Bill, the Galactic Hero is a satirical science fiction novel by Harry Harrison, first published in 1965. Harrison reports having been approached by a Vietnam veteran who described Bill as "the only book that's true about the military." Bill is a farmboy on a small backward agricultural planet who is drugged, hypnotised, then shanghaied into the Space Troopers and sent to recruit training under a fanged instructor named Deathwish Drang. After surviving boot camp, he is transferred to active duty as a fuse tender on the flagship of the space fleet in battle with the Chingers, a small reptilian race. Injured and with the fleet almost destroyed, he fires off a shot witnessed by an officer and is proclaimed a hero. As a reward he is sent to the city-planet Helior to receive a medal from the emperor. Bill's city plan is stolen on a sightseeing tour; because it takes him days to get back to the transit centre, he arrives to find himself AWOL and considered a deserter after missing his transport. He escapes and flees into the depths of the city, where he first falls in with a gang of similarly "deplanned" outlaws, then finds employment with Helior's garbage disposal service. His unwilling recruitment as a spy to infiltrate an ineptly-run anarchist plot leads to his arrest. He is sent to a prison unit working on the planet where the Human-Chinger war continues. Escaping during an attack, he rescues some prisoners and meets a dying Deathwish Drang. He then shoots off his own foot to get off-planet. The book ends with the story coming full circle as Bill, with an artificial foot and Deathwish Drang's fangs, returns to his home planet and recruits his younger brother into the Troopers (in order to reduce his own enlistment terms for each new Trooper as an incentive for recruiters).
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Book Description Avon, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P119993776432
Book Description Avon, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M9993776432