The Android’s Dream
The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi was a lot of fun to read. It has a beat, you can dance to it. In the first chapter we meet a state department negotiator. He is negotiating with an alien species that has a kind of scent based auxiliary language. The negotiator doesn’t particularly like the aliens and has decided to derail the talks. Trying to be covert, the negotiator has a device implanted into his lower intestine that mixes pre-loaded scents with his own “emissions” to produce insults. He proceeds to utilize this device during the course of a days talks. So, assault via a covert fart device–what’s not to like?
The title of the book is an obvious call out to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Scalzi’s not one to stop there, however. In order to make up for the fart incident (not so covert after all), the aliens are demanding that Earth provide them with a particular type of genetically modified sheep called — The Android’s Dream. The sheep is also an electric blue color. This request is complicated by the aliens needing the sheep for a coronation in a few days and the fact that someone has been killing off known herds of the sheep.
The State Department assigns Harry Creek to the task of finding a sheep. Harry has a number of unique talents. He has been somewhat floating through life after a rough stint in the military, but he is prepared. I’m not going to say how he is prepared as that would give away some pleasant surprises. Suffice it to say that we get some interesting enforcement of the title theme.
Android’s Dream has action, snappy dialogue, humor and some clever twists–a good fast read.