“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” is the damnedest film. I can’t recommend it, but I would not for one second discourage you from seeing it.”
– Roger Ebert
In a semi-dystopian near future, Darwin is frittering away his time, working at a toll booth long after the sentence mandated by the terms of his parole.
Music is the only thing that gives his life any semblance of meaning, so when a mysterious turtle-like creature knocks him unconscious and steals his albums he gives chase. This lands him trapped in an ugly brown cell with a diverse assortment of fellow abductees, all the sort of people willing to chase after kleptomaniac turtles.
A sudden jailbreak gives Darwin free run of the strange building, and he encounters a world he never thought possible – including indications that magic may be real.
As he explores, he encounters a variety of aliens, a large pink bunny, a morally flexible politician, and a mysterious goddess who haunts his dreams and wants to discuss his fear of death. Darwin may even be falling in love with one of his ex-cellmates. Or is that just fear talking?
Hopefully the novel rises above its premise.
A list of authors: If this novel manages to convey a fraction of the compelling characterizations of Robin Hobb, the imagination of Neil Gaiman, or the clarity of Kurt Vonnegut, I will be happy.
If good artists borrow, then I have attempted to steal everything I can from Steven Brust.
Obtain your free copy: