Put Douglas Adams and Joss Whedon into a blender and you get... no, yeesh, you'd get gritty red-headed paste that couldn't carry a tune.Let's try that again. Put The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Firefly into that blender, push Pulse, and you might end up with something salty and sharp and entirely without nutritional value - the kind of cocktail that makes you feel like you're maybe going to sneeze and giggle at the same time. If that sounds good to you, you'll like The Sheriff of Yrnameer. If not, definitely you won't.
This is one of those books that I kept casting in my head as I read. Nathan Fillion as Cole, the small-time criminal who finds himself on the run in a stolen ship full of freeze-dried orphans? No, too obvious. Bruce Willis? Too old. Matt Damon too handsome.
But the cheerful Cthulhu-like loan shark chasing Cole? Definitely Donald Sutherland. And the unimpressed missionary smuggling the children to safety, who in the past I think would have been played by Shirley MacLaine... I could see Salma Hayek.
Rubens wiggles a lot of fun stuff in here - cannibals, a friendly sentient computer that freaks everyone right the hell out, tumbling tumbleweeds, characters with antennae or purple fur, and a whole bunch of could-be shout-outs to books and movies in the hipster geek pantheon.
Or maybe I just liked it because he makes fun of a line I love to use.
"Where'd you learn to do all this?" she asked.
When he opened his mouth to answer, she quickly added, "Don't say prison."
He shut his mouth.
This is an adult book that appeals to the teenager in all of us. Ergo, it's a fine book to recommend to teens. There are a few off-color jokes, but no hot and sweaty scenes, and the swearing is all future swearing:
"What is it?" asked Nora.
"A Dynaco Mark IV StarStation Success!Sat, probably the Apria B model," said Bacchi.
They all turned to look at him.
"And that gip is farged UP," he added.
"Thank you!" yodels the librarian in service to young adults.
Bonus: awesome cover.
Bonus II: Colbert endorsement.