The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi

If you take a look at my previous posts you’ll notice that I love me some humor and satire in my books. You’ll also notice that I’m a huge geek for Science Fiction and that I’ve blogged about the author John Scalzi several times before (my wife says that he’s my “man-crush” but we’ll leave that theory alone for right now). So, how could I not love a satirical science fiction novel about the diplomacy and inter-species relations between humans and an alien race with vastly superior military and technological power? Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed The Android’s Dream, despite the fact that I was a tiny bit disappointed to find out that there is no actual android in the book. The title is a reference to Philip K. Dick’s classic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? However, while there is no adroid in this book, there is a sheep … sort of.

The story opens with an Earth diplomat who murders his alien counterpart during a routine trade negotiation meeting in one of the most creative, imaginative – and humorous – ways possible. This, in turn, causes an inter-stellar incident with the reptilian Nidu race. They demand that a very rare breed of sheep be delivered to them for a coronation ritual on their home world. This wouldn’t be a problem, but the few of these sheep that exist on Earth have all mysteriously died very recently. Thus, the state department enlists just the man for the job: Harry Creek.

Creek is a former war hero and computer hacker/genius who also has an unusual skill set that makes him the ideal person for his offical role with the State department. Harry is the guy who delivers bad news to the aliens living on Earth. When an alien  diplomat’s wife is refused her entry visa because of the infidelity that she is committing, Harry has to break the news to her husband. And, when the diplomatic crisis that can only be solved with a sheep arises, the government taps Harry to solve this little problem as well.

How Harry ends up handing things and finding the desired sheep is an interesting and very entertaining journey. Mixed in with all of this are some mercernary thugs of dubious skill, the Church of the Evolved Lamb (which is trying to influence the course of human history over many generations), scheming and plotting government agents from rival departments, a large furry alien on a religious quest, and the world’s first (or is it?) artificial intelligence created from an actual human mind. In true Scalzi fashion, this book has a great story with plenty of action, some twists and turns along the way, and hidden within are some “”big ideas”” on which one can ponder about human nature and how we do – or don’t – get along on our little planet.

                          Find and reserve this book in the catalog.


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