In Mark Griffiths’s very funny debut novel, young Lance Spratley’s brain is replaced by the consciousness of Admiral Skink, cruel reptilian overlord of the Swerdlixian Lizard Swarm. The body of this intergalactic tyrant has been vaporised in a space battle but his mind has been technologically preserved and housed inside Lance until a new body can be cloned.
While Lance struggles to escape from the virtual reality program in which he is being held prisoner, Skink wreaks havoc on Earth. To him, our planet is populated by hideous, primitive, soft-skinned mammals who are ripe for destruction. First in line for the chop are the Spratley family and Lance’s best friend, Tori.
Griffiths has a firm grasp of what makes this comically absurd SF conceit work and the book is loaded with goofy characters, daft situations and laugh-out-loud lines. Douglas Adams himself would have relished the surly triceratops who goes on a rampage towards the end.