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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
In Space Games, reality television hits outer space with a big bang. The ruthless veteran television producer Sheldon Zimmer is convinced that he has a winning formula for great entertainment when he creates a program that pits the fiery Robin Miller against macho Joe O'Donnell in a highly charged battle of the sexes for the ultimate prize. However, it soon becomes evident that the personalities of the two contestants are like flint against iron. It doesn't help either, that both Robin and Big Joe may have skeletons in their respective closets that resurface as they are pushed closer and closer to the edge. Hostilities quickly flare up and escalate and the show spirals out of control.
Overall, the story made a very gripping read. I really enjoyed the multi-layered narrative which included the experience of the players, the producer, and the fans. The characters were extremely well-conceived and felt, without exception, like real people. The larger-than-life Hollywood approach came across as very authentic, which concentrated the hidden punch of satire and social commentary. I appreciated the technical attention to detail, which made some of the realities of living on a space station come to life. The underlying opportunities presented by this unusual environment were expertly utilized to amp up the drama in the story. While gender can be a touchy subject, the presentation remained balanced and thought-provoking. I should perhaps add that the story does contain a fair amount of violence and language.