''Space Vulture'' is a [[ScienceFiction science-fiction]] novel by [[Creator/GaryWolf Gary K. Wolf]] (of ''Literature/WhoCensoredRogerRabbit'' fame) and his childhood friend, the Archbishop John J. Myers. It is an [[GenreThrowback homage]] to the cheesy, pulp sci-fi epics they both enjoyed as young boys, specifically ''Space Hawk'' by Anthony Gilmore (as you can easily tell from the title).

In [[TheFuture the far future]], the entire galaxy trembles at the mere mention of [[VillainProtagonist Space Vulture]], a SpacePirate and the most merciless thief, murderer, slaver, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking all-around ne'er-do-well]] ever known by the sentient masses. His latest crime consists of kidnapping the entire population of a small Earth colony situated on the planet Verlinap, with the intention of selling them to the seedy slavers and human-traders of the planet Medusker. Only Captain Victor Corsaire, the galaxy's greatest lawman and "clean-living hero of millions," can stop him. Armed with quite a variety of combat and survival skills in spite of a painful past and many personal insecurities, Corsaire sets out to rescue the good people of Verlinap and bring the cruel and irredeemable Space Vulture to justice, with his feisty love interest [[ActionGirl Cali Russell]] by his side.

A secondary plot involves the only three people to escape Space Vulture's assault on Verlinap (middle-aged, half-human ruffian [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Gil Terry]] and Cali's sons, [[WiseBeyondTheirYears child genius]] Eliot and crybaby Regin) and their various attempts at finding safety and salvation in the cold reaches of space.

This book is [[SugarWiki/NeedsMoreLove unfortunately obscure]].


* ActionGirl / ActionMom: Cali Russell.
* AlienBlood: One's blood is bright green.
* AlienSky: Verlinap and Medusker have oddly-colored skies.
* AndIMustScream: Everyone who becomes a part of Space Vulture's zombie crew, though you don't know this until [[spoiler: Cali experiences it first hand.]]
* AppliedPhlebotinum: In spades, for that old-school sci-fi feel.
* AuthorTract: The occasional Christian [[AnAesop moral]], presumably from Myers.
** Mercifully, it doesn't stop the story dead in its tracks like the worst kinds of author tracts do. Mainly used in Gil's character arc and Space Vulture's [[spoiler: near death experience where he goes to Hell before being revived.]]
* BizarreAlienBiology: Many, most notably Two and the Valued Buyer.
* CharacterTitle
* ContemptibleCover: [[http://www.spacevulture.com/ Check it out.]]
* ADayInTheLimeLight: There's an extended passage that's done entirely from One's POV as he and the other crew members attempt a rescue mission. This is the only time in the book where we see things from his perspective.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Cali, once she is [[spoiler: rescued from Valued Buyer.]]
* DistressedDamsel: Cali (twice)
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: After being defeated and jailed by Corsaire, Space Vulture becomes the first person to escape from the galaxy's highest-security prison. The book ends with him sitting in a luxurious hotel bathtub, plotting his return to power and the heroes' demise. The final sentence implies his eventual success.]]
** [[spoiler: Though it should be noted that as the book is a blatant homage to the pulp space opera serials of the past, this could also be seen as a final homage to the cliffhangers such stories almost always ended with. The bad guy always returns to ensnare Our Heroes in his toils...]]
* TheDragon: One, Space Vulture's simply-named second-in-command
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Valued Buyer and the Auctioneer.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Medusker seems based on UsefulNotes/LasVegas.
* GeniusBruiser: Space Vulture.
* GenreThrowback: Wolf and Myers' purpuse in writing this novel.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Gil, but not in the traditional sense. After having lost one eye and one arm in a sports bet, he had them replaced with alien body parts.
* HeelFaithTurn: Gil learns to believe in a higher goodness.
* HumanPopsicle: Space Vulture's nightly method for keeping himself perpetually young.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Gil Terry, although he's really more of an AntiHero.
* PeopleFarms: Some clients on Medusker buy humans for this purpose.
* RaygunGothic
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: One, Space Vulture's right-hand Lizardo.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Captain Corsaire and Gil Terry are secretly brothers.]]
* RoguesGallery: The group of rogues who show up to bid for Corsaire at the Buck House.
* SacrificialLamb: Can Head, Gil Terry's morally-upright RobotBuddy, dies near the start.
* SpacePirate: Space Vulture.
* SpacePolice: Corsaire, and the corrupt and ineffectual Star Patrol.
* StarfishAliens: Valued Buyer, a hideous insectoid / crustacean alien.
* SwissArmyAppendage: Gil's alien body parts.
* {{Technobabble}}: See AppliedPhlebotinum.
* VillainBasedFranchise: Well, it's just this one book, but still.
* VillainEpisode: One gets an extended passage all to himself (see "A Day In The Limelight", above)
* VillainProtagonist: Gil
* WhatTheHellHero: Was it really necessary for Corsaire to kill Can Head? No one really calls him on it, but still...
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Eliot Russell, to outrageous degrees.
* {{Zeerust}}: Rampant, but intentional.