investigate a long lost colony, only to discover that its inhabitants are all males who live in society modeled after the ancient Greek city state of Sparta. Grimes’ visit results in our protagonist Brasidus (a Spartan security officer) making an astonishing discovery . . . Females! It’s been a long time since I read a book that focused quite so much on breasts, including such choice lines as “the outthrusting fleshy mounds on her chest that betrayed her alien nature;” “he realized that those peculiar fleshy mounds, which even the severe uniform could not hide, were deliciously soft. So much for the built in weapons theory;” and “the deformity of the upper part of the body was bad enough; that of the lower part was shocking.”
Brasidus is assigned to escort these strange aliens around Sparta, and along the way starts to realize that things in his homeland are not at all as they seem, most notably in the case of the doctor-priest caste, the members of which couldn’t possibly have any time available to treat patients as they appear to spend every waking moment engaged in a non-stop orgy of debauchery with their hidden harem of women.
Grimes gets relatively little narrative coverage (his apparent indifference to the fate of a gang-raped crew member who had put herself in a position to be attacked by failing to follow orders is appalling). The Federation is represented primarily by one Margaret Lazenby, a spunky scientist who sets out to investigate the Spartans but finds it impossible to remain an aloof observer when she comes across a female infant who has been abandoned on a hillside for the wolves.
This is certainly entertaining enough if you can take it for what it is.