with Peter J. Heck
Ace, Apr 2004, 7.99, 320 pp.
General Blitzkrieg hates Phule (AKA Captain Jester) and his Omega Company, soldiers who fail to heed any rules except their own. To make Phule's life miserable, Blitzkrieg sends the Alliance Ecological Interplanetary Observation Union (AEIOU) to “join” the Omega Company on Zenobia. The wily General hopes the two groups interact in a manner that will cause aggravation and stress to Phule. Phule anticipates rewards for finding a new alien race on this planet.
Phule copes with AEIOU and renowned genetically enhanced wonder dog Barky while also dealing with hunters desiring to bring home trophy dinosaurs. At the same time, his father Victor tries to work on conning two Grifters into selling the shares of Phule's Casino that they won for a nominal price.
Most military science fiction is serious with a theme of saving the universe, but NO PHULE LIKE AN OLD PHULE is an upbeat lighthearted galaxy romp. The protagonist might ignore bureaucratic regulations and procedures furbished from a central location with no understanding beyond their beltway, but he also runs a tight ship. His crew respects Phule who goes out of their way to ensure they are cared for with proper equipment and supplies and are financially rewarded.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner