Imagine that a talking flamingo from outer space just appeared in your living room. The flamingo goes on to tell you that aliens are real, they’re currently judging whether humans are sentient, and the only way to prove our sentience is to engage in a giant intergalactic version of the Eurovision Song Contest that will determine whether our civilization survives. And our only hope is a strung-out, has-been, David-Bowie-wannabe. Got all that?
Welcome to the world of Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente’s take on reality television, alien life, and celebrity. It’s a curious mishmash that manages to combine an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music with a sci-fi history book, with a few dashes of alien biology thrown in for flavor.
And for the most part, it works. The alien species are truly alien, with different values, different goals, and appearances that go far beyond the “human plus funny forehead” patterning of Star Trek.
Although the narration is a little overwritten at times — overexplanatory in ways that evoke Douglas Adams without mirroring his smoothness — the book is still rife with hilarious detail and ridiculous scenarios that leave you laughing as often as they leave you scratching your head. This is madcap fun.
|Author||Catherynne M. Valente|
|Page Count||304 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|