So you guys probably know my taste in books based upon my reviews here. I’ve never been one to get into science fiction stuff, whether it’s books or movies. My suspension of disbelief threshold is very low (and here’s an interesting post about that on Book Riot). Though, I did read the “Twilight” series, but whatever, who didn’t. Anyway. When I was approached to read and review a science fiction book, I thought I’d give it a shot because A) it was supposed to be a FUNNY science fiction book, so that gave me some extra incentive, and B) the author is from Pittsburgh, my hometown. How can I not want to support a local author?
“There Goes the Galaxy” is about a Pittsburgh grad student named Bertram Ludlow who is abducted by aliens. Not the short, green, big-headed and beady-eyed aliens, but ones who are somewhat human-like….. but different. As Bertram spends more time with his abductor Rollie, who comes off at first like a tough guy and that he wants to dump Bertram as soon as possible, he learns that planet Earth (referred to as “Tryfe” everywhere else) is up for sale to the highest bidder.
Bertram goes on a quest, dragging Rollie and his motley crew along, to find the current owner of Tryfe and stop the sale before his planet and human life as we know it isn’t obliterated. Bertram is helped along the way by a friend of his named Rozz who was also abducted and was forced into alien barista slavery (yes, I said barista. She slings space drinks). So, do they succeed? What’s next for planet Tryfe?
As my first real sci-fi read, I really enjoyed it! If there wasn’t humor involved, I think my opinion would have been different. I found myself chuckling when I noticed something that the author threw in there that was a play on a real celebrity’s name or personality, and I think my favorite planet was definitely Ludd… home of the Luddites. It’s exactly what you think. The characters were all human-enough to have personalities that you could relate to, and I even found myself liking Rollie, who doesn’t seem to want or need anyone to like him, even though deep down he does have feelings. The names of the planets and some of the characters got a little confusing, which often happens to me when there are too many new and unique names of things/places to keep track of (the same thing happened when I read the book “Wicked”), but I was easily able to pick back up and understand what was going on with no problems. The book was also a little longer than I expected and it took me longer than usual to read, but I can’t imagine taking anything out of the book or splitting it up into two because it would completely destroy the story. Bertram had so many different adventures that you wanted to keep reading to see what trouble he got himself into next.
Jenn Thorson definitely opened my eyes to a new genre that I may not have given a second look to otherwise. I wonder what’s next for Bertram and Rozz! Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, Bertram just joined, so you can follow him to get tips on how not to get abducted by aliens (and what to do if you do): @BertramLudlow.