Review: The Worst Man on Mars, by Mark Roman and Corben Duke.
September 8, 2016
This next review is a bit of a departure from my historical genre. It’s a book I originally came across on the now defunct Authonomy site, so I have watched its progress to publication with interest.
Flint Dugdale, slob extraordinaire, a pie eating, beer-swilling Yorkshireman manages not only to get himself on the first manned mission to Mars, he also ends up in charge of the merry band of colonists - he is nobody’s first choice - any ranking system would rate him below both humans and orangutans!
As Dugdale and crew orbit the red planet, a dysfunctional band of robots sent ahead to construct the base on Mars, toil away oblivious to basic measurement errors in the building, the loss of all the food supplies, and the fact that they have all gone a bit quirky to say the least.
To top it all off there are life signs on the planet discovered by colonists ship’s computer. Arriving on Mars might not be Man’s greatest triumph, and Dugdale, is certainly not Man’s greatest man.
It is a ridiculously funny novel that plays with modern Sci-fI tropes, and some very British humour, rattling along at a goodly pace, with short chapters and unexpected twists galore. The writing has always reminded me of the TV series Hyperdrive - in a very good way - or even Red Dwarf. It is that Britishness of the humour that made me laugh out loud more than once. I hope that doesn’t make it niche novel, because this deserves to read far and wide.