Written by: Rob Reid
Year Zero is the story of low-level copyright lawyer Nick Carter who is visited by 2 aliens one day. They quickly explain to him that the entire earth is in trouble as they’ve essentially bankrupted the entire universe. You see in 1977 the rest of the universe got it’s first taste of Earth’s music (this would become known as the “Kotter Moment” as the bit of music was the Welcome Back Kotter theme song). They became hopelessly addicted and have been collecting all of our music since. Until they recently learned of our strict anti-piracy and copyright laws and realized they now owe a lot of money. All of it. With his alien guides, Nick has to travel the universe and save the earth from certain destruction from those who are losing all their money. He’s also got to win his dream girl.
The very first thing I’ll say is that if you enjoyed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy then you’ll pretty much be guaranteed to enjoy Year Zero. It’s very similar in it’s satire, wit, and surrealness. And I mean that in the best way possible. In a lot of ways Rob Reid updated the story for a new generation.
The next thing is that Reid really impales the music industry and it’s lobby for insane fines against copyright infringers. He really takes the time to spell things out as they really are in our world and then just takes the facts and spins them out wildly from there. And it’s done so entertainingly too.
Year Zero starts off strong and doesn’t let up. It’s a super fun read that manages to skewer our modern society, like reality shows (another big topic covered in the book), all in the context of alien societies trying to copy us. It’s also great for older readers as well because that’s what most of the musical references are. The aliens love all our music but they started in the late 70′s and as such haven’t even made it to some more modern stuff. Also they love our music to an intense level, but I’ll let Year Zero tell you about that part as it’s mindblowing.
Overall I highly recommend you check out Year Zero, which is available wherever books are sold as well as from these wonderful links below that help out this site:
Also check out the wonderful audiobook read by John Hodgman available from Audible and