TR Review: The Sheriff of Yrnameer


?I don’t do a lot of book reviews on TR, and I’ll tell you why: mostly because they take a lot of time to do. Also because I have a firm policy of only reviewing books on TR that I really like. I have nothing but the utmost awe and respect for anyone who spends the time and energy writing a book and getting it published, and I would much rather say nothing about these works than something negative. The point is, if you see a book review here, I really like it.

So I really, really like Michael Rubins’ The Sheriff of Yrnameer. A former Daily Show writer, Rubins has penned a science fiction comedy that ends up somewhere between Douglas Adams and Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which is to say it’s got a wonderfully thought-out universe and it’s really fucking funny. The story is pretty much a sci-fi subversion of The Seven Samurai, as mostly pathetic space pilot Cole — on the run from a tentacled space thug who wants to implant his young into his skull — ends up becoming the sheriff of the hippie-est planet in the galaxy when even worse alien thugs are on the way. Look, you’re not going to be blown out of the water by the overarching plot, but that’s hardly the point. The point is the fantastic journey of getting there, which Rubins has filled with genial bounty hunters, the ultimate in advertising-based technology, corporate cannibals, freeze-dried orphans, and more.

I repeat: freeze-dried orphans.

Look, Rubins isn’t the visionary that Stephenson is, nor is he quite as funny as Douglas Adams, but that’s like saying someone’s not as smart as Einstein — it’s not an insult. The fact is I’ve not read another science fiction book that comes closer to reaching these two pinnacles than The Sheriff of Yrnameer, especially simultaneously. If you like either Adams or Stephenson, you should totally pick it up. And if not… what the fuck are you doing here?