September 22, 2023
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Book Reviews Humor SCI-FI

Keyhole by George Morrison: Strap in tight for a galactic adventure

Author: George Morrison

Genre: Humorous Science Fiction

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Must Read”

Nick finds himself in trouble. This isn’t the first time he’s slipped up in this exact same way. And knowing the extreme naïveté of a ghoulie, it is unlikely to be the last. Accused of theft first thing in the morning then promptly fired from his job before returning home to find himself locked out of his apartment douses Nick’s spirit of all hope. His misery compounds further with the stomach churning knowledge of his debt; hundreds of thousands of credits owed to the all-round miscreant named Urk. A failure to pay holds a summary execution as its only consequence. Besides the unreliable gobbet, Egrog, there is no one else for Nick to turn to. The severity of his situation is worth running the risk of being left high and dry by his so-called best friend. The promise of unending wealth and eternal life—despite the anxiety-inducing element of adventure—is enough to coax Nick into the most ambitious of Egrog’s schemes yet. Nick has always been unhealthily fond of a good gamble. With his life on the line either way, why not chase the ultimate reward, and let the chips fall where they may?

Spoiler-free Plot

Egrog has the most lustrous silver tongue of anyone Nick has met—not that a ghoulie has ever needed much convincing. Gobbets are known for their persuasion, after all. Already down hard on his luck, in part due to the disgust turned into discrimination other sentient beings hold for his kind but mostly because of his own terrible credit-spending decisions, Nick exerts caution when courted with a dubious proposition. Earning a quick payout is a hit or miss whenever Egrog is involved. Over an unsatisfying meal and drink, Nick processes Egrog’s plan thoroughly in between interjections of debaucherous acts thrown out by Alice, a mantid with a cutthroat reputation, towards the blushing Egrog.

Desperation wins out in the end. That and an acute sense of danger surrounding him as potent as the fetid stench of planet Downside. The promise of stability Nick would gain from succeeding in Egrog’s quest becomes the determining factor.

Nick is not the only recruit roped into Egrog’s venture. Mindy, a human being, maybe the only non-threatening being with information about a lost planet. One where the secret of everlasting life which has evaded most other species in known space, is indulged in by every one of its inhabitants. Alice invites herself along in an effort to wear Egrog down enough to capitulate to her romantic advances. She sticks around for the possibility of violence and glory. 32, an eccentric AI who fancies himself a poet facilitates their trip. Providing them with transportation, invaluable insight, companionship, and more. Stealth, trickery, and cunning are three attributes needed to pull off this mission. Their importance enhanced as the odds stacked against them grow. Perils of expedition scattered throughout their journey must be cleared as they simultaneously dodge the wrath of Urk and the enforcement of the law upon them by the overseeing intergalactic governing agency, rGov.

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My Take on Keyhole by George Morrison

Fans of Ringworld, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the big hitters in this shared realm, will be equally as entertained by George Morrison’s ‘Keyhole’. It’s got a number of elements sci-fi enthusiasts have grown to love: artificial intelligence, the presence of extraterrestrials, philosophy inclusive of technoethics and space exploration to name but a few. Whilst belonging to a genre that is often intellectually intimidating to a lot of casual readers, ‘Keyhole’ has managed to include scientific material explained in a way that is easier for a layman to digest without dumbing down the information too much so that it still appeals to veterans of this type of fiction.

Giving a full admission in his author biography over his penchant for goofy humor, his partiality is well represented in this book; enough is included to make you crack a smile at least every other chapter. From the running gag starring Nick and his inability to decipher earthling figures of speech to a couple of racy innuendos, through this feature in conjunction with the affable characters George Morrison has created, the essence of this story is communicated to the readers. While book covers aren’t a precise metric of judgment on the quality of a book, the quirky illustration on the front of this book gives readers a very accurate first impression of what to expect and this first impression is corroborated by the following 260 odd pages that follow. It is a lighthearted story. It is a palette cleanser from the build up of turbulence of everyday life. Flipping through the pages melts away any tension carried over from your previous activity, and instantly, your attention is snatched up and held firmly by the buoyant tale unfolding before you. Everything about this book is fun! And playful! It appeases the inner child’s thirst for action and adventure while catering to more adult themes as well.

At its core, fiction—with emphasis on the speculative subcategory—functions as an escape from reality and Mr. Morrison has done a phenomenal job of plucking us out of our current environment and whisking us across galaxies to far off planets so very different from the one we inhabit every time we clock in for a leisurely read.

Age Rating

16yrs and above

Content Warning

Violence, Death, Sex, Addiction

About The Author Of


George Morrison is an award-winning author with a life-long addiction to reading and writing sci-fi and fantasy. A quiet guy with a goofy sense of humor, he makes his home in the Midwest but has traveled the world, living in Japan for three years. He draws from a lifetime of experience with diverse cultures and regions when writing.

When not working on his latest story, he can be found watching bad sci-fi flicks from the 50s, playing guitar, or talking to the water in Door County.

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