I got to hear John read the first chapter of this novella at Worldcon this past August. The first thing I noticed when he read was the complete lack of humor. There are no chapter long fart jokes as experienced in The Android’s Dream. There are no quirky one-liners to break the tension. John took The God Engines completely seriously and it’s all the better for it.
In fact, the conflict in this story builds like a tidal wave. This along with memorable and vividly drawn characters, a deep story which had me thinking about my own application of faith, and a rather distressing but wholly necessary conclusion, makes for an excellent piece of cross-genre fiction.
It’s science fiction with some dark fantasy mixed in. I would think even a horror fan would walk away from this novella satisfied. I couldn’t help turn each page with a racing heart wondering what would happen next. It’s a quick little read, but one that follows you after you’ve closed the back cover.
I really want to get into the meat and bones of this book to discuss what it meant on a much deeper religious/spiritual level to me and how I applied it to my constant questioning of faith.
Yet, it will break my own rules about spoilerific book reviews. With this post, I’m ultimately trying to get you interested in the book without giving anything away, which is becoming increasingly hard to do with each word because I want to talk about the details.
Perhaps I need some first made iron to keep me in my own bonds.
Go get this book. You won’t regret it. It has firmly displaced my love for “The Sagan Diary” as my favorite John Scalzi work, and I won’t be surprised if it supplants your favorite to date as well.
Available from Subterranean Press. Looks like they are out of the Limited but do have some trade available. The illustrations from Vincent Chong are amazing as usual.