Two thumbs up for The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport by Samit Basu. Science fiction.
“Aladdin” meets Snow Crash, with a brother and sister as the leads—a cyborg monkey and a beautiful human travel guide—narrated by a friendly piece of alien intelligence who is trying so very hard. Among all the books I read this year, this one brought me the most pure joy. It’s just so damned fun, and funny, and its cynicism makes its incredibly heartwarming moments hit all the better. The scene in which the characters (not a huge spoiler here—you know what story you’re in) have to decide what to do with tremendous-but-unfortunately-not-quite-omnipotent djinni powers is one of the most adorable things I’ve ever read. Though, I grant you, my tastes are strange. If you read any science fiction at all, read this.
So I keep from myself the memories of their increasingly drunken spree around Shantiport, their new friends, their surprising social encounters including a wholly predictable brawl—involving three jealous spouses, a penguin-bot, and an unaffiliated cat—that Bador has to resolve with pulse-blasts. As we head back to their new home early in the morning in a dirty hovertaxi, both Bador and I hear explosions in the distance, but we are too busy making sure our snoring humans reach their beds without further injury to really pay attention.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it!