God Juice, by M.K. Hobson

June 27, 2008

Listen to it at Escape Pod.

This has to be one of the single most enjoyable science fiction stories I’ve read in a long time.

Science fiction, as a genre, has a lot of potential. Many people who don’t come into contact with the genre assume that it’s all about little green men and explosions and death rays. This isn’t true. Lots of science fiction is bogged down with ideas and exploration of thousands of ‘what ifs’ that simply aren’t viable in mainstream fiction.

Luckily, this story was basically about little green men and explosions. I think the best way to describe this story is to take Indiana Jones, have him portrayed by a sarcastic overweight woman, and then send him off into space. Hilarity ensues. Not only is there action and adventure, there’s subtle exploration of other cultures, giving this light-hearted romp a serious side. It also has a helmet that sucks your brains out, just to make sure that the reader realises that this is pure, unabashedly fun scifi.

Many otherwise excellent stories are sabotaged by the author’s need to be ‘respectable’. After all, it isn’t real literature if it isn’t serious and soul-searching, right? That is true, to some extent. However, sometimes, even serious students of literature want to read about explosions and prostitute-assassins on a faraway planet. Not only that, we want to read a well-written story including these things. Such stories are so hard to come by, that when I do run across one, I cherish it. And that’s why I’m so glad that I read God Juice.

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