by Jim Munroe
This was a fun book.
Munroe has taken 1950s science fiction elements, extended corporate greediness to a logical conclusion, thrown in humor, put it all in a blender and hit the “satire” button.
If you only like your sci-fi served up serious, or with hard science, you will not like this book; if you are looking for something different and playful, you probably will. The main character is Sam Breen, a disillusioned young man who has turned his back on his mother’s wealth and connections in order find and follow a more ethical path. He winds up teaching English on a distant liquid-atmosphere planet populated by beings with eight tentacles.
The reader follows Sam as he navigates the expected and unexpected terrain: feeling different, finding meaning, finding friendship and love, and figuring out how to have sex with an alien species. Toward the very end of the book, I got the feeling Munroe was trying a little too hard to wrap things up. Though the end is believable in the context of the rest of the story, events just felt a little bit rushed in comparison to what came before. Since I was enjoying the book, I would have been content for Munroe to take a little more time getting to the end.
Bottom line: greed run amok with flying saucers — plus robots — made me laugh out loud and nod my head when I read this. Enjoyable and recommended.