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The President's Brain is Missing
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The President's Brain is Missing

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  430 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The question is, how can you tell the President's brain is missing? And are we sure we need it back?
ebook, 50 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published July 12th 2010)
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2.0 stars. First let me say that I am a big fan of John Scalzi’s work. I really enjoy the Old Man’s War series and I thought The God Engines was amazing. Unfortunately, this story, while not bad, is easily my least favorite of his stories to date. It is another story available for free at so you can check it out for yourself in case it turns out that I am "WAY OFF BASE" in my review (which is always a distinct possibility).

My biggest problem with the story was one of false expectatio
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
A science fiction short story about a president's brain which, well, disappears (the title is not particularly metaphorical). Very much Scalzi's style, with a light mix of humor and geekery.
Troy Blackford
This was a hilarious and clever short story that was in no way very realistic, but that was definitely part of its charm.
If you liked The Android's Dream and Agent to the Stars but don't have a lot of time, read this. Otherwise re-read The Android's Dream. This has the same feel (right down to the pat ending) but doesn't have the length to develop the characters (mostly the supporting characters; I can't always rely on Scalzi to flesh out his main characters as much as I would like but he seems to make the effort to build a supporting cast. And hey, we got The Human Division out of a throwaway character, so I gues ...more
I am a fan of John Scalzi. His books are witty, entertaining, and fun to read. This said this is not one of his best stories. Do not get me wrong, the book is fun and it has an interesting conclusion, but it is not emotionally steering or epic as many of his other stories.
The novella is the story of a Presidential brain that vanishes on thin air, without any visible change in the commander in chief.
Despite the title seems to suggest a political commentary intent, the author is quite careful to a
Paul Mirek
This short story is a sci-fi locked-room mystery that takes place inside the President's head. It's also a gag-filled deconstruction of the "boy's club" of D.C. with a sci-fi movie-quoting CIA chief and a group fondness for 5 Guys. With a deft hand, Scalzi weaves some inventive concepts together into his solution, all the while keeping things on the lighter side compared to most modern genre fiction. My enjoyment of these two stories so far bodes well for a time when I can finally sit down to on ...more
Suzanne Lucas
When I originally saw this book in Goodreads, I was drawn by the catchy title and what appeared to be a promising plot -- the concept of a missing brain just seemed to have so many possibilities. Unfortunately, the story didn't quite live up to my expectations.

This isn't to say that it was a bad story. On the contrary, it was laughingly nonsensical and amusing, as one would expect from a master of comedic sci-fi. (Of course, it makes perfect sense that the President of the United States is able
The President's brain is missing off of medical scans but he's feeling fine & can walk/talk. This short story is all about trying to figure out was it magic....or advanced technology

Altogether the story was enjoyable but very short. Alex asks the right questions right away, spends a night investigating things, gets everything explained to him and goes back to his day job.
Lis Carey
This is an ebook-only short, barely a novella. It's also vintage Scalzi, funny and irreverent and insightful.

A senior staffer for an unnamed president gradually comes to the shocking realization that the president's brain is missing. He's walking, he's talking, he's functioning normally--but his brain is missing! (Yes, insert jokes here; Scalzi is careful to ensure you can't peg this president as being either Bush or Obama. He's not doing contemporary political commentary, here.)

The senior staff
Scalzi can write just about anything and make it work. This is a silly little story that Scalzi turns into an enjoyable read. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing awe-inspiring. Just a good little story.
Short, concise, well paced. Luke Daniels as a narrator is a good match for Scalzi's character and gag-centric writing style in this, though he sounds weirdly like Nathan Fillion, who seems equally fitting.
Great premise, weak execution. It could have been funnier, more science-filled, more fantastical, and yet it didn't hit any of the potential high points.
Amusing little story. Gotta wonder at which point (pre-2008?) this was written.
Now that is how you do satire. A perfect story with a wicked little bite.
It's alright.
Fun concept, funny delivery. John Scalzi style.
A quick gym read, with lots of snarky conversation about a President whose brain is missing (but it doesn't seem to be effecting his functioning). The resolution is as improbable and twisted as the entirety of the story. Silly but quick.
Another short story.

A ha ha, this is brilliant! I love the mechanics of this, and the secret spy stuff and conspiracy theory twists. Possibly my favorite in this genre ever.

Joel Neff
This is Scalzi at his smarmiest: funny, droll, cautiously topical, and did I mention funny? It's a good story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended.
A cute short story that is available for free online. Not much more to say.
Witty, short, Scalzi-voice: Just what I expected, and awesome. :)
Al Smith
This story doesn't really have any point to it.
A fun short story. No more, no less.
fun short story...good stuff
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
More about John Scalzi...
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) Redshirts The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) Lock In

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