Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club


ZOE'S TALE
by
JOHN SCALZI
Zoe's Tale paperback Zoe's Tale (2008)
2009 Hugo Award nominee

Tor paperback
406 pages (left)

Tor hardcover
336 pages (right)

cover art by John Harris
Zoe's Tale hardcover

From the inside flap of the hardback:
       Meet ZoŽ Boutin Perry: Friend.  Daughter.  A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world.  Holy icon to a race of aliens.  A player and a pawn in an interstellar chess match to save the human race.
       Seventeen years old.
       Readers of John Scalzi's bestselling Old Man's War series have met ZoŽ before, but now, in this compelling stand-alone novel set in the same universe, Scalzi brings her front and center, to tell her tale as only she can.  "Not straight but true, and telling it all; the joy and terror and uncertainty, the panic and wonder, despair and hope."
       ZoŽ has a lot to tell.  She and her family and friends are at a pivotal point in history, unwillingly placed at the center of a galaxy-spanning gambit by the human Colonial Union, which wants to draw an alien alliance into a war neither of them can win or afford.  ZoŽ's colony home of Roanoke is the flashpoint, primed by outsiders to explode and destroy everyone Zoe loves...unless she can somehow stop the seemingly inevitable process that will bring destruction to her door.
       ZoŽ's tale isn't the one she would have chosen for herself, but it's one she rises to tell; calling on every resource she has -- every ounce of wit and guile and heart -- to save her colony and become the woman she has to be to keep humanity among the stars.

From the back cover of the paperback:
       How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?
       I ask because it's what I have to do.  I'm ZoŽ Boutin-Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world.  Holy icon to a race of aliens.  A player and a pawn in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall.  Witness to history.  Friend.  Daughter.  Human.  Seventeen years old.
       Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of.  But you don't know my tale: How I did what I did -- how I did what I had to do -- not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too.  I'm going to tell it to you now, the whole thing, the only way I know how: not straight but true, to try make you feel what I felt; the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope.  All through my eyes.
       It's a story you know.  But you don't know it all.

Read for group discussion on July 22, 2009

RATINGS:
How we each rated this book
Dan 7 Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 7 Barb -
Aaron 6 Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron 6
Stephanie 7    

Our book group has read the following books by John Scalzi
-- Old Man's War  in March 2007

Bibliography:
John Scalzi (1969-    ) is a US author of science fiction and online web writer.

Awards:
2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
2008 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer
2009 Hugo Award for Best Related Book for Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008

Old Man's War Universe novels:
-- Old Man's War (2005)
-- The Ghost Brigades (2006)
-- The Last Colony (2007)
-- Zoe's Tale (2008), a retelling of Scalzi's The Last Colony from the viewpoint of ZoŽ Boutin-Perry

Other novels:
-- Agent to the Stars (1997 online shareware novel, 2004 freeware, 2005 hardcover)
-- The Android's Dream (2006), humorous futuristic spy thriller

Novellas and Novelettes published as books:
-- The Sagan Diary (2007)
-- The God Engines (2009)

Non-fiction:
-- The Rough Guide to Money Online (2000)
-- The Rough Guide to the Universe (2003)
-- The Book of the Dumb (2003)
-- The Book of the Dumb 2 (2004)
-- The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (2005)
-- You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing (2007)
-- Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 (2008)


Links:
Aaron's review of The Android's Dream by John Scalzi on Fantastic Reviews
Our book club's page for Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Scalzi.com -- The online home of writer John Scalzi
Whatever - John Scalzi's blog
John Scalzi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SF REVIEWS.NET: Zoe's Tale / John Scalzi
Strange Horizons Reviews: Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

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This page was last updated August 08, 2010