Sci Fi Month Review – Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett – Pratchett turns computer games on their head

Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell, #1)

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the mighty alien fleet from the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces.

And they send him a message.

We surrender.

They’re not supposed to do that! They’re supposed to die. And computer joysticks don’t have ‘Don’t Fire’ buttons…

It’s hard enough, trying to save Mankind from the Galactic Hordes. It’s even harder trying to save the Galactic Hordes from Mankind. But it’s only a game, isn’t it.

Isn’t it?

A hugely entertaining and thought-provoking new adventure from the master of comic fantasy, Terry Pratchett, author of the bestselling Truckers trilogy.

While Pratchett’s main productions are Fantasy he occasionally tinkered in the scifi genre. This is the first part of a trilogy , based around a weird kid called Johnny Maxwell.
The book is fun and quite cheeky and still has the common Pratchett approach of turning things on their head to make you see things differently. In this case he completely reverses the basic concepts of an Alien shooter computer game, starting with the premise that the Aliens don’t want to die and decide to surrender and claim their rights under the Geneva convention. With a little bit of social commentary thrown in with the wit and tongue in cheek its still familiar Sir Terry and quite enjoyable , if a little short.

View all my reviews

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About Paul Walsh

I'm a big fan of fantasy and scifi, which would make up most of my reading but will branch out often enough. Favourite authors vary over time but generally include Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Conn Iggulden, Robert Harris, Karen Maitlan, Kate Mosse, Anne Rice, Philip K Dick, Ray Bradbury. John Scalzi, Mark Lawrence, Pat Rothfuss and a host of others. I'm not the harshest reviewer but will note down a few words on all books I read.
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