From Publishers Weekly
Scalzi's swashbuckling satire of interstellar diplomacy (after 2005's Old Man's War
) stars Harry Creek, a low-level State Department deliverer of bad news to alien ambassadors to Earth who's also a war hero and a computer genius. When Earth faces destruction over a diplomatic faux pas with the Nidu alien race, Harry must find and deliver the Android's Dream, an electric-blue breed of sheep, to the Nidu for their coronation ceremony. Dodging Defense Department assassins and Nidu space marines, Harry and Robin Baker, a pet shop owner with sheep DNA in her genes, flee Earth and find their own way to attend the Nidu crowning. Also on the quest for the sheep are disciples of the Church of the Evolved Lamb—founded by an early 21st-century SF writer of "modest talents." With plenty of alien gore to satisfy fans of military SF and inventive jabs at pretend patriotism and self-serving civil service, Scalzi delivers an effervescent but intelligent romp. (Nov.)
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Scalzi's third ingenious novel in less than two years speeds his transition from rising star to major player in the sf community. An interstellar scandal explodes when a human diplomat assassinates an alien diplomat by farting at him, albeit using a scent-emitting communicator. To forestall interspecies war, the government enlists former war hero and current uberhacker Harry Creek. His mission: to placate the aliens by finding a unique form of sheep used in the aliens' upcoming coronation ritual. The sheep, in this case, turns out to be unassuming pet-store owner Robin Baker, whose genes improbably incorporate ovine DNA. Before Baker can be secured and summarily dispatched, however, Creek must contend with a succession of meddlesome adversaries ranging from a cult of sheep worshippers to alien thugs itching for interstellar war. Scalzi uses the talent for military sf on view in the Heinleinesque Old Man's War
(2005) and The Ghost Brigades
(2006) for laughs this time, though there is also plenty of action and technological gimmickry to satisfy fans of sober sf, too. Carl HaysCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved