- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (April 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345534514
- ISBN-13: 978-0345534514
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 470 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Year Zero: A Novel Paperback – April 30, 2013
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Praise for Year Zero
“Hilarious, provocative, and supersmart, Year Zero is a brilliant novel to be enjoyed in perpetuity in the known universe and in all unknown universes yet to be discovered.”
John Hodgman, resident expert, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
“Reid’s extreme imagination never wanes as he builds an entire universe solely on how alien societies would react to our music and culture. Nothing is typical or obvious. Reid uses the lens of an outsider to unleash a sarcastic—and hilarious—rant on how obsessed we are with technology and greed.”
“Holy hilarity! A new force in geek humor is upon us. You’ll never think the same way again about extraterrestrials, bad music, buggy technology—or lawyers!”
Chris Anderson, TED curator
“I loved it. Funny, smart, silly . . . three things I also happen to admire in a novel. Bottom line: recommended. Buy it and read it.”
Phil Plait, Discover Magazine
“Year Zero made me laugh out loud and taught me stuff about copyright infringement: It’s clever, smart, and so original that people are probably already trying to rip it off.”
Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
“All in all, it’s a supremely fun read which will remind you how much you love science fiction comedy—and how much you hate the music industry.”
“My pick for best (and funniest) sci-fi book of the year.”
Chris Anderson, editor in chief, Wired
“Hailed as this summer’s best beach read for science fiction and music geeks . . . It’s an often hilarious satire on much of current entertainment, including reality TV, the legal profession and fandom (interstellar and otherwise), but the book’s crowning achievement is that it actually makes copyright funny.”
“Year Zero is ROFLMAO funny, insightful, and sly: A sort of Hitchhiker’s Guide to our own tortured commercial/litigation culture, by way of planet Zinkiwu.”
Mark Jannot, editor in chief, Popular Science
“Fans of Douglas Adams will rave about this smart, funny satire. Debut novelist Reid, founder of Listen.com, has crafted a masterly plot that deftly skewers the American obsession with music, money, and power. Fast paced and original, this is highly recommended.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“Witty and original—I loved it. A biting satire of the record business and those who run it . . . and ultimately ran it into the ground.”
Cliff Bleszinski, creator, Gears of War
“With chess master precision, the refreshingly ray gun-free novel wittily plays with the possibilities of its fantastical plot. It mixes airtight point-and-counter point rounds of arguments with wild travails to distant worlds. The careful cohesion of Year Zero is a marvel given its star-hopping digressions.”
“Smart and wacky.”
Bob Boilen, NPR’s All Songs Considered
“Reid . . . takes aim at many targets—technology, the music industry, hipsters—and nails them hilariously.”
“What if aliens heard our music—and really liked it? You could ‘what if’ for the next millennium and still not come up with as many zany scenarios as Rob Reid does in this tale of copyright law, astrophysics, biophysics, and crazy physics that hasn’t yet been invented. So sit back, hold your sides to ease the laughing pains, and find out whether Earth survives.”
Jill Tarter, director, Center for SETI Research
“Awesome. Think Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but with copyright law driving a major plot line. A mainstream humorous sci-fi novel that uses the Berne Convention as a key plot point and tosses aside casual references to Larry Lessig and Fark? Yes. Count me in.”
“Year Zero is a brilliant satire of the American entertainment industry, and I never stopped grinning.”
Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
“Light-hearted, intelligent and just plain silly . . . Year Zero is very clever and has wonderful fun with themes I think you’ll enjoy.”
“The fun in Year Zero comes from the banter among the main characters, all of whom are well drawn and hilarious in their own right. While the novel satirizes the music industry, it’s obvious the author feels as passionately as some of the alien characters about the power of pop music.”
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Rob Reid is the founder of Listen.com, which created the Rhapsody service, the world’s largest seller of online music until it was eclipsed (rather badly, he’ll admit) by Apple’s iTunes service. He is the author of Year One, a memoir about student life at Harvard Business School, and Architects of the Web, a business history of the Internet. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Morgan.
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Top customer reviews
The whole concept is silly, but very fun to read. Tongue is firmly in cheek throughout the story, and it's a quick read of eye-rolling inanity. There's the sexy compatriot, the carnivore parrot, celebrity impersonators and other crazy caricatures supporting the story as both allies and enemies.
The whole thing ended rather abruptly for me, but it was still nicely wrapped up and complete. There is a special bonus at the end revealing a dark and sinister hand that is guiding our technological innovation through distraction. It's a great a-ha moment that suddenly makes a lot of things make sense.
Very fun book.
I was baffled a lot, and that usually only happens around women. I was befuddled a lot, and that usually only happens around tax time. And I was confused a lot, and that usually only happens around, well, that is normal, so I can't blame the author. But I did enjoy a lot of it. I just wanted more, kinda like compliments with women.
Keep up the effort friend. We need another Discworld!
The novel, armed with one of the more controversial bits of legislation out there (many lawyers freely admit they think it goes too far), grabs the truth and stretches it to the far side of the galaxy. And yet, the plot holds water under some very kind Galactic laws.
The character development is very 2 dimensional but i laughed, giggled and snorted out loud from beginning to end.
The plot twists are original. Never did I imagine the common cold, alien health care and a lawyer would rescue the galaxy.
Rob Reid is the founder of the company that created the Rhapsody music downloading program. His familiarity with the law behind music can be seen in the writing. He cleverly pokes fun while explaining the intricacies.
The concept that Earth has the best music in the universe is such a cool idea and it is treated very well. When the aliens hear a human perform live they feel pure ecstasy. The many alien races Reid created are unique and fun. This isn't a hard science sci-fi book so don't go into reading this expecting the science to make sense. This is a sci-fi comedy.
I give this novel a 4/5 and suggest it to anyone who is familiar with pop culture (especially music) and looking for a book that will provide plenty of chuckles.