The Android's Dream
Publishing Date: October 2006 (Tor Books)
10 Words or Less: Man solves diplomatic crisis through action scenes and snappy dialogue.
Cover Blurbage: A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. A lone man races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement...
That's right, a sheep. And if you think that's the most surprising thing about this book, wait until you read Chapter One. Welcome to The Android's Dream.
For Harry Creek, it's quickly becoming a nightmare. All he wants is to do his uncomplicated mid-level diplomatic job with Earth's State Department. But his past training and skills get him tapped to save the planet--and to protect pet store owner Robin Baker, whose own past holds the key to the whereabouts of that lost sheep. Doing both will take him from lava-strewn battlefields to alien halls of power. All in a day's work. Maybe it's time for a raise.
Throw in two-timing freelance mercenaries, political lobbyists with megalomaniac tendencies, aliens on a religious quest, and an artificial intelligence with unusual backstory, and you've got more than just your usual science fiction adventure story. You've got The Android's Dream.
Reviews: "Scalzi's hilarious political thriller, filled with war heroes, hackers, religious cults, and AI, is so absurd that it becomes believable. His best book yet." -- Noah Robischon, Entertainment Weekly
"Scalzi’s third ingenious novel in less than two years speeds his transition from rising star to major player in the sf community... 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 both sober sf, too." -- Carl Hays, Booklist
"[A] swashbuckling satire of interstellar diplomacy... 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." -- Publisher's Weekly
"An uproarious comedy about an imminent interplanetary war between mankind and a race of manipulative reptilian humanoids that proves once and for all that while Scalzi may have a multitude of bats in his belfry, he is an incomparable storytelling genius... a satirical tour de force." -- Paul Goat Allen, Barnes & Noble Explorations
"The Android's Dream is a galloping caper that is very funny and very satisfying. Often caper books fall apart at the end, the plot flying apart from the stress of all of its complications. Thankfully, The Android's Dream avoids ending with a whimper. Watching all of the plot threads wind back together into an integrated whole is delightful. By combining a tight ending with sympathetic characters and sharp, funny writing, The Android's Dream delivers top-notch entertainment." -- Stephen Granade, Bookslut.com
"The Android's Dream reads something like an SFnal James Bond spoof by way of South Park. Scalzi isn't exploring anything particularly deep thematically here; the name of the game is satire, and he does some of the most spot-on political wit this side of the old British sitcom Yes, Minister... [it's] just the right gene-splicing of fast action and furious comedy SF has been needing for ages." -- Martin Wagner, SFReviews.net
"What I liked about The Android's Dream, apart from the engaging characters and action that are a hallmark of the author's work, was the way it all built up to its punchline... I'm convinced that this book was written from the punch line backwards to the beginning, which is the only way all the disparate elements could have tied together so well at the end." -- Ernest Lilley, SFRevu.com
"The Android's Dream might be what you'd find in an Elmore Leonard novel if he were to write a science fiction story with Keith Laumer in Reteif mode - which is to say that it is equal parts crime story, diplomatic drama, political intrigue and science fiction adventure... This is one of those books that makes science fiction fun." -- John DeNardo, SFSignal.com
"This book is very sharp and very funny. Scalzi is a fantastic new voice in speculative fiction." -- Jason Kennedy, Book Sense
Awards, etc: Featured Selection, the Science Fiction Book Club, November 2006; Book Sense Pick, December 2006
Personal Notes: I call this my "popcorn movie" book: No particularly deep themes, just lots of action and adventure and fun. I had a ball writing this one.