.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi

The Android's Dream by John Scalzi. New York: Tor, 2006. ISBN: 978-0-765-30941-9

The title to this book is an obvious reference to Philip K. Dick's classic SciFi novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which became the basis for the classic SciFi film, Blade Runner. It's been so many years since I read Do Androids Dream that if there are any other connections between the stories, I cannot recall them.

No matter. This book stands wonderfully on its own, and is a totally delightful, expertly crafted, and humorously zany science fiction story, well worth the time of any SciFi fan. I did think it might be a bit over the top when in the first chapter, a human manages to fart an alien to death. But that little bit of bathroom humor was not indicative of the whole. While most of the book is not laugh out loud funny, it IS genuinely comic, nonetheless.

What's it about? Earth having joined the rest of the sentient races of the galaxy, finds itself to be nothing more than a remote backwater, struggling to gain the attention of decidedly third-rate (much lower, actually) alien races. Some factions on earth want to create a little friction with the aliens, in order to promote their own xenophobic agendas. So we have the FBI feuding with the State Department, and both of them up against the world's richest secular religion, which only slightly resembles the Church of Scientology.

There's lots of skulduggery, plenty of action, space travel, and lots of computer hacking too, with the creation of an artificial intelligence based on the brain patterns of someone no longer living. The plot ultimately revolves around a very specialized breed of sheep, created especially for the aliens, who need it for their coronation ceremony. If the sheep cannot be found, it could upset the transition of power, and lead to the triumph of an insurgent clan. Just where and how the sheep, or at least, some of its genes, is found, makes for a good part of the story.

This is an altogether satisfying science fiction novel, highly recommended for all serious fans of the genre. Guaranteed to entertain!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home