Monday, April 23, 2012

Losers in Space, by John Barnes

Well, this has possibly the worst title ever, but was a great hard sci-fi read- John Barnes is always a great writer.
In a future where humans have achieved universal material comfort, celebrity or major talents are the only way to stand out. At a special school for teens who may prove exceptional, Susan and a group of friends are looking for a way to stand out. Susan's best friend Fleeta has already burned out on a drug called happistuff, and Susan is trying to angle for recognition points by dating Derlock, a rising celebrity.
The group finds a chance to achieve what would be epic fame, by stowing away on a Mars-bound spaceflight, only to discover that Derlock is a sociopath, and that the rest of them have more skills than they ever thought.
This was such a good read, and I REALLY loved the Notes For The Interested, a great way to give the math behind the plot without endless adult-style exposition- the reader has the option to just read the adventure, or to read the adventure and also the Notes and gain some interesting knowledge.

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