Friday, 11 June 2021

The Android's Dream


I picked this up for kicks as it sounded fun:

A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most . . . unusual . . . way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: a type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony.

To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire, who, with the help of a childhood friend turned artificial intelligence, scours the earth looking for the rare creature.

But there are others with plans for the sheep as well. Mercenaries employed by the military. Adherents of a secret religion based on the writings of a 21st century SF author. And alien races, eager to start a revolution on their home world and a war on Earth.

To keep our planet from being enslaved, Harry will have to pull off a grand diplomatic coup, a gambit that will take him from the halls of power to the lava-strewn battlefields of alien worlds. There's only one chance to get it right, to save the life of the sheep―and to protect the future of humanity.

Absolutely loved it. The wackiness of Yahtzee Croshaw's Jam with a definite dose of Douglas Adams. Space Opera at its very best, and narrated, incredibly well, by Wil Wheaton.

A joyous romp through the great beyond, with aliens who communicate through farting, another species whose pregnant females are banned from earth due to an extremely gooey and carnivorous procreation cycle, and a species of sheep with electric-blue wool.  However, the character of Narf-win-Getag did appear in my brain looking exactly like Lrrr from Futerama, and refused to morph into anything else for the duration of the book.

It was all-round delightful crazy:

[The Church of the Evolved Lamb] preferred not to be noticed whenever possible and remained small both by selective inclination of its members and by the fact that it takes a certain sort of person to want to join a church based on the desperate manoeuvres of a second-rate science fiction writer.

Archie looked over to Acuna, whose face was a dangerous shade of blank.

There were no CC nations with more than one sentient species. In a world with more than one sentient species, one species would wipe out the other, or others, long before it developed starfaring technology. No exceptions ever recorded.

Every space-going cruiseliner with a promenade deck registered for service by the UNE had to be able to lock down the entire deck at least, and preferably the deck in sections, to ensure a hull breach on the promenade deck did not threaten the integrity of the entire ship or expose any more passengers than absolutely necessary to the risk of having their blood boil into nothingness as they unexpectedly toured the cosmos without a ship.

Really clever and entertaining. Highly recommend, and John Scalzi appears to have an interesting blog.

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