The Android’s Dream

By John Scalzi

Rating: 3 stars

A diplomat on Earth annoys his alien counterpart so much he literally dies. Thus sets off an unlikely chain of events that could ultimately lead to war, and it’s left to Harry Creek, the State Department’s Xenosapient Facilitator (aka the Bearer of Bad News), to find the sheep (yes, sheep) that would solve the problem.

This is an odd book. It started off very tongue in cheek and light hearted, with the low level diplomat literally farting his counterpart to death but there’s a lot packed in here and the tone does vary a bit going from broadly humorous to someone being eaten alive to (mostly off-page) torture, but for the most part Scalzi pulls off the changes in the tone.

The Church of the Evolved Lamb is a brilliant invention, worthy of Philip K. Dick (to whose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep the title, and the breed of sheep in the book, are nods) himself. This is a church whose members know it was founded by a scoundrel just trying to fleece someone for money, so they, instead, turn their efforts to making the prophecies come true. It’s quite the theological conundrum and a lovely idea.

Harry Creek is a great character too. Someone who, by temperament, is suited to be able to give people bad news, who’s also a veteran and happens to have mad h3x0r skillz *cough*, I mean, is very good with computers. Sure, he’s not exactly an everyman, but he’s very likeable and I’d feel safe in his hands.

There are number of action sequences in the book and they’re all excellent. Sometimes I can find action sequences a bit dull or wordy, but Scalzi really pulls them off here, especially the one in the mall.

So an all round fun book, with a number of interesting ideas and good characters.

Book details

ISBN: 9780765348289
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Year of publication: 2006

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