Space Vulture by Gary K. Wolf and Archbishop John J. Myers
Space Vulture is a classic story modeled after the old science fiction pulps. The story could have jumped right out of Amazing Stories or Planet Stories. The book is meant to evoke Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. However, for me it comes closer to Basil Wolverton's Spacehawk. It is full of daring do and desperate escapes. The authors, Gary K. Wolf and Archbishop John J. Myers were childhood friends and used to share the old pulp magazines with each other.
Captain Corsair, a law man is on a routine mission to catch a two bit thief, Gil, who is attempting to steal mushrooms that have no calories from a colony world. The mushrooms are worth their weight in gold. Gil has to pay his debts from his bookie who has taken his arm and eye and replaced them with an insect arm and a robotic eye. (There is a lot of this kind of wonderful silliness in this book.)
While Captain Corsair is capturing Gil, Space Vulture sweeps down with his slave chipped crew destroys Corsairs ship and rounds up the colonists to sell as slaves. Captain Corsair is locked up with the other prisoners. Cali, the beautiful blond lady leader of the colony falls in love with Corsair and secretly slips him a small jeweled knife from Space Vultures treasure room. Oh the villainy, you can feel it in every pore.
From there it gets better and even sillier. Will Gil get his human arm and eye back from his bookie. Will Captain Corsair escape from the clutches of Space Vulture's evil minion, #1, the lizardo warrior. Will the colonists get saved from slavery? Of course they will in grand fashion.
See every trick in the book of classic space opera. Watch the evil Space Vulture sleep in his rejuvenation coffin, see Captain Corsair gun down the evil minions of Space Vulture. Daring do, wonderful escapes. Listen to the self-righteous, narcissistic hubris of the greatest pirate of them all, Space Vulture.
From the mind of Gary K. Wolf creator of Roger Rabbit, and the heart of Archbishop John J. Myers we get classic space opera with a dose of morality. Space Vulture dies, experiences a bit of hell then gets rejuvenated in his mad scientist coffin. Throw in some carnival tricks by Captain Corsair and you can even get a recommendation from Stan Lee.
Quoting Stan Lee, "What a time machine! Space Vulture takes me back Alex Raymond's classic Flash Gordon comic strips and to all the other great science fiction adventures that thrilled me as a kid. The book is full of color, action, and fun. Gary Wolf and John Myers have brilliantly managed the neat trick of not only evoking a beloved genre, but actually surpassing it."
You can't have said it better. If you want to read some fun, nostalgic, silly, adventurous pulp space opera, this title is for you.