Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998)
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 3
Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues (Australian Versions) — no. 3
Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1 (Collection)
Angkasa lepas dan ruang selepasnya (Malay)
Aventures dans l'espace (French)
Dai uchuu no boken [大宇宙の冒険] (Japanese)
El espacio y más allá (Spanish)
Ezpazioaz harantzago (Basque)
Jornada além do espaço (Portuguese)
Khala se age Safar (Urdu)
Más allá del espacio (Spanish)
Matka avaruudessa (Finnish)
Més enllà de l'espai (Catalan)
Oltre lo spazio (Italian)
Penjelajah antariksa (Indonesian)
De ruimte in (Dutch)
Viaje por las galaxias (Spanish)
Xīngkōng Zhēngbàzhàn [星空爭霸戰] (Chinese)
Montgomery, R. A.
(pseudonym used by Hedin, Don)
(Original version, later printing, Original version, revised cover edition, Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover, Original version, early printing, Original version, school edition, Original version, unknown printing)
Mattingly, David B. (Original version, revised cover edition - cover)
McBride, Marc (Australian edition - cover)
Sundaravej, Sittisan (ChooseCo reissue edition - cover, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing - cover)
Pornkerd, Vorrarit (ChooseCo reissue edition, Australian edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Yaweera, Sasiprapa (ChooseCo reissue edition, Australian edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Donploypetch, Jintanan (ChooseCo reissue edition, Australian edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
January, 1980 (Original version, early printing)
September, 1987 (Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
2005 (ChooseCo reissue edition - reissue)
July 1, 2006 (Australian edition)
0553140000 / 9780553140002
(Original version, early printing)
0553208918 / 9780553208917 (Original version, unknown printing)
0553231804 / 9780553231809 (Original version, later printing, Original version, school edition)
0553274538 / 9780553274530 (Original version, revised cover edition)
0942545117 / 9780942545111 (Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
0942545168 / 9780942545166 (Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover)
1865049247 / 9781865049243 (Australian edition)
1933390034 / 9781933390031 (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover:
Grey Castle Press
131 pages (ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
117 pages (Original version, early printing, Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover, Original version, later printing, Original version, revised cover edition, Original version, school edition, Original version, unknown printing)
|Number of Endings:||
42 (Australian edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing)
44 (incorrectly listed as 40 on cover) (Original version, early printing)
44 (Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover, Original version, later printing, Original version, school edition, Original version, unknown printing)
44 (listed as 40 on some early editions) (Original version, revised cover edition)
|LC Cataloging in Publication Summary:||The reader's decisions control a series of adventures in outer space, beginning on a spaceship traveling between galaxies.|
|User Summary:||You are born on a spaceship to parents from two different planets and must choose one of two possible homeworlds. Various adventures occur on the way to (or on) the homeworld you decide to visit.|
Believe it or not, R. A. Montgomery at his best brings the most out of the CYOA concept. With the right plot, his eccentricity and preachy writing style could work wonders and fit seamlessly with what a "choice book" is meant to be.
Sadly, this style is make-or-break, and Space and Beyond (despite being reprinted 4727 times) is surely not one of his better books. This fantasy entry carries no plot, weaves you from planet to planet and would never cease to confuse readers. R. A., though, would make it up with one of his fantasy masterpiece (some say otherwise) in #143, Project UFO.
I found the 2005 reissue in a thrift store today for a whopping sixty cents. For that kind of piddling small change, I thought it'd be worth it to see if it was truly as bad as I remembered it being in 1982, when I last read it.
Well I am sorry to report, gentle reader, that it was. Oy vey was it. Afterwards I was mad that I actually paid sixty cents for this. I could have bought a whole can of Coke for sixty cents! And it would have only given me gas for perhaps fifteen, twenty minutes... tops!
The stupefyingly silly choices, quests, and plots (though I fear I am insulting the word "plot" by using it in such a fashion) could have been tolerable -- heck, even never getting to either planet could have been tolerable -- had it not been for the noxious reek of the thoroughly white-bread preachiness dripping like bleached pus from its pages. And that's saying something coming from me, as I am of the opinion that telling kids to be nice to each other is a Very Good Thing.
In short, avoid like bubonic plague carrying squirrels.
(Special gripe with the reissue only: the sections have not been mixed up at all. This means if you didn't like the ending you just read, you can read on to the next page to see the results of your other choice -- and the results of both of the choices are themselves after the section containing the results of the choices offered in the section previous to the section where you just chose from. (I apologize for that butchery of English.) This drives me nuts, as it is the way I used to write my own Choose-Your-Own-Adventures in longhand... when I was nine. With the advent of computer layout and word processing, this kind of design laziness is inexcusable. Unless, of course, it was a conscious decision on the part of Mr. Montgomery, in which case I hope he hears the sound of my head scratching at him.)
(Special reissue factoid: The book now sports 42 possible endings, meaning this is the third time Montgomery has taken a weed whacker to it... and yet this tome of horrors still sucks the pipe.)
This is a very strange book. It contains a lot of bizarre abstraction and pseudo-philosophical gibberish. It's definitely not one of the stronger books in the series.
For me the problem with this book is that it is one extreme of the types of stories you can have in CYOA, in terms of character motive and story possibilities. In this case, I'd call it shallow and overly broad. The character motive and background is so abstract and so suddenly introduced to the reader (over perhaps just two pages) that I found it hard to relate to the character or determine their goal in the story. As the user summary suggests, you're born on a spaceship and have to choose from two different homeworlds (also in different galaxies in my 2005 version). Try to digest that in 2 pages, then decide where to go (and by the way, what's your purpose?) Then the options vary so widely and insanely (join a space circus, join a space academy, become a disembodied consciousness perhaps?) that you wonder what ending your character should or shouldn't feel happy with.
There sure are a lot of members saying this book stinks, but the truth is every single one of them is right. This isn't a Choose Your Own Adventure book, it's a rambling mess of confusing words that never comes close to having a story and often doesn't even make a lick of sense. This book fails in every possible way. Avoid at all costs.
Space is always strange, but this is the second most strange. First off, do not choose Croyd. It takes too long to get to the two-way choice that leads to more adventure. And also: You CANNOT land on Croyd. The big accomplish is Kenda. It's more imaginative. You can cure Axle of its strange disease, meet an object--not UFO, and, yes. YOU CAN LAND ON KENDA! 7/10!
I must say that there has always been something about the quirky humor and vast sea of choices in this book that really appeals to me. The stories are all quite strange, and sometimes the endings are so stunningly abrupt as to make one wonder what went wrong, but the gestalt of the adventure somehow adds up to a book that I quite like. I find myself reading this book as often as I re-read any of the others in the series. The funny parts have a definite range in quality, but at its best, this book is as hilarious as any other CYOA entry.
This was one of the few early ones (ie pre #20) that I did not manage to read because I could not find a copy of it back in the early 80s; I lived in a very small town. I discovered Which Way books first in late 1982, then quickly started devouring CYOA's. My first CYOA was in fact The Race Forever, which I still think is a fine entry in the series and one of R. A.'s best. After foolishly selling my fairly large childhood collection of gamebooks about 12 years ago, I've been collecting CYOA's again and I'm on a quest of reading or re-reading the entire series.
You may be wondering why the preamble? The reason is, if this had been the first CYOA that I had read, even at age 8, I surely would have shunned gamebooks for the rest of my life. In fact I can picture myself potentially in tears. Such condescending, preachy text. I felt scolded throughout a lot of it, and some of the endings just made no sense at all. It felt more like Filler just to get an ending churned out. It made me wonder, was R. A. in a really bad mood or funk while writing this? Did he have some moment of clarity/terror and he realized he may be writing children's fiction for the rest of his life, so eff it?
I have the 2005 reissue, and despite some apparent revisions (mostly in names) and new illustrations by V. Pornkerd, S. Yaweeea and J. Donploypetch (it seems Montgomery has outsourced some of his illustrators to Thailand; see: http://www.cyoa.com/art_06_thavat.htm) it is still the same confusing plotless ramblings it was when it was first issued twenty-seven years ago. It seems that some things never change.
#4 - Space and BeyonD
The story's title is not an amateurish attempt to act younger than my 31 years and type the trendy way. It is my means of emphasizing what a weird mess R.A. Montgomery offering is, and the grade he gets accordingly. Let me sum up the 40+ endings in a nutshell. You never get to your dad's planet (Phonon) or your mom's planet (Zermacroyd). You basically bounce around from planet to planet as our good friend Raymond preaches hard and heavy as he is wont to do. And while I normally like Paul Granger's artwork, I didn't quite like his art for the main character. He looked like 1970's Elvis in a spacesuit. Only thing missing is a TV set for him to fire his laser gun at.
All previous criticisms of this book are 150% true. What I personally find most irksome about it is the disjointed, shoddy way it loops back into itself. It makes the randomness that much more random when you're suddenly dumped back at the beginning of the book for no obvious reason. "Sorry!" the book sneers, "back to start for you!"
If Project UFO is CYOA's Showgirls, then Space and Beyond is the series' Freddy Got Fingered. To shamelessly steal a line from Roger Ebert, the day may come when Space and Beyond is seen as a milestone of neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as a good gamebook.
First of all, I thought this book was rather pointless. The idea (you are born with dual citizenship and have to choose your home planet) is a very good one. It gives you a distinct mission which you aim to complete -- or at least, it seems that way once you start reading. Unfortunately, the mission is impossible! There is NO WAY you can get to either Phonon or Zermacroyd, no matter now hard you try.
Also, if you choose Zermacroyd, your mother gives you a special item and suggests rather explicity that this may help you later. Surprisingly, the item is never mentioned again, no matter what you do. I think what happened with this one is the author wrote it from scratch, making it up as he went along, rather than mapping it out in his head beforehand. There really isn't anything wrong with this way of writing, but you have to be careful -- and I don't think the author was careful! There are a number of cases where plot paths converge and make the adventure somewhat jarring, such as from page 67 to page 2. There are also quite a few continuity errors (such as where you decide to go to an Earthlike planet, but the book later refers to the planet as Earth).
Really, the only thing interesting about this book are the object-life forms (which are quite strange) and the fact that this book uses the phrase "gleeb fogo," an alien buzzword also used in the previous book (even though that had a different author!)
|Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:||
I really didn't like this book. For one thing, it was too difficult of a challenge for me to determine what was going on in some places, and I gave up in frustration. There's plenty of "tap into your inner knowledge" speeches everywhere, which I really didn't care for, because they weren't conveyed very well at all and were pretty pointless and out-of-place in the story.
Some annoying aspects of the book: For one thing, there's no way to complete your mission at all. This gimmick works well in Inside UFO 54-40, here it doesn't. There's one part of the book which asks you to choose to get revenge on a group of aliens or leave. If you choose to get revenge, the book tells you, basically, "You want to get revenge, but soon forget about it and leave." Very annoying! It's obvious that the author didn't plan this book out too well.
Probably the only saving grace in this book involves the trip to earth and the humorous take on human food, behavior, and occupations. But it ultimately can't save the entire book, which, unfortunately, flopped.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to Ken G. for the Australian cover scans.|
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|Users Who Want This Item:||drereichdude (reissue), exaquint (school edition, reissue w/ & w/o sweepstakes), Ffghtermedic, gbherrick, Lambchop, MasterChief, Mikeysbookz, NEMO (hardback,school,reissue &original), newt3425 (Revised cover), odo_ital, SherlockHolmes, stevesterling, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99|
|Users with Extra Copies:||
breity - 2005 Reissue -- the back lower corner is a bit scrunched
exaquint - text spine
kinderstef - x 2
ntar - three
theyodaman - CYOA 12th printing
Known EditionsAustralian edition
ChooseCo reissue edition
ChooseCo reissue edition, later printing
Original version, early printing
Original version, Grey Castle Press hardcover
Original version, later printing
Original version, revised cover edition
Original version, school edition
Original version, unknown printing
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