Loved Mars, Hated the Food
by Willie Handler
Dix Jenner, a self-proclaimed slacker, is the first chef to live—and maybe die—on Mars. After an explosion kills his colony companions and leaves him with nothing but his spacesuit, his time on the faraway planet is about to expire… until he’s rescued by friendly Martians Bleeker and Seepa, who smuggle him into their vast underground civilization.
Despite an unfamiliar world of telepathy, strange class dynamics, and really bad food, Dix sets out to make his mark. Unfortunately, his success attracts the attention of the corrupt and narcissistic Martian Grand Leader. Forced to run to avoid being imprisoned, Dix gets lucky: a NASA rescue mission lands on Mars. But seeing it brings back the dark secret he’s been keeping from himself about the colony’s explosion…
Genre: Science Fiction, Satire
Length: Novel, approx. 255 pages
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
MSRP: eBook – $6.50 / Paperback – $14.25 / Hardcover – $27.75
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Handler’s crisp, direct writing and sarcastic humor makes this a fun read. The characters are so real, you’ll want to make a trip to Mars and meet up for a game or two of Sling. The parallels to the political and societal systems here on Earth poke great satirical fun at our failures and stereotypes and at the same time, make you think of ways we can–and should– do better. I highly recommend picking up a copy!
At the end of a long day, the book transported me to another world (if not so literally as Dix) where I could laugh at Earth’s absurdities as seen through the Martians’ eyes. And speaking of the Martians, their technology and philosophies gave me a lot to laugh at and think about in equal measure. Their leader looks awfully familiar, but it was gratifying to see Dix deal with him.
Hilarious! A crackin’ good read that seamlessly warps through ageless the questions of identity, survival, loyalty, and the cultural capital of fine dining. As a political satire and a laugh out loud comedy, Handler rings the bell with this fun, fast-paced page turner.
Author Willie Handler was a satirist well before he became a novelist. Hailing from Canada, where self-deprecating humor is part of the national character, he finds targets for his humor everywhere. His targets include friends, family, co-workers, politicians, farmers, subway passengers, bureaucrats, telemarketers, Martians, and his barber, Vince. With his most recent work, he has crossed over to the world of speculative fiction.
Find out more about Willie at his website.