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Will Save the Galaxy for Food

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A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked in A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked into an ever-deepening corporate and political intrigue. Between space pirates, adorable deadly creatures, and a missing fortune in royalties, saving the universe was never this difficult! From the creator of Mogworld and Jam! Benjamin Richard "Yahtzee" Croshaw is a British-Australian comedic writer, video game journalist, author, and video game developer. He is perhaps best known for his acerbic video game review series, Zero Punctuation, for The Escapist.


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A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked in A not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked into an ever-deepening corporate and political intrigue. Between space pirates, adorable deadly creatures, and a missing fortune in royalties, saving the universe was never this difficult! From the creator of Mogworld and Jam! Benjamin Richard "Yahtzee" Croshaw is a British-Australian comedic writer, video game journalist, author, and video game developer. He is perhaps best known for his acerbic video game review series, Zero Punctuation, for The Escapist.

30 review for Will Save the Galaxy for Food

  1. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I was pleasantly surprised to see this sitting on the shelf when I stopped by a bookstore down in Florida to sign some books. I've been a fan of Yahtzee's work on Zero Punctuation for a while, but I've been busy lately, and don't listen to it as faithfully as I used to. More importantly, I really enjoyed his previous book Jam. (Which is, of course, a much bigger indicator of weather or not I'll actually like a book.) Simply said, he's kind of an irritatingly good writer. His books are fun and easy I was pleasantly surprised to see this sitting on the shelf when I stopped by a bookstore down in Florida to sign some books. I've been a fan of Yahtzee's work on Zero Punctuation for a while, but I've been busy lately, and don't listen to it as faithfully as I used to. More importantly, I really enjoyed his previous book Jam. (Which is, of course, a much bigger indicator of weather or not I'll actually like a book.) Simply said, he's kind of an irritatingly good writer. His books are fun and easy to read as drinking a glass of cool water. (And which is a very rare gift.) The dialouge is good, characters believable, and the wit is sharp. What's more, he has a gift for believable speculative fiction, where he creates the (speculative) premise of the story, then lets everything follow through to a rational conclusion, both in the world creation, and the novel he's writing. That's something I find unfortunately lacking a lot of times. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun, clever, easy read. Look no further. This is good stuff, and well-worth your time.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー

    I love peanut butter. Imagine this introduction was pure, rich creamy peanut butter Reese's Cups.This book had one of the funniest and cynically appreciative introductions in I've read in a long time, with so much action and character interactions laced with cynically charming humour - it was intoxicating and I thought it would help me end 2018 on a bang. The story follows a man who was a magnificent star pilot who saved worlds along with many other star pilots. This is so much like a story of w I love peanut butter. Imagine this introduction was pure, rich creamy peanut butter Reese's Cups.This book had one of the funniest and cynically appreciative introductions in I've read in a long time, with so much action and character interactions laced with cynically charming humour - it was intoxicating and I thought it would help me end 2018 on a bang. The story follows a man who was a magnificent star pilot who saved worlds along with many other star pilots. This is so much like a story of what happened to the Rebel pilots in Star Wars after Darth Vader was defeated. I mean those guys no longer have jobs Our main character is a dead-beat star pilot living on the moon. After all the star pilots had won their glory and medals in the "Golden Age of Star Piloting", Quantum Teleportation was built for conveniently fast travel for people from different planets. And so, the Star Pilots had no jobs. They now all stand hopelessly at the docking bay to take tourists on "Golden Age Flights". Our main character is spittingly sarcastic with cynicism dripping from every pore of his body. He's hilarious - I'll later annotate his quotes in this review. Now, he goes on a crazy adventure where Miss Warden, a stiff-upper lipped woman with her tablet and pencil skirt, hurriedly asks our space hero to meet at an expensive restaurant and dress as neatly as possible. It turns out, Miss Warden ensured that the aloof author, Jacques Mckeown (hated by all star pilots for stealing their stories of conquering and saving planets and woman and writing books about it) was now our mysterious main character's new identity. And why? Only so that he could be a pilot instructor for his huge fan, Daniel. And Daniel just happens to be the son of a crime boss who could kill Warden or "Jacques" at any time if they don't follow by his rules. All of this results in an epic and sardonic adventure with the likes of Angelo (Basically He-Man in book form), "Jacques", Uptight Miss Warden, slow Daniel and sharp Jemima. Now the middle of the book was more like a piece of toast with peanut butter thinly spread over it. The middle was strung-out and made unnecessarily long and Jacques' sarcasm began to seep into my being, making me irritated. I trod through, hoping that the book would lift up to its former glory with a balance of elements instead of being sarcasm that shrivels into drivel. The end, however, was just as exciting and wonderfully executed as the beginning. It was truly a Reese's Cup yet again. All and all, a satisfying read recommended for fans of and Edit: I'll fix this review and add quotes a little later. Tired now.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Funny SF. The protagonist of this story is a space pilot who reminded me some of Bill Pullman’s character Lone Starr in Mel Brooks’ 1987 film Spaceballs. Back in the heyday of space travel, the pilots had been the shiznit, but galactic travel has changed aplenty since the invention of Quantum Teleportation – meaning that people and freight can move safely and cheaply without the need of dangerous and egocentric space jockeys. Now he’s become a two bit swindler and has been, looking for his next j Funny SF. The protagonist of this story is a space pilot who reminded me some of Bill Pullman’s character Lone Starr in Mel Brooks’ 1987 film Spaceballs. Back in the heyday of space travel, the pilots had been the shiznit, but galactic travel has changed aplenty since the invention of Quantum Teleportation – meaning that people and freight can move safely and cheaply without the need of dangerous and egocentric space jockeys. Now he’s become a two bit swindler and has been, looking for his next job to carry him as far as it can. In this world building there is an author of a series of books about the romantic – adventurous side of the lost art of space piloting named Jacques McKeown, who tells everyone’s best stories and makes up all the rest for an adoring audience. Except no one really knows who this guy is, all the down on their luck pilots want to kill him for stealing all the glory – and presumably cashing in on all the royalties from book sales – and the fawning public wants him to be the hero he seems. So when a mega-rich benefactor wants to hire McKeown to shuttle around his spoiled son in and old fashioned space pilot adventure, his long suffering assistant is hard pressed to find the possibly fictional writer / pilot. She stumbles across our hero, hires him to pretend to be McKeown and we’re off to the races. Fans of Douglas Adams’ wildly successful Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series might like this, though it lacks Adams’ kooky charm. Still funny, this was a good comedic satire. Actually, this also made me think of the Cars films, starring voice actor Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen. The theme of a lost way of life due to technological advances could be it’s own sub-genre and this could oddly fit in there as well. Good fun.

  4. 4 out of 5

    a hooded figure from your friendly neighbourhood dog park

    I was really enjoying the book, but the ending left me feeling... unsatisfied? It just seemed like the author got tired of the characters and stopped. Not sure if it meant to be a cliffhanger or a downer.

  5. 4 out of 5

    DarkChaplain

    Review also published here Will Save the Galaxy for Food is an incredibly enjoyable science fiction satire novel. I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Not only did it drip with sarcasm and just plain ridiculous ideas, but it also had some very interesting points to make about the dangers of finding oneself obsolete. While it seems like just a comedic sci-fi romp, it actually offers a lot more depth than is immediately apparent. The protagonist (and first-person narrator) is a down-on-his-l Review also published here Will Save the Galaxy for Food is an incredibly enjoyable science fiction satire novel. I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Not only did it drip with sarcasm and just plain ridiculous ideas, but it also had some very interesting points to make about the dangers of finding oneself obsolete. While it seems like just a comedic sci-fi romp, it actually offers a lot more depth than is immediately apparent. The protagonist (and first-person narrator) is a down-on-his-luck pilot. During the Golden Age of space adventures, he liberated planets, along with many other pilots. Some turned excentric, adopting the cultures of "their" planets for themselves, others just stand at the space ports waving signs for tourism jobs, just to foot their bills. The development of stargate-esque portal technology has made space pilots pretty much obsolete, and put almost all of the old heroes onto the street with little more than nostalgia to keep them going. But amidst it all, there is a "traitorous" pilot making his fortune off the backs of his colleagues: Jacques McKeown, a highly popular novelist stealing the adventures of his peers for his books. Nobody knows who he is, however. So it just happens that our unnamed protagonist gets roped into imitating McKeown in a dangerous job for a big-time crime boss (who is very much orange skinned!), and shit hits the fan from then on out. With the syndicate boss's son being a massive Jacques McKeown fanboy and wanting to impress his crush by going on a space trip piloted by his idol, and kept in line by the stiff personal assistant Warden, things are just going downhill from here. The story takes us to a lot of places. From fending off crime lords over pirates to even other pilots trying to scalp Jacques McKeown, or oddly-cute-but-bloody-dangerous mascots-turned-cannibal, and even cyborg hiveminds and the dangers of teenage hormones, Will Save the Galaxy for Food is chock-full of action, room for sly comments and characters expressing their distaste for one another. I was surprised by how much Yahtzee was able to cram in here will still supporting the nostalgia and end of an era themes. The characters are surprisingly well-developed for a satire piece too, with miss Warden slowly cracking up a little (while still being a psycho-div through and through) and heroes and villains of the old times seeking simple job opportunities. Our protagonist also turns from seeming like a sleazeball into a reliable hero figure with just slight brain damage as things move along. I apologize if this review is a bit sparse on details, but you'll really have to see for yourselves just what troubles "Jacques McKeown" gets himself into here. The story follows a neat from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire style, one thing leading to another and another, and I'd rather not unravel it all. While some developments might appear a bit out of the blue, I never thought that was a bad thing. It is just the kind of weird space adventure I was hoping for it to be. In a way, I got reminded of the movie Galaxy Quest in a few places. Most importantly, though: It is a genuinely funny book. The amount of lines I ended up quoting to friends while reading this was just silly. Most of it are sarcastic remarks, situational humor and oh-god-I-want-to-bash-my-head-in-is-this-stupid moments, so quoting them here is a bit tricky. The humor won't work for everyone. Yahtzee's dark and dry british sarcastic yet somehow over the top style works very well for me, but as with his previous books, or Zero Punctuation itself, I know a bunch of people who aren't partial to it. My best recommendation here is to read the sample of the ebook on Amazon or listening to the Audible sample and seeing for yourself. That's the nature of comedy, I'm afraid. One little thing that stretches through the entire book I enjoyed was that Yahtzee decided to use mathematical terms as a curse and insult dictionary. In “Pilot Math”, the word multiply (shortened to ply) replaces the most popular swear word, with subtraction (or trac) filling in as an all-purpose noun with scatological leanings. Bracket became a common insult, as did decimal point (or doint) and division (div), which also came to mean male and female genitalia, respectively. While this may seem a little thing of search&replace all swear words, it helped the world building for me. It was also quite funny to see the characters swear like this, and I'm sure I'll make personal use of some of these in the future. It is such a simple idea yet it carried part of the comedy for me. Either way, I was surprised by what Yahtzee got going for him here. Jam was ridiculous on so many levels (I mean, it was about man-eating strawberry jam and the fall of human society amidst the jampocalypse...) and Mogworld was very nerdy and video gamey by design. Will Save the Galaxy for Food seems like a great mix of both. It is easily approachable while undeniably nerdy, yet also offers multiple points in regards to real world issues like automation, a shrinking job market, corruption, surveilance states and so on. While it never stood in the way of the entertainment factor, having those snippets of witty commentary made the book a great deal better. I'd urge you to give it a try. If you in any way enjoy audiobooks, go for it for the (in my opinion) best experience. Will Save the Galaxy for Food is an intelligent amusement park visit with a lot of attractions to show for itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Humor is subjective, and I'm sorry I subjected myself to this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris (The Genre Fiend)

    Originally posted to Geek of Oz here. --- Way back in 2010, celebrated video game critic, acerbic host of Zero Punctuation and permanent cynic Yahtzee Croshaw released Mogworld. His first published novel through Dark Horse Books, Mogworld was a delightful, parodic send-up of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft coupled with a surprisingly emotional "what measure is a man"-style plot about the life of a video game NPC. This welcome debut was followed two years later by Jam, a black comedy involving a bun Originally posted to Geek of Oz here. --- Way back in 2010, celebrated video game critic, acerbic host of Zero Punctuation and permanent cynic Yahtzee Croshaw released Mogworld. His first published novel through Dark Horse Books, Mogworld was a delightful, parodic send-up of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft coupled with a surprisingly emotional "what measure is a man"-style plot about the life of a video game NPC. This welcome debut was followed two years later by Jam, a black comedy involving a bunch of everyday schlubs who had to navigate government conspiracies, a devastated inner city Brisbane and a flood of carnivorous, man-eating strawberry jam. Both books had heart, even if the jade-coloured glasses were still wrapped around them like cars on oak trees. Yahtzee's third novel, Will Save The Galaxy For Food, is a decent enough successor to the above two novels. The book's - and, by extension, the author's - cynicism, however, is a bit off-putting. In a future where instantaneous space travel has largely eroded the need for star pilots and their clunky piece-of-junk starships, a down-on-his-luck former space adventurer is recruited for a singular task. The job: impersonate one of the most famed (and infamous) star pilots in history, Jacques McKeown, in order to satisfy a powerful crime boss and his annoying teenage son. If he can pull it off, he'll have enough money to last a lifetime. If he can't, he'll be sleeping with the space-fishes. If I had to distil the book into an X-meets-Y arrangement, I'd call it The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-meets-Futurama, with the merest pinch of Star Trek added for taste. Douglas Adams is the clearest influence for Yahtzee, judging by the askance sarcasm and subtle, condescending wit used throughout both the spoken dialogue and the McKeown impersonator's internal thoughts. There's also some Futurama-style skewering of contemporary sociopolitical movements and ideologies, as well as one or two veiled jabs at Yahtzee's home base of the video game industry. It's also clear the book has a rather irreverent perspective on how iconic sci-fi is viewed by contemporary audiences. If you can think of a classic sci-fi story - up to including B-grade stuff like Forbidden Planet - chances are good that the book will take a few shots at it. There are also some nicely apposite references to technological advancement at the expense of human labour, a relevant workforce issue which Yahtzee makes it very clear he's opposed to. While all of this makes the book sound great - and make no mistake, it's a good book with quite a few laughs - the underlying issue is its cynicism. The opening section, where the McKeown impostor makes it bitterly clear that he and other star pilots have become obsolete since the glory days of space travel, establishes that the book's concerned with the darker side of nostalgia. It only goes downhill from there, with the impostor and other characters constantly drawing attention to the pitfalls of nostalgic reminiscence and the inability of pilots like the impostor to move from one life stage to the next. It initially feels like the book's setting itself up to be the kind of affirmative, life-changing narrative which is ultimately uplifting, where the protagonist learns how to not be inflexible in order to put nostalgia aside and to move on by story's end. Without wishing to spoil, I'll just say that the book largely leans in the opposite direction instead. Life sucks, you will become obsolete if you live long enough, people will always try to exploit you and, most bleakly, there will rarely be a silver lining to any of it. Enjoy! Admittedly, that cynicism is present more in the subtext of the story rather than the text itself. Those of you who, unlike me, don't read too much into things for a living will probably get more enjoyment from the book, which on the surface is a largely funny, suitably pulpy jaunt through space. As comedic as it is, though, the book does have an issue with how it treats female characters. Yahtzee's written humourless and manipulative women in his books before, sometimes with justified reasons - look at secret agent X in Jam as an example par excellance - but it feels like almost every female character here has something of a bitter shrew temperament about them. Most egregious is main character Penelope Warden, a po-faced, executive-level bureaucrat who literally takes every opportunity to figuratively screw over the McKeown impersonator for her own gains. Her ruthless attitude towards him would be entertaining - given that he's definitely no saint, and watching him get karmically shafted is amusing - but it soon becomes too frequent and mean-spirited, especially for somebody who is ostensibly the deuteragonist of the story. With the exception of put-upon Jemima, a young girl with a notable intergalactic heritage introduced later in the book, I found it hard to relate to any of the female characters largely because the story makes them come across as conniving, opportunistic and devoid of good nature, starkly contrasting a lot of the more reasonable male characters (and a few of the more reasonable sentient space blobs, too). While Will Save The Galaxy For Food is an entertaining diversion, it's not quite at the same heights as the darkly comedic Jam or the marvelously irreverent Mogworld. If Yahtzee Croshaw's books were all hot beverages - mainly because I'm having one while I write this - then Mogworld would be a sweet, frothy and solidly-flavoured cappucino, whilst Jam would be a chai latte spiced up by some gunpowder green tea in order to make you snort out loud at inappropriate moments. In that vein, Will Save The Galaxy For Food is what appears to be a fairly lively latte dusted with cinnamon, but beneath the veneer of comforting milk and cream is one of the most bitter long blacks you've ever tasted. It's still good for those who are into that sort of thing, but others may have trouble swallowing it down. --- ORIGINAL REVIEW 5/3/17 A solid enough pulpy satire of old-school sci-fi, but it has a problem with female characters. I know Yahtzee's presented himself as a cynical bloke, but sometimes that cynicism towards the ladies goes straight into uncomfortable territory. The tropes Yahtzee plays with are used well, and there's a definite Douglas-Adams-by-way-of-Futurama vibe that works, for the most part. It's let down by a slow second act, the aforementioned female character cynicism (and one figure at the centre of it in particular), and some awkward humour here and there. A good story, but not his best work (which is still Mogworld by a head and a foot).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wreade1872

    So this is a space gangster satire. Think the 'Transporter' movies but with more of the vibe of a 'Layer Cake' or 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', but in space :) . It is funny in places but the dangers are still real. This is going to make me sound like a bit of a doint but holy-tract, i was not expecting to give a ply-ing Yahtzee book five stars. Also this has some new adjectives which you should easily pickup, unless your some sort of complete bracket. I shall add them to my space lexicon So this is a space gangster satire. Think the 'Transporter' movies but with more of the vibe of a 'Layer Cake' or 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', but in space :) . It is funny in places but the dangers are still real. This is going to make me sound like a bit of a doint but holy-tract, i was not expecting to give a ply-ing Yahtzee book five stars. Also this has some new adjectives which you should easily pickup, unless your some sort of complete bracket. I shall add them to my space lexicon along with frak, smeg and shiny :D . This book is sooo good and solid, it even has themes and good characters and really interesting world-building. I've given Mr. Croshaws previous books 3 and 4 stars but there is a BIG difference for me between a 4 and 5. For some reason my inner critic was actively waiting to pounce on any sign of weakness but it never happened. The plot works, the pacing works, the characters avoid falling into cliche, there are no easy answers, the galaxy has not been magically fixed by the end, i'm incredulous. Minor quibbles, i did find some. Firstly the spaceships in this are very old school flashgordon style, and at first it was a little jarring because they didn't seem to fit with the more modern sci-fi elements but they're really not that different from the ones in Firefly or similar fair so i can't point to specifically what seemed off about them. I guess i just needed time to adjust to the type of world i was in. Also a couple of the funny moments didn't quite land, but thats it thats all the issues i could find. After the disappointment of Ready Player One earlier this year (which has some similarities to this, little bit) this was quite stunning.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    Nameless Protagonist #3 is a washed up star pilot who, through a series of increasingly insane coincidences, finds himself on the run from the law, the space-equivalent of the Godfather, and all of the other star pilots too. Joined by a woman with less emotions than a rock and two children from opposite ends of the adorable spectrum, this novel is like if Hitchhiker's Guide and a math dictionary had a baby. Croshaw's quick wit, random asides, and insanely descriptive (sometimes uncomfortably so) Nameless Protagonist #3 is a washed up star pilot who, through a series of increasingly insane coincidences, finds himself on the run from the law, the space-equivalent of the Godfather, and all of the other star pilots too. Joined by a woman with less emotions than a rock and two children from opposite ends of the adorable spectrum, this novel is like if Hitchhiker's Guide and a math dictionary had a baby. Croshaw's quick wit, random asides, and insanely descriptive (sometimes uncomfortably so) language are all present in this novel. He certainly has a way with words, and he crafts a very believable world populated with interesting characters who are all amusing in their own ways. There's a nice sense of finality too, which is a change of pace compared to a lot of books that always seem to want to leave things up in the air, just in case. And yet, something felt missing. Whether it was just that some sections of the book felt like padding (like the whole Catrabargid detour in the second half) or that there's only so many jokes you can get out of 'You're Jacques McKeown', 'No I'm not', and it's variations, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why this just didn't land quite as well for me as I thought it would. Mogworld remains my favourite of Croshaw's novels so far, and this is by no means a poor addition to his library, but it's just missing...something.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carys

    satire (n)/ˈsatʌɪə/ noun 1. the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. 2. in "Will Save the Galaxy for Food", the use of useless humour, attempted irony and over-exaggeration to expose the fact that Yahtzee Croshaw is a terrible writer. This was an awful book. You know in Red Dwarf Series 6 and 7, when the jokes started to become really formulaic and over-rely o satire (n)/ˈsatʌɪə/ noun 1. the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. 2. in "Will Save the Galaxy for Food", the use of useless humour, attempted irony and over-exaggeration to expose the fact that Yahtzee Croshaw is a terrible writer. This was an awful book. You know in Red Dwarf Series 6 and 7, when the jokes started to become really formulaic and over-rely on elaborate similes and incorrect Space Corps directives? ("There must be more electricity out there than the surge that went through the national grid during the commercial break in the Olympic all-girls custard wrestling finals.") The humour in this book is like that, only much much worse. I have no idea really what Croshaw was attempting to satirize here. Satire usually involves some degree of intelligence or wit. You won't find that here. The humour was purile. The characters were flat, and boring, and hateful. I was going to say "I can only assume that the target audience for this is teenage boys" but that would be unfair on teenage boys. I had picked this up for a quick and easy read. It was definitely easy to read, and I've have finished it more quickly if I hadn't dreaded picking it up so much. I should have given up after the first chapter.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Arjen

    A fun read, I'll definitely read more of Yahtzee.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason Parent

    This was fun, tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, and somewhat clever. The ending was both frustrating and enjoyable. The only thing I didn't like was the reference to Errol Flynn, an out-of-date reference now, never mind from a Lunarian presumably many centuries in the future. Anyway, hardly seems a point to take any points over. 5 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben Haskett

    I remember being surprised when I first saw the book cover of Will Save the Galaxy for Food because I recognized the name Yahtzee Crowshaw and thought, whoa, he does one thing *and* another thing? I’ve seen this guy’s video game reviews for years, appropriately known as Zero Punctuation, because after the short intro butt-rock song he starts talking a mile a minute with, well, zero punctuation in between sentences, as he airs his grievances like a family member at Festivus. His commentary is usu I remember being surprised when I first saw the book cover of Will Save the Galaxy for Food because I recognized the name Yahtzee Crowshaw and thought, whoa, he does one thing *and* another thing? I’ve seen this guy’s video game reviews for years, appropriately known as Zero Punctuation, because after the short intro butt-rock song he starts talking a mile a minute with, well, zero punctuation in between sentences, as he airs his grievances like a family member at Festivus. His commentary is usually funny but also crass and cynical, which can chafe after a while—watching back-to-back reviews can drain the enjoyment out of the experience. So I’ll go from “Oh, look what I stumbled upon on YouTube, it’s Zero Punctuation! Haven’t seen this in a while. Haha, he’s funny because he hates everything;” to “Okay, we get it, you’re grumpy and you hate everything except for this tiny fraction of stuff you do like.” Still, the cover and the funny title caught my eye. And because I’ve only ever known him as a narrator, I figured the audio book (which he narrates himself) would be the only way to go. I’ll admit to some trepidation, worried I’d be wading right into 10 hours of dick jokes and nihilism, but it was pretty good! The preamble is that a generation of spacefaring pilots are now all out of work thanks to the invention of, basically, teleportation. After all, why would you bother with getting into a ship and waiting for an ungodly amount of time going from one planet to another when, instead, you could just walk through a doorway in San Francisco and immediately find yourself in a dome colony on the surface of Pluto? That would be like opting for the Pony Express over e-mail. And so these star pilots spend their days carting bored but polite tourists around, showing them the “golden age of star piloting” for chump change. These tours are really, really boring, but tourists still come from all over the galaxy to experience them because the idea of star piloting is still reeeeally popular and heavily romanticized, similar to how samurais are romanticized and portrayed in movies. This popularity is a double-edged sword, however, because it stems from a mysterious author known as Jacques McKeone, who keeps releasing entries in his wildly popular line of star piloting novels. You see, the star pilots hate this author because said author steals the true stories of real star pilots and casts himself in the lead role of the adventure. The main character, for example (whom I’m not sure is ever named), hates Jaques McKeone because book 12 in the series retells the main character’s own adventures defeating the Malmind on planet Cantrabargid. Except, of course, it’s McKeone in the lead role. There’s technically a lot of swearing in the book, but it employs “fake” swears, a la Battlestar Galactica’s “frack.” After a string of impressively organic contrivances, the main character is mistakenly thought by his fellow star pilots to be McKeone, and what follows is a story that was sometimes great, sometimes okay, and once had me checking my phone and verbalizing my somewhat dismayed surprise that I was only half-way through. Overall, though, it’s a good read. The final showdown was at first delightfully milquetoast before promptly flashing purple (dismemberment!), but the final pages were, dare I say, sweet. Recommended to anyone looking for lighthearted space opera.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steven Stennett

    Honestly I have not laughed this much since the days of the Stainless Steel Rat. Comedy can be hard to pull off in book form I think but its even harder in science fiction. This is ether a brilliant book or I just share the same sense of humour as the author. I happily laughed out loud as the story unfolded, enjoying each chapter, savouring the ridiculous but highly likeable main character. Who fundamentally was a lier and a cheat, but maintained a sense of ethics that were impeccable. The use of Honestly I have not laughed this much since the days of the Stainless Steel Rat. Comedy can be hard to pull off in book form I think but its even harder in science fiction. This is ether a brilliant book or I just share the same sense of humour as the author. I happily laughed out loud as the story unfolded, enjoying each chapter, savouring the ridiculous but highly likeable main character. Who fundamentally was a lier and a cheat, but maintained a sense of ethics that were impeccable. The use of the despariaging term 'Div' has never been used so eloquently by a main character for me in decades. 'The Young ones a.' british comedy of the preceding years a case in point. Well, done Mr Croshaw, I will be looking out for proceeding books in this saga in the hope that I will be able to continued to enjoy the humour in these prose.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Цветозар Бонев

    I have been a fan of Yahtzee's work in the form of Zero Punctuation since the moment I first heard his amazingly colorful way of expression. From the moment in which I heard that the man was also a novelist I marked both his previous books as to-read but just never got around to them. I did get around to reading Will Save the Galaxy for Foor (obviously) and boy did I enjoy it. Sci-fi satire? Written in the eloquent hand of the mastermind behind Zero Punctuation? Don't mind if I do. I simply love I have been a fan of Yahtzee's work in the form of Zero Punctuation since the moment I first heard his amazingly colorful way of expression. From the moment in which I heard that the man was also a novelist I marked both his previous books as to-read but just never got around to them. I did get around to reading Will Save the Galaxy for Foor (obviously) and boy did I enjoy it. Sci-fi satire? Written in the eloquent hand of the mastermind behind Zero Punctuation? Don't mind if I do. I simply loved the story, the sheer simplicity and complexity of it and that faint shine of philosophy behind it all. It just reminded me of all the good parts in Hitchhiker's Guide and why sci-fi is the best format for this genre, clearly shown by how good Croshaw's novel is. If you enjoy reading at any level then this book is for you, and if you want to develop a sense of envy that will probably last a lifetime at the sheer mindblowing finesse with which Croshaw draws comparisons then pick this up too (I certainly would do unspeakable things to be able to express myself so well).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    A hilariously clever satire of sci-fi space adventures and a must-read for fans of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Matt Groening's Futurama.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    4.5 I think it's rare when a book comes along and plays out like a good old fashioned pulp novel from the good old fun times. Yahtzee Croshaw seems to be shooting off the hip with a lot of the story elements and I'm perfectly down for twisty narratives. This is the first Yahtzee Croshaw I have reviewed but it certainly won't be the last, especially when the book Jam is based on my home city of Brisbane. The characters are the key to the success of this novel, the lead character is ambiguous to th 4.5 I think it's rare when a book comes along and plays out like a good old fashioned pulp novel from the good old fun times. Yahtzee Croshaw seems to be shooting off the hip with a lot of the story elements and I'm perfectly down for twisty narratives. This is the first Yahtzee Croshaw I have reviewed but it certainly won't be the last, especially when the book Jam is based on my home city of Brisbane. The characters are the key to the success of this novel, the lead character is ambiguous to the point he doesn't even know who he is anymore. We learn bits and pieces over the book but when you think of the unnamed figure, he is certainly this type of character. He is the type who won't turn an eye to the innocent suffering, the good natured person who is the ideal antagonist. When I read a book, I normally hate some of the underwritten characters who are mainly there for subplots that head nowhere. This book had interesting characters who don't feel heavily forced, it's interesting to see how certain authors struggle in this department. I liked how Henderson's son was naïve, he hated his father so much that he thought the kidnap was another means of his control. That very moment was one of the many laugh out moments of the book. The storyline is nothing new but like Hitchcock used in filmmaking, others have used for the service of the story. The key here is the name stealing and from that moment forward, our characters are locked in a struggle for survival. The escalation of the plot is the key with these novels, you need to dial up to 11 so that the craziness confuses the storyline, it helps to eliminate the lags in the plotline. I liked how Yahtzee Croshaw infused the characters with the outlandish plot, they had a strong sense of humour which assisted with the typical will we all die scenario. This would make a very funny film, it has all the ingredients to deliver what other films lack. Why the 4.5? The plot is nothing special, but the strength of this novel is the characters. The pulpy narrative assists with making a harmless and interesting novel. I can't even recall the last time I read such a fun novel. Lee Martinez books are crazy adventures but they are insane plots from the beginning. I can see Yahtzee Croshaw had fun with this story, you can just tell he had beats to meet and threw them all to the side once the story kicked into gear. I won't call this an airport novel as that would be a disservice to the review but this is a book that will grab you with a short period. It took me a little longer as I was reading this along with The Name of the Wind. I recommend this book and the author to anyone and I look forward to Jam down the line. My next book is The Bees by Laline Paull, just like in my review The Name of the Wind. I'm looking to read two books this week so I need to focus.

  18. 5 out of 5

    cardulelia carduelis

    I first encountered Croshaw, of course, on Zero Punctuation where his flow and his scorn are legendary. So naturally, after I found out he had written a sci-fi comedy I knew that (1) I was going to read it, and (2) that if the audiobook was narrated by him I was going to listen to it. And it didn't disappoint. I didn't expect much to be honest, humor in a game review is one thing, but translating that into a well-paced fully-fledged novel is another. Yet Croshaw had me onboard by the end of the I first encountered Croshaw, of course, on Zero Punctuation where his flow and his scorn are legendary. So naturally, after I found out he had written a sci-fi comedy I knew that (1) I was going to read it, and (2) that if the audiobook was narrated by him I was going to listen to it. And it didn't disappoint. I didn't expect much to be honest, humor in a game review is one thing, but translating that into a well-paced fully-fledged novel is another. Yet Croshaw had me onboard by the end of the first chapter (although not literally, luckily for me). The jokes are situational, sometimes daft other times crafty. His pacing is a little slow sometimes as he tends to be a little overly descriptive when setting up a scene. However, because the action that follows is so fun and dynamic it's instantly forgivable. So what's it about? It's essentially Firefly, if Firefly was a lot more of a comedy and a little less of a drama. War-verteran-space-pilot looking for work in a merciless post-portal world, where his piloting services are only needed to ploy tourists into spending lots of money. Alongside one of these star-pilots is a cast of annoying characters that manage to perfectly tread the line between excruciating and tolerable. I read a lot of sci-fi and not that much comedy and I thought this held up well on both counts. I don't really want to spoil anything else, because you should read this, but something else I really enjoyed was his star-pilot lexicon. In general all the pilots loathe the quick transport quan(tu)nnel gates that have put them out of a job. And since some fancy theorist who was good at maths was repsonsible for all of this they use maths-related terms as profanities. For example: "you are a [multi]-plying bracket!". At first I thought it would be gimmicky, but it works really well! Ok, I always struggle with writing positive reviews so just go off and read this. Listen to the audiobook because it's Yahtzee Croshaw narrating, obviously. I'm off to download book 2.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    An action-y, sci-fi satire that follows a hapless space pilot whose been monetarily persuaded into impersonating an infamous writer for a spoiled brat's birthday. Said pilot's get-rich-quick scheme quickly spirals out-of-control as plenty of characters with personal grudges come out of the woodwork to settle their grievances with the newly-located "writer". Pros: a tighter narrative feel than Croshaw's earlier works, a demented family-road-trip theme that recalls Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby, fun wi An action-y, sci-fi satire that follows a hapless space pilot whose been monetarily persuaded into impersonating an infamous writer for a spoiled brat's birthday. Said pilot's get-rich-quick scheme quickly spirals out-of-control as plenty of characters with personal grudges come out of the woodwork to settle their grievances with the newly-located "writer". Pros: a tighter narrative feel than Croshaw's earlier works, a demented family-road-trip theme that recalls Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby, fun with pulpy genre tropes, good world-building (w. deconstruction of said world-building), & a strong satisfying ending. Cons: the same three females that are in everything done by Croshaw (the Shrew, the Idealist, the Romantic), a setup telegraphed from a mile away, missing the high-stakes horror of the mundane that Croshaw excels at, leaning so hard on the story's verbal equivalent to "psycho bitch" that it starts to get uncomfortable. In short, entertaining if you're a fan (I read this in one night) but not the place to start if you're new to Croshaw's stuff--that would be Jam.

  20. 4 out of 5

    terpkristin

    I picked this up because I really enjoy Zero Punctuation. And I also needed to use an Audible credit. Do you remember back when Family Guy or Simpsons was "good" and it would start in one setting and you thought you knew where the story was going, but then by the end it went somewhere else entirely and yet you enjoyed the ride? That's pretty much how this book went. Light, fluffy, and quick. And narrated by Yahtzee. Definitely silly but as I started reading it at the same time as I did Gateway, I picked this up because I really enjoy Zero Punctuation. And I also needed to use an Audible credit. Do you remember back when Family Guy or Simpsons was "good" and it would start in one setting and you thought you knew where the story was going, but then by the end it went somewhere else entirely and yet you enjoyed the ride? That's pretty much how this book went. Light, fluffy, and quick. And narrated by Yahtzee. Definitely silly but as I started reading it at the same time as I did Gateway, it was a nice respite.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dave Boorn

    His best book yet. Other than his weird obsession with the word nacelle, Croshaw has gotten a lot better at writing over time. It's a good story and genuinely funny however if you didn't like his last two books then this is unlikely to change your mind. He's mostly know for his Zero Punctuation videos but everyone should check out his let's drown out series with Gabriel. You'll notice a few things from this book have obviously been inspired by the conversations he has on those videos. Comes high His best book yet. Other than his weird obsession with the word nacelle, Croshaw has gotten a lot better at writing over time. It's a good story and genuinely funny however if you didn't like his last two books then this is unlikely to change your mind. He's mostly know for his Zero Punctuation videos but everyone should check out his let's drown out series with Gabriel. You'll notice a few things from this book have obviously been inspired by the conversations he has on those videos. Comes highly recommended but as one review pointed out the book is an odd shape. If that kind of thing has any bearing on the format to purchase!

  22. 4 out of 5

    John P

    Good light entertainment. Mr. Croshaw has an active imagination reminiscent in some ways of Kurt Vonnegut (as in Sirens of Titan) without the dark edges. This is a quick fun read and the plot moves along briskly if not feverishly. There are several actual truly funny scenes and dialog - so rare and delightful to find. On the other hand, once the reader gets into the book and begins to anticipate the myriad 'unexpected' twists, the plot is fairly predictable. The author is to be commended for creati Good light entertainment. Mr. Croshaw has an active imagination reminiscent in some ways of Kurt Vonnegut (as in Sirens of Titan) without the dark edges. This is a quick fun read and the plot moves along briskly if not feverishly. There are several actual truly funny scenes and dialog - so rare and delightful to find. On the other hand, once the reader gets into the book and begins to anticipate the myriad 'unexpected' twists, the plot is fairly predictable. The author is to be commended for creating an internally consistent 'world' for his characters to inhabit and for inventing a satisfying closure for the protagonist.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Abdellatif

    An enjoyable space adventure that reminded me with the space quest game series. I listened to the audio book version and it made it even more enjoyable. A good book to suggest any person who is a fan of satirical science fiction like futurama or the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    4.0 out of 5 - A funny romp through outer space with plenty of action and more depth than readily apparent. During the golden age of space exploration, skilled star-pilots were needed to navigate the vastness of space. However, when Quantum Tunneling was invented allowing instantaneous travel to anywhere in the universe, star-pilots became irrelevant. When a former star-pilot, turned tour guide, is hired to impersonate Jacques McKeown, a famous author, beloved by his readers and despised by star- 4.0 out of 5 - A funny romp through outer space with plenty of action and more depth than readily apparent. During the golden age of space exploration, skilled star-pilots were needed to navigate the vastness of space. However, when Quantum Tunneling was invented allowing instantaneous travel to anywhere in the universe, star-pilots became irrelevant. When a former star-pilot, turned tour guide, is hired to impersonate Jacques McKeown, a famous author, beloved by his readers and despised by star-pilots, the adventure begins. The book is actually quite inventive and has a number of quirky and fun ideas to keep the reader engaged. Although funny and satirical, it mostly avoids going for the cheap laughs. When our hero is paired up Ms. Warden, it could be expected that the book would follow a tried-and-true formula where boy meets girl, they don't get along, and eventually end up falling into each other's arms. Fortunately, the book avoids conventional formulas resulting in a refreshing reader experience. The banter between "Jacques" and Ms. Warden was especially enjoyable. However, while the narration is generally good, there were a few characters that I found to be a little annoying, such as Daniel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Harris

    An enjoyable listen but at times felt very repetitive. Minor spoiler: (view spoiler)[Warden's way of getting out of trouble via citing regulations and the back and forth between Warden and "McKeown" stand out to me as pretty boring and felt like filler instead of interesting dialogue. (hide spoiler)] While I didn't love the story, it also wasn't bad. The concept was a great one to explore: what happens when space travel becomes obsolete by advanced technology? But it wasn't actually explored. I An enjoyable listen but at times felt very repetitive. Minor spoiler: (view spoiler)[Warden's way of getting out of trouble via citing regulations and the back and forth between Warden and "McKeown" stand out to me as pretty boring and felt like filler instead of interesting dialogue. (hide spoiler)] While I didn't love the story, it also wasn't bad. The concept was a great one to explore: what happens when space travel becomes obsolete by advanced technology? But it wasn't actually explored. I think I do enjoy Croshaw's style and want to give some of his other books a read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    A silly space romp that was entertaining and funny. Nothing to write home about but enjoyable enough to read another story by this author in the future.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ozymandias

    Story: 4 (Random and easily sidetracked) Characters: 8 (Funny and distinctive with a sardonic twist) Comedy is one of the hardest genres to get right. Make your jokes too specific and you risk losing your audience, but go too broad and it can become generic and unfunny. Either way only a fraction of your jokes will hit fully, and those jokes will be different for each reader. This novel manages to hit frequently enough to work while never quite being utterly hilarious. One area where comedic novels Story: 4 (Random and easily sidetracked) Characters: 8 (Funny and distinctive with a sardonic twist) Comedy is one of the hardest genres to get right. Make your jokes too specific and you risk losing your audience, but go too broad and it can become generic and unfunny. Either way only a fraction of your jokes will hit fully, and those jokes will be different for each reader. This novel manages to hit frequently enough to work while never quite being utterly hilarious. One area where comedic novels seem to struggle is in plot. Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a prime example of this. None of the plots in those novels makes a wit of sense nor are the characters particularly sympathetic. It flits around from plot point to plot point (or rather joke to joke) with no arching plan and no real indication of direction. It’s more like a series of semi-related skits than a real journey. I don’t get why that’s so often the case. It’s not a requirement of the comedy writing field, as proven by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, which are full of wit, lovable characters, and satisfying plots. But Yahtzee is no Pratchett and only occasionally manages an Adams, for all that he approaches Adams’ books in style. Hitchhiker’s Guide manages to be so consistently funny and so memorable in setting that it can overcome its deficiencies in plot. This one only manages to be funny enough some of the time. The real problem here is that the novel’s going for a sort of skewering of the type of epic space opera you’d find in the Golden Age of Scifi (i.e. the ‘30s and ‘40s, though I’d extend that through the ‘50s and can think of several straight examples from the ‘60s). The basic approach is that of the down-on-his-luck hero mourning the glory days of his past merged with a certain amount of that’s-not-how-it-really-was revisionism. The problem is that that is how it really was. The lone hero standing for the forces of good, the saving of primitive screwheads from cyborg hordes, the swords and absurdly scanty clothing, the rescuing of fair princesses, etc. Those are all real as per the setting of the story. Which means that the efforts to undermine this are all somewhat ineffectual. I feel like a lot could be done with the idea that all these “noble adventurers” were actually enormous narcissists doing all their rescuing for the thrill of it and completely indifferent to the costs involved, but while the novel seems to suggest this several times it never really commits. Which means that you’re kind of cut adrift with no idea who to root for. If the glory days truly are in the past then what should the goal of the future be? It seems nothing. There are no goals beyond the immediate one of survival. It’s rather nihilistic really. It doesn’t help that the characters, while amusing, aren’t particularly sympathetic. Oh, they have some good traits to be sure, but the ones that define them are the irritating or even obnoxious ones. We’re kept at a distance and never really allowed to see into these characters and what makes them human. There are two basic ways of approaching a humorous character: one is to use them sympathetically to point out the foibles within all of us. The other is to stay firmly at a distance and just point and laugh. And this book does the latter. It’s rather a cold and emotionless journey, for all that the plot tries to distract us with random turns. If two characters are approaching some sort of bonding that’s a sure sign that a random missile or cannibalistic alien or barechested spacesuitless madman in vacuum is about to appear to quickly resume the affected air of indifference. It may sound from this like I disliked the novel. I didn’t, but at the same time I’m not sure I’ll seek out further novels in this series (for with an ending this open that surely must be the intent). There were enough jokes to keep me interested and the various plot twists kept me curious where exactly the story was going. If you like pulpy space opera and you like comedy this book might be for you. If you only like one of those it might be good to pass on this. But then again, humor’s astonishingly subjective. And the cynical and biting humor that I find grating after 300 pages may be less objectionable to another reader.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Graham Nicholas

    Stellar! I honestly wasn't expecting much from Yahtzee, I've been burned on YouTuber books before, but I really liked this. It's well paced and funny, and has me looking forward to the sequels.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie (Books and Ladders)

    See this review and more on Books and Ladders! I liked a lot of this but that ending left me wanting a lot more! I thought it was pretty abrupt but I did really like listening to, and reading, this book. If you're looking for some good satirical Science Fiction, this is for you! See this review and more on Books and Ladders! I liked a lot of this but that ending left me wanting a lot more! I thought it was pretty abrupt but I did really like listening to, and reading, this book. If you're looking for some good satirical Science Fiction, this is for you!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Kind of funny, pulpy SciFi action popcorn

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