John Hodgman interviews author of 'Year Zero,' plus, read the first chapter! -- EXCLUSIVE

rob-reid

Love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? If you do, you might want to check out Year Zero by author Rob Reid, coming out July 10. In the spirit of nerdy, ultra-pop sci-fi satire, Reid’s new novel skewers the dysfunctional state of the music industry today — as experienced by aliens from outer space. Read the novel’s premise:

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything — and the aliens are not amused.

Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he’s an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He’s scared of heights. He’s also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he’s packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.

Soon he’s on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has forty-eight hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that John Hodgman, author of The Areas of My Expertise, who also happens to be the coolest dork around (you might recognize him as the PC from the Apple ads), is already a big fan. Watch him as he preps to narrate the audiobook for Year Zero:

Also, check out the first chapter!:

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