What is Will Save The Galaxy for Food?
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.
WILL SAVE THE GALAXY FOR FOOD is a novel by Benjamin Richard “Yahtzee” Croshaw who does the Zero Punctuation video game reviews for The Escapist fanzine. This is one of the rare cases where I was actually interested in the book because of the narrator rather than the author, though they’re one in the same here.
I’ve always found Yahtzee’s speedy monotone to be entertaining and wanted to see how it translated to an audiobook. I also knew that his style of humor was extremely good and perfectly up my alley. For those who don’t know it, it’s extremely dry, cynical, and sarcastic as British humor stereotypically is. I wasn’t expecting the next Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I was extremely surprised at how good this book is.
Like, really-really good. Like, I’m actually not just being generous with my 5 star review because Amazon’s algorithm destroys any book’s chances when you give a 3 or 4 star review to and I want the author to succeed 5-star review. No, this is an actual 5-star, “no kidding, this book is great and I really think it is a modern classic of science fiction humor.”
It passes the Mel Brook’s sniff test of, “Is this book not just a great parody by making fun of a genre [heroic science fiction in this case] but also an excellent example of said genre as well?” In which case, yes, yes it is. It is both fantastic at making fun of heroic science fiction and also being a great heroic science fiction novel as well. A bit like Sandy Mitchell’s CIAPHAS CAIN novels for Warhammer 40K except much-much funnier.
I’ve written like thirty comedy science fiction/fantasy novels myself, a few of these in the exact same genre and this is better than my work. That’s how much I enjoyed it. Okay, enough of the blind praise toward this book and I will explain why it is so good and why you should only get the audiobook version.
The premise is our unnamed narrator is a star pilot who is from the Golden Age of Science Fiction brought to life. About ten years earlier, he was Flash Gordon and Captain Kirk with multiple planets saved under his belt. Now he’s closer to Han Solo in that he is flat broke, heavily involved in criminal dealings to make ends meet, and his ship is barely functional. He’s so poorly off that he has to give luxury tours of the space above the planets he’s saved while selling the tourist’s luggage to pirates.
The reason for this catastrophic reversal of fortune is due to the fact that quantum tunneling has been invented, which is basically galactic-scale teleportation. It’s like everyone complaining about STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS making beaming across the Quadrant possible. No one wants to take a weeks-long journey in a starship if they can be there in seconds. The same for transporting cargo. The protagonist is one of thousands of star pilots who were put out of work by this event and has a great bitterness towards two things: quantum tunneling and Jacques McKeown.
Jacques McKeown is the (possible) pen name of the author of about thirty or so cheesy historical science fiction novels where his author insert saves planets, beds beautiful women, fights evil cyborgs, and otherwise does derring do that leaves everyone in awe of his adventures. These books are absurdly well-selling across all of human space and should be the envy of every star pilot.
Except, it’s not the case because Jacques has plagiarized every one of his stories with all of them coming from real life star pilots who have never received a single Euroyen. This makes the starving star pilots of the world all determined to find McKeown and beat him senseless. Well, bankrupt and facing legal action, our protagonist is asked to impersonate a star pilot for a seemingly innocuous dinner meeting.
You can guess which pilot that turns out to be. Hijinks get even more hijinked from there.
This is a fantastic audiobook and Yahtzee brings a magnificent bunch of character to every single one of the people he portrays. His protagonist has a lot of his online persona but he also is able to bring life to the ice cold Ms. Warden, the spunky teenage Jemima, the psychotic Mr. Henderson, and others. Some fans may be put off by the belligerent relationship between the protagonist and Ms. Warden NOT being a cover for romantic feelings or the beginning of a softening in her character but I found it to be quite refreshing. No other narrator could do this book, IMHO, and I feel a lot would be missed if you experienced it any other way.
No, seriously, just buy this thing.