Book Review: Android’s Dream

April 16th, 2007

A quick break from my Hugo nominees reviews (they’re still in the post) for this new novel, Android’s Dream from John Scalzi.

This is a very, very strange book.

The quick summary: After a diplomatic incident (related to farting), one Earth diplomat must find a genetically engineered sheep within the week, or face invasion.

It’s a very quick read, and (as the summary suggests), more on the comic side of SF than the serious. This leads to a few flaws in my view, as the aliens in particular are just not very alien. And the characterisation is, other than the leads, pretty shallow – everyone falls into some broad archetype or other.

But that’s just about all the negatives I have for this one. It moves at a rocketing pace, and has a fun plot packed with interesting ideas. It reads in quite a few places like an outline for a movie, and it would in fact probably work out pretty well (there are a few action set pieces that would be quite stunning on screen). Scalzi is a very accomplished writer for someone with only a small handful of novels out.

Well worth reading (although probably tricky to find in Australia yet).