Zoe’s Tale at The Agony Column
Posted on June 20, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 7 Comments
Rick Kleffel of The Agony Column gives an early shout-out to Zoe’s Tale, in which he talks about the book as one of three science fiction books aimed at teens but worth reading if one’s an adult (the other two: Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein). You can read the text version, or hear it in audio; my understanding is that the audio will also play on NPR at some point in the near future (as part of its “Three Books” series). Here’s a nice quote about the book:
As Scalzi sets up the targets, Zoë takes them out with the ruthless vigor of a motivated teenaged girl. She truly comes to life – and readers will feel invigorated as well.
Naturally I’m happy that Zoë is coming across well so far. Because, you know, I like her.
I am excited to read this. Just finished Singularity’s Ring which was YA masquerading as SF. Very good read!
Did you do any field research by running things by Krissy and or Athena?
I really liked [i]Have Spacesuit, Will Travel[/i]. And I find it very re-readable. Heinlein is especially good at that kind of stuff…
I have [i]Little Brother[/i] in my laptop bag to read. And later today I’m going to go dumpster diving at the editorial offices and hope for an ARC of [i]Zoe’s Tale[/i]. :)
Okay, so was Peewee deliberately neglected in Kleffel’s brief description of Have Space Suit–Will Travel so as to avoid comparisons to Zoe, or was she edited out for space/time reasons? Either way, it’s an unfortunate omission for readers unfamiliar with the book. It’s misleading to say that Kip “finds out that he’s able to communicate with aliens” without his first contacting Peewee, without whom he’d have had no adventure at all (and would still be traipsing around in his air-conditioned space suit, calling “Junebug to Peewee”).
Does Zoe have an umlaut (sp?) or not? The cover shows without an umlaut, but you write it both with and without.
I think Citizen of the Galaxy, by Heinlein, also falls under the ‘YA that adults can/should read’ column, personally.
It’s got to be a good day when you get put in the same weight class as Heinlein. Rock on.
Absolutely, Citizen and Space Suit (both of which I first read at age 12, when they were only available in school libraries; the well-known Ballantine-DelRey paperbacks didn’t appear until 1977 or so) are equally representative of Heinlein at his best. But I do wonder whether a present-day 12-year-old like my older daughter can get into them as readily as I did when the books themselves were only 10 years old or so.