Life With Lancelot (1973)

An almighty alien race, for whom matter, energy and form held no more secrets, finds a human who is near-death in a ship wreck, heal him and send him back. Added to that they send one of their own with him, as an observer to learn more about humans (seems the omniscience of the Shogleet has some gaps after all).

The man they rebuilt was an agent of Galactopol, an organization that fights against any form of change in certain human colonies on other planets, colonies that are stuck in some historical mode, like the feudal age of Arthurian Legend. The agent and the Shogleet go on three adventures, and always come back victorious. In the second and third adventure they’re aided by a female agent of Galactopol.

It feels as if the author wasn’t sure whether he wanted to write something funny or something more serious (in the sense of a serious adventure story, not something really deep). The outcome is something that is dumb and a pain to read. I’m not completely sure whether Phillifent wanted to mock some things with this book, or whether the silliness was unintentional in the first place, but the end result is just bad.

The Shogleet observer is a deus ex machina who solves all the plot problems, the male Galactopol agent is a moron of the first order, and the women in later chapters are some of the worst female characters I’ve seen in a book (I have a theory that they are an attempt to mock exactly that by other writers, but if that’s so, it fails to work on any level).