The Last Starveyer in
Spin a Web of Death
By Nicola Cuti
It would be safe to say most sci-fi readers first encountered writer Nicola Cuti’s work among the pages of comic books. At the now defunct Charlton Comics, Cuit created the hilarious E-Man with artist pal, Joe Staton. His list of credits is far too long to enumerate here. Still we were naturally surprised to see he’d ventured not only into prose writing but also the questionable world self-publishing.
He does so here in his first Captain Cosmos adventure; a character obviously based on himself, were he a bonafide space ranger. This is an out and out old school pulp space opera; the kind most of us encountered while in high school. It is pure fun from the first page to the last. Our hero is a sad-sack, former Starveyer who left the service to start his own freight hauling business. Aboard his ship, Belvedere, he is free to roam the spaceways with his crew among which are Cadet Starling and Zen-ya, an alien beauty.
During one very lucrative run, Cosmos learns that a galaxy wide rescue mission is being assembled to save the inhabitants of a planet about to perish. The world is called Arach and its people, Arachnians, are spider-like beings. Much to the ire of the business man who is employing him, Cosmos has the Belvedere join the rescue fleet and through a series of odd mishaps ends up being the only ship to actually land on Arach. Once there, Cosmos encounters a Gillian, a lovely Earth Scientist, who agrees to assist them in getting the Arachnians ready for transporting.
Alas the populace of the capital city will not leave unless their Royal Family accompanies them, thus forcing Cosmos and Gillian on a hasty journey into the wild to find the governing clan. Along they way, to and from, they encounter one danger after another as they struggle to complete their mission. All the while Arach’s time grows ever shorter.
“Spin a Web of Death,” is a fresh, no-hold barred, rollicking adventure with tons of action and a wry, satirical humor that elevates it far beyond the average space opera. It is a gem of a story told by a man whose own creativity appears endless. Cuti is one of the best and this wonderful book proves to be another notch in his belt. Please, go out and buy it now. You can thank me later.