Plot: The murder of a Nidu diplomat by one of his human counterparts has created political tension between the two species. The only way for earth to smooth over relations is to locate a rare breed of electric blue sheep, The Android’s Dream, necessary for the Nidu coronation ceremony. Ex-soldier and computer hacker Harry Creek is hired to locate the sheep but he quickly discovered that there are factions determined to prevent the coronation and peace between Earth and the Nidu.
This review is based on the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton.
This novel begins with an elaborate and diplomatically disastrous fart and is centered on the search for a rare breed of electric blue sheep so I was expecting a sci-fi parody in a similar vein to Scalzi’s Red Shirts. I was pleasantly surprised to find a politically sophisticated science fiction thriller instead. Don’t get me wrong, there are funny parts and ludicrous situations but I was impressed by the depth and thoughtfulness of Scalzi’s world and I was completely caught up in the story.
I like the thought Scalzi gave to the alien species that coexist with humans: their cultures, struggles and beliefs. I like the ways in which he explores artificial intelligence. And I’m especially fond of The Church of the Evolved Lamb, an intricate scam of a religion that has been taken up by generations of followers who know that it’s a scam but have dedicated themselves to making its prophecies come true anyway.
This is a novel that just kept surprising me, right up to it’s very satisfying ending.