Saturday, May 18, 2013

Alien Relations and Sheep

The Android's DreamThe Android's Dream
by John Scalzi

Here's a quick rule of thumb: Don't annoy science fiction writers. These are people who destroy entire planets before lunch. Think of what they'll do to you.” John Scalzi

This is a whimsical novel of alien foreign relations with some surprising twists that made it a delightful read. The story hangs on the relations between the Nidu alien empire and Earth. The protagonist, Harris (Harry) Creek, is an official with the State Department who specializes in dealing with aliens, particularly when the news was bad. In this case the death of a Nidu trade negotiator. The death starts the story and it quickly becomes a quest for Harry Creek to acquire a sheep of the Android's Dream breed for the coronation ceremony of the Nidu. The Nidu assert that unless a sheep can be provided, that the political and diplomatic fallout will cause the Nidu to declare war on Earth, a war Earth will lose badly. The genetically designed breed is very rare and believed extinct after a sect of Nidu intent on deposing the government exterminate all known samples, leading Harry on a chase to find one along with assistance from Brian, an AI based on Harry's childhood friend. That may sound a bit complicated but the story has more twists and turns and should please readers looking for traditional science fiction leavened with a large dose of humor. I know I enjoyed the book for that reason and enjoyed the suspenseful action until the last page.

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