Sunday, August 3, 2014

A pen name, banjo, and lady robot walk into this guy's spaceship

Nobody's fooling anybody here, Vonnegut. You totally wrote this, about a space traveler with an owl (!), a dog, and a female robot who's smarter than he is, who searches for the big meanings in life going from planet to planet, all of which have life forms that have caricatured relationships to sex and modesty and variations on the hedonism/puritanism/equality scale, only to make it to the high philosopher of the people who have been marking the galaxy for eons, escape his cannibalistic urges, and learn that all the cosmos and their joy and suffering are just a random joke. The extended references to other fake science fiction novels give you away, good sir.

This was fun, written with Vonnegut's sense of humor fully in tact, but without his weird cynical optimism about humanity underpinning everything, it fell a little flat.

I read it in two sittings and laughed but saw the end punchline from a couple chapters in, and the sometimes-random quick patches of "oh and this is why this worked" seemed rushed but still clever.

Good but not transcendent, and I turned it back in this morning because it's on someone else's library card and he's already had to renew it once for me.    

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