Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fiction Tuesday- Losers in Space

The girl: Susan Tervaille, sixteen-year-old daughter of a famous actor.
The guy: Derlock Slabilis, sixteen-year-old son of the most famous media lawyer on the planet.
The problem: No children of celebrities can inherit their parents’ money unless they earn the rank of professional celebrity, too.
The solution: Stow away (with their friends) on a Mars-bound ship.  The publicity will cement their fame and futures.
The REAL problem: Derlock is a sociopath.
I could see Shay Mitchell as the main character Susan.

This is John Green's favorite book last year. Now, you may love it or hate. It is science fiction. And as one co-worker put it, he hated the first 100 pages. "But then you start to like these characters, and then you wonder, is it too late for them?"

Storyline: It is the year 2129 . . . and fame is all that matters

Susan and her friends are celebutantes. Their lives are powered by media awareness, fed by engineered meals, and underscored by cynicism. Everyone has a rating; the more viewers who ID you, the better. So Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock cook up a surefire plan: the nine of them will visit a Mars-bound spaceship and stow away. Their survival will be a media sensation, boosting their ratings across the globe. There's only one problem: Derlock is a sociopath. Breakneck narrative, pointed cultural commentary, warm heart, accurate science, a kickass heroine, and a ticking clock . . . who could ask for more?

Kegan Allen would definitely make a great Derlock!

The author John Barnes is a Science Fiction author of many books. But this is more of a young adult novel, too. Possibly you know of his Tales of a Mad Man Underground.

Titling such an intelligent sf novel Losers in Space is itself an act of bravery, and it displays Barnes’ refreshing insistence on not taking himself too seriously. In 2129, lazy children of celebrities simply try to get video of themselves (preferably naked) “splyctered” into endless chunks of media, thereby attaining the desired rank of a professional celebrity. To expedite this, nine spoiled teens stow away on a ship headed to Mars—a publicity coup!—only to be lost in space when the rest of the ship explodes. Even worse, one of them is a psychopath. Rather than turn this into a reality-show farce, Barnes (Tales of the Madman Underground, 2009) uses the situation to bring out the best in each teen, proving that all have more to offer than they ever expected. In a move reminiscent of Louis Sachar’s The Cardturner (2010), Barnes sequesters the “hard” sf science into skippable “infodump” sections, an interesting experiment that only half works. Still, this is a highly unusual offering with an unexpected message about the potential usefulness of celebrity. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

Loved this.
Loved the title.
Loved the story.
Loved the characters.
Loved the interaction that the author has with the readers.
Cut out of the office early and just sat down and read straight through.
Really, really great.  -F.M

John Barnes, I apologize for doubting you. I absolutely love this book and regret that I wasted time that I could have used reading it. Please know that I only ever doubted you because I love your work.-Liviana

They made up their own words in the middle of attempting to explain the laws of space at the same time. It was an absurd book that my entire highschool had to read and NO ONE liked it...-Alex

John Barnes creates a setting that is based around the lives of several teenagers. It's a futuristic world in 2129, where everyone, who is someone, is a professional celebrity. If your not, than you may go to great lengths, in order to be "somebody." Here, the reader finds that a group of teenagers decide to do whatever it takes to be recognized, even if it means to become stowaways to Mars, just to be famous and make history. Little do they know that one person in their clique isn't whom they really think they are, and events change for the worst, very quickly. Before beginning the novel, the author goes into great detail in regards to what hard science fiction is and its relationship to this novel.

In addition, sprinkled throughout the novel, are mini summaries of facts explaining terms, very scientific to be specific, used in various chapters. Some readers may find this information very useful to get a better understanding of the terminology used in the story. Although this information was much needed for understanding, for me, I found it to be a big distraction while reading, and would have rather had these definitions and explanations incorporated into the story line. Unfortunately, I made no major connection with the characters as I feel that their development was not the biggest goal here. In conclusion, if you are a fan of "hard science fiction", then Losers in Space will be for you. If not, be prepared for something very different.-TwilightWildFlower



Cafe Fashionista said...

LOVE Shay Mitchell - she is gorgeous! I so need to check this book out! :)

Sara Gerard said...

I think I might like this book!

Islandia Lane said...

Never heard of the book but I do adore Shay Mitchell! I love thinking of who I think would play the characters in books.

ellie said...

I'd definitely go for Keegan in this. He just gets better and better on Pretty Little Liars.

MOSAMUSE said...

wow that first gif was kinda scary!