Andy Hayes

Dreaming of electric sheep…

I read Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep last year as research for my third mystery, which finds private eye Andy Hayes trying to come up to speed on science fiction novels since his girlfriend is a college professor specializing in the genre. I picked up John Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream partly because the title caught my eye after Dick’s book but also because I enjoyed Scalzi’s Red Shirts so much. (In short: what if the perennially doomed red shirt-wearing extras on Star Trek figured out what always happened to them and decided to figure out why.) The Android’s Dream is really funny and really sharp. Scalzi’s style reminds me a little bit of Carl Hiaasen and a little bit of Christopher Buckley. But it also contains lots of hard science, which gives it an appealing umph. Here’s a typically funny passage:

“It was the proverbially dirty job. But equally proverbially, someone had to do it, and Harris Creek was surprisingly good at it. It took a special human to look various members of various alien species in whatever organ it was that passed for their eye and tell them that a visa request was denied, or that the State Department was aware that assassins were plotting to kill them on their trip back to their home world, or that due to a memorable bout of public drunkenness on the Union Station carousel, which resulted in the alien projectile vomiting on terrified human children there for a birthday party, their diplomatic status was this close to being revoked. In his time, Creek had done all of these among many others.”

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