This was enjoyable, but it took me longer to get through than it should have, because I didn’t care enough. It’s a fun concept, I like the world, but I wish it had either been funnier, or darker (for example, and this is a slight spoiler: if you have a co-worker who’s a succubus and feeds on sexual energy, and he tries to seduce your character at a nightclub because he’s hungry, and you DON’T find a way to make that a metaphor either for date rape, or a regrettable but consensual one night stand with a co-worker? C’mon! It’s right there!). Instead, it was kind of a mediocre middle ground between monsters and tourism that was certainly fun, but nothing remarkable. I loved the idea of Public Works, and the zombies, and some of the characters were still fun (despite the fact that I have literally no idea what the protagonist looked like). By the time the epic ending came around, which I guess was kind of cool, I was more interested in finishing the book than I was in what actually happened to any of the characters (spoilers: they all live happily ever after. lame).
Read this book. I am not even kidding.
The latest novel from Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek examination of memories and father-son relationships, through the veil of cheeky sci-fi and wacky time travel concepts. Charles Yu (the character, not the author) is a time travel mechanic with a Masters Degree in Applied Science Fiction. While on a quest to reconnect with his estranged father, Charles Yu (the character) accidentally shoots Future Charles Yu (the future character) in the stomach, but not before Future Charles Yu hands him a copy of a book called How to Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe, which was/is/will be written by Charles Yu (the character. And the author? I don’t know).
Charles Yu (the character) also has a dog named Ed that was retroactively erased from continuity and so technically doesn’t exist due to a paradoxical causality but, like any good dog, still loves his owner regardless of his own lack of logical existence.
You can read my full review of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe over at DailyGenoshan.com, but what really matters is that it’s one of the best books I’ve read in the last year, so you should probably pick it up.
I’ve posted a book review of My Favorite Band Does Not Exist, by Robert T. Jeschonek, over on DailyGenoshan.com, where I’m now a regular contributor. You can read the full review here. Recommended if you enjoy fantasy novels, rock bands, the internet, metafiction, and liking bands before they even exist just so you can tell your friends that you liked them first.*
*You like all of these things.