2019 HUGO AWARD FINALIST, BEST NOVEL
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets the joy and glamour of Eurovision in bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente's science fiction spectacle, where sentient races compete for glory in a galactic musical contest…and the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the great galactic civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Species far and wide compete in feats of song, dance and/or whatever facsimile of these can be performed by various creatures who may or may not possess, in the traditional sense, feet, mouths, larynxes, or faces. And if a new species should wish to be counted among the high and the mighty, if a new planet has produced some savage group of animals, machines, or algae that claim to be, against all odds, sentient? Well, then they will have to compete. And if they fail? Sudden extermination for their entire species.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.
Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes have been chosen to represent their planet on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of Earth lies in their ability to rock.
Miller shines in his reading of Valente's outrageous sci-fi adventure. The book opens as washed up glam-rocker Danesh Jalo of the band Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros learns that his band has been chosen to represent the planet Earth in an intergalactic music festival. The hitch is that the festival is quite literally a battle of the bands in which each group must compete for the future of their planet and species. Danesh and his band don't have to win the competition necessarily, but if they place last, it will be the final riff for planet Earth. For the audio edition, Miller delivers a high-energy performance reminiscent of the radio work of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which originated as a BBC radio series in the 1970s. Whether he's providing the voice of a seven-foot-tall ultramarine half-flamingo, half-anglerfish alien in a Southern accent or describing the potential perils of intergalactic sex, where an uncovered cough can lead to unexpected parenthood, Miller handles each outlandish character and situation with a fittingly over-the-top delivery. There is never a dull moment in the audio edition of this wacky novel. A Saga paperback.
A Showcase of Imagination
Dense, imaginative, & funny. Heavy on heart and light, at times, on linear narrative. Rewarding in large doses, and an enjoyable read.
This book will fill the gaping hole in your soul with wondrous words.
“Earth began to get used to the proximity of the end of everything.
It had a beat.
And you could dance to it.”
This book is so funny you will snort your milk out of your nose. It is so sad and prescient that you will tear up, but they will be glitter tears.
Reading is like cozying up into an author’s brain, reading Space Opera is like cozying up into Catherynne M. Valente’s brain and discovering that it is a disco filled with living belching adorable black holes ready to whisk you up and out of yourself and into messy musical intergalactic deliciousness and the end of all things and the beginning of others.
Holy over use of adjectives Batman
I tried. I really tried. Multiple times....didn’t work out though