Year Zero by Rob Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had a great time with this very funny book, but a few things should be accounted for.
1. You have to be a music nerd.
2. You ought to have a healthy respect or disrespect for music copyright laws and the dimensions they involve.
3. You must have a sense of humor.
One really ought to be a must or most of the great references and jokes will be lost and it is entirely possible to learn and be impressed by the great solutions to the copyright kerfuffle here, so you could squeak by with number two, but I'm gonna have to insist on number three. :)
That being said, this is a light and completely snarky SF about music. Specifically, how the rest of the galaxy so completely loves our music that it has been secretly stealing every single song we've produced to their great joy... and as we soon learn, their great dismay... because they respect the law. Or at least, they apply that respect to the home world's system of laws where the art is produced, and this is where the biggest problem arises.
Stolen songs here comes at a cost of 150k per song in damages. Current estimation of damages across the galaxy is about 1/3 the total gross wealth of the galaxy. Earth would be RICH AS HELL if it wasn't for that little spark of expediency called ... destroying the debt owed.
Good music? Sure. But we can't pay that much!!!! Kill em.
So yeah, this does have a bit of a DNA vibe going on and it is very funny throughout because those galactics love everything we've made, but that's where the similarities end.
No spoilers, but a single Earth lawyer's journey through the galaxy is fantastic, and the eventual solution is geeky and fun as hell. Thank you, Lessig! :)
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