Hover Car Racer

Hover Car Racer

infobox Book |
name = Hover Car Racer
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Matthew Reilly
illustrator =
cover_artist = Roy Govier
country = Australia
language = English
series =
genre = Science fiction, Sports, Thriller novel
publisher = Pan MacMillan
release_date = 2004
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback and Paperback)
pages = 438 (hardback edition)
isbn = ISBN 1-4050-3621-4
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Hover Car Racer is a popular Sci-fi/Sports/Action story written by Australian author Matthew Reilly, originally released as a free fortnightly online serial, and later published by Pan MacMillan in 2004.

The novel, as the book title suggests, is about Hover Car Racing, a sport developed in the early 21st century. The fictional technology of hover cars relies on the magnetic field of the Earth, counter-balancing it to create an ultra-fast, new type of transport.

Plot introduction

This is the story of Jason Chaser, a talented young racer selected to attend the Race School. He's younger than the other students. He's smaller. His trusty car, the Argonaut, is older. But Jason Chaser is no ordinary racer. And as he races against the best drivers in the world he will learn that at Race School winning is everything, that not everyone in this world fights fair, and that you never ever have any friends on the track.

Major themes

The novel is aimed primarily at a teenage demographic but can be enjoyed by adults and preteens alike due to family-friendly content and language. It can be recommended as a lighter-in-tone alternative for fans of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, or even as a sci-fi equivalent to Harry Potter, as each of these novels features harrowing situations thrust upon young protagonists in a school-like environment.

The book was originally released for free online, in eight parts, before being published in hard-cover format. It was followed by a paperback edition in 2005 to appeal more to a younger market. The first part of the story can be read [http://www.kidsreads.com/authors/Hover_Car_Racer_1.pdf here] .

Hover Car Racer is written in the usual Matthew Reilly style which critics condemn but fans adore. Reilly writes in a similar vein to an action movie script, employing similar clichés and stereotypes. According to Reilly himself, the book is best read in instalments, the manner in which it was released online.

Literary significance & criticism

Some believe that the book is effectively a rework of Roger Zelany's Alien Speedway. The arguments are as follows:

*Plot similarities (although Alien Speedway is set in space and Hover Car Racer is set in Tasmania).
*Parallels throughout, eg: befriends female racer, youngest student, works hard despite early setbacks, in Hover car racer Jason and Bug are adopted from a children’s home, refusing to be separated; in Alien Speedway the character is orphaned when his grandmother dies, he then flees authority before he can be taken to a children’s home. In both books the lead character is supported by former racer now teacher of racing school, has some good luck and wins the big race in the end.

Some people have also described this book as a cross between the Harry Potter series and Pod-Racing from the Star Wars saga (in particular The Phantom Menace).

Teaching Resources

A package of teaching resources was created in early 2006 by "Brendan McKinnon". The resources are aimed at giving students from the age of 12 to 16 a more thorough understanding of Hover Car Racer, and at the same time, helps them to improve their skills in the areas of English, Geography and History.

Included in the resources are:
* A flow chart of the suggested study pattern
* A parts of speech example sheet
* An interview with Matthew Reilly from Teenreads that includes a sheet of comprehension questions based on the interview
* Location study resources - studies of some famous locations in the world as mentioned in Hover Car Racer
* Open and closed comprehension questions and activities for every chapter in Hover Car Racer (answer sheets included)
* Project sheets - projects for students to undertake after completing the reading of the novel
* Assessment for question work and project work

The resource package is available at: http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/ in the resources section, or simply use the link below.

Film adaptation

Disney bought the rights to the film, when the book was still only a manuscript, and has begun the screen-writing process. Currently it is unknown when the movie will begin production.

*For more information: Dunkley, Cathy (Jul. 21, 2004). [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117908096?categoryid=13&cs=1 Disney hovers over 'Racer'] . "Variety".

ee also

*Magnetic levitation
*Matthew Reilly
*Online book

External links

* [http://www.matthewreilly.com MatthewReilly.com] - homepage of author
* [http://www.hovercarracer.com/ HoverCarRacer.com] - official website, now just a splash page
* [http://www.hovercarracer.co.uk/ HoverCarRacer.co.uk] - official British website, mostly flash, content out of date
* [http://www.matthewreilly.com/ex_paperargo.htm Foldable Paper Argonaut] - a downloadable paper model of a vehicle from the novel

[http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/resources/TN-HoverCarRacer.pdf] - teaching resources (comprehension questions, location studies, the parts of speech and projects)

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