Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Year Zero-Rob Reid

Year Zero

Rob Reid

Del Rey, July 10 2012, $25.00

ISBN: 9780345534415

Music is the universal language except copyright law could leave those who illegally downloaded in exorbitant debt. Untalented ETs discover the joy of human music on earth. However, they soon receive a bill for millions in fees. The only way to make remittance is to eliminate the bill holders, which means destroy the Earth so no debt collector can call on them.

However, Frampton the mullah and Carly the nun think eradication is too radical because that would be the day the music died. They explain to music lawyer Nick Carter that they love human pop music since they found earth back in Year Zero (circa 1977). However, no one was aware of copyright laws that if enforced today would bankrupt the universe. They hire him to negotiate licensing before time runs out on planet earth.

This is an engaging amusing satire that lampoons the capitalism of the music universe and hardware-software providers. Nick is an intriguing hero who needs to remember that Dent and Prefect failed to save planet earth as they had seconds to hitch a ride while he has forty-eight hours to save planet earth. The shelf life appears limited due to ironically the engaging storyline’s strengths of absurdity, hyperbole and fun footnotes that seem destined (in some cases rather quickly) to become obsolete (sort of like the Cold War movie 1 2 3). Still Rob Reid provides a wonderfully jocular science fiction tale that mocks the music-internet industrial complex.

Harriet Klausner

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