Jennifer is apparently on a mission to ensure that I own the complete published works of one John Scalzi, blogger, science-fiction writer and putter of bacon on cats. So, for my birthday (this week), she provided me with copies of his latest.
The God Engines is a dark fantasy novella that mixes spaceships and gods in a deeply creepy and original manner. (I don’t want to give too much away; suffice to say that the title is literal.) At only 136 pages, it’s much too brief, and leaves the reader wanting more: the setting and plot could easily handle a quarter-million words. The diction doesn’t quite ring true, and comes across a little stilted; Scalzi doesn’t quite have the knack for this kind of voice. But impressive nonetheless, and it just made the Nebula final ballot this morning. Here’s the first chapter.
Judge Sn Goes Golfing, on the other hand, is pure fun, a short story (the chapbook is all of 32 pages) featuring my favourite character from The Android’s Dream, a profoundly profane and misanthropic alien judge. (I have simple tastes, which include judges who say “fuck” from the bench.) Here’s Scalzi reading a bowdlerized audio version.