Category Archives: John Scalzi

The Android’s Dream

Here’s another humorous science fiction novel by John Scalzi, The Android’s Dream, being a nod toward Phillip K. Dick’s seminal SF classic, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Harry Creek is a State Department bureaucrat tasked with smoothing over a trade negotiation snafu with the warlike alien race Nidu.  Creek is a computer geek, war hero, and nice guy in one package with the job of locating a special breed of blue-wooled sheep required by the Nidu for their next coronation ceremony.  But other forces decide that a good healthy war is just what Earth needs to bump up its status amongst the alien races.  So Creek struggles against government assasins, alien marines, and the disciples of the Church of the Evolved Lamb, the one (?) religion that openly acknowledges that it was begun as a scam.

There’s action, humor, and some backhanded criticism of patriotism and religion, all in a fast-paced story.  The central characters seem a bit too good to be true, but the story spins out to a satisfying conclusion.

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Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

A reboot of the Hugo-winning novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, Fuzzy Nation is definitely a product of today’s generation. Jack Holloway is a cocky, articulate surveyor for an interplanetary mining company, and Holloway makes two significant discoveries in one day. First, on an uninhabited planet, he finds a mother-lode of a rare crystal that his company will be able to extract, and with his cut will make Holloway a very rich man. Second, he discovers an unknown mammal species on the same planet–a cross between very clever monkeys and cats– that, if found to be sentient, will legally prevent said company from being able to extract the mineral wealth, making Jack both non-rich and the target of powerful enemies.

Scalzi writes fast-paced intelligent science fiction, and has been often compared to Robert Heinlein. Fuzzy Nation  is an easy read comprised of perhaps less than ten characters in all, but the legal wranglings make for fun twists and a surprise ending.

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