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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Severance, the debut novel from famed writer Chris Bucholz, the inhabitants of a generation ark find two unlikely heroes who fight to keep everything together.

After 240 years traveling toward Tau Prius and a new planet to colonize, the inhabitants of the generation ship Argos are bored and aimless. They join groups such as the Markers and the Breeders, have cos
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 19th 2014 by Apex Book Company
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Frank Errington
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Review Copy

Multi-generational space travel. There are so many places to go with a story with that as your basic premise.

The journey to the third planet around the star Tau Prius has been in progress for close to 240 years, about as long as it's been since the United States declared it's independence from England. Think of the stories that could be told.

The story Severance gives us, about the spaceship Argo and its denizens, really left me disappointed. I've never read anything by by Chris Buch
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
SEVERANCE is a clever, witty and entertaining romp through outer space. Perfect for readers who enjoy the closed in atmosphere of WOOL.

A band of humans aboard a huge spaceship traveling hundreds of years towards their destination - a new inhabitable planet, find themselves embroiled in a civil war as the ships' authority attempt to literally split the interstellar transporter in two. There is method in this madness as an oversight which saw the ship run off course many years prior consumed unac
Sebastian H
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cracked-writers
Another awesome novel from a Cracked author. Seriously, the quality of books released by authors who also publish articles on Cracked continues to astonish me. And it shoulnd't have, at this point: every book I've read from that particular Venn diagram intersection has been excellent.

This one is right up my alley, what with my current (and slight) obsession with sci-fi and space operas. A generation ship? Check. A diverse cast, with multiple POVs scattered about? Check. Crazy, idiotic plans wit
I hate a book plug in an article. If your writing was wonderful, then I would seek out your other pieces, such as books. It worked for other Cracked writers.

That article really just pissed me off.
Philip Paulsson
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Needs a better editor.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Chris Bucholz ever since his hilarious Q&A style articles on Cracked, and he did not disappoint in this book.

Severance is a blend of high brow and low brow. To wit: the very first scene is a urine gag, but the urine gag is a well-considered strategy that will improve life on the generational ship that is the book’s setting. The characters are all well-realized and the background is all well-thought. The plot keeps you guessing and rooting for the characters, for all their foib
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The nitty-gritty: A fascinating premise for a story, lots of laugh-out-loud moments, but ultimately a meandering plot that failed to hold my attention.

The trolley continued on its way, though by now Stein wished she had simply just gone up to the garden well and walked. The trolley seemed to bring out the worst in people, a symptom of mass transit systems which had survived the trip to the stars. A mass transit system within a mass transit system: Russian nesting dolls stuffed with awful, awful
Riles En
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Four stars for the number of times I laughed out loud listening to this book. The narrator is not very good though. He seemed robotic at times and pronouncing some words strangely not to mention taking strange breaks during sentences and breathing audibly in some of those strange breaks. The story is a fun romp through space.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Too long and the story wasn't a page turner. The whole point of transmitting info in someone's DNA turned out to be minor even though individual chapters were devoted to it. ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very impressive for a first novel. Fun characters, engaging plot- a good popcorn read. Great way to spend a weekend.
Alasdair Stuart
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stein and Bruce are engineers aboard the Argos, a generation ship 240 years into its trip to Tau Prius. They are a vital part of society, an elite pair of troubleshooters whose job it is to keep the ship running and the staff able to carry out their duties.

Stein and Bruce are so, SO bored.

They hate their jobs, theyespecially hate their boss and they hate the venal, bored idiots they’re locked into an (Admittedly very large) ship with. Then, during a spot of recreational burglary they find someth
Alexander Pyles
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Review originally posted here.

The Argos has spent over two centuries en route to Tau Prius, its destination, but the inhabitants have grown tired and bored of their journey. Rampant hedonism is common among the people, just to fill the time. Laura Stein isn’t a partaker of any of this revelry. She wants to just take care of her meat plant and be left alone. When one of her subordinates is found dead, she takes it upon herself to find out what happened. What she ends up finding is a conspiracy th
While I'm a fan of SF, I'm not really interested in generational colony ship stories. However, this one was different. Everyone on the ship knows why they are there, but many have no real job or focus. Therefore, there are some strange past times that have sprung up. Likewise, there have been revolts against those in charge, and there is some tension between the military (who steer the ship and run the security forces) and the government.

The story mostly follows Laura Stein, who doesn't like peo
Markus Johnson
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The negative reviews are just screwing around

I felt it necessary to point out that the reason this book has so many "bad" reviews is that the author is a fairly popular writer on Cracked, and his fans seem to think it's funny to give this book an ironically bad review, not realizing that that actually does bring the rating down overall and to those who do not know who the author is gives the impression that the book is actually bad. Which is kind of crappy, in my humble opinion.

But on to the to
John Kirk
I enjoy reading Bucholz's columns at Cracked, particularly the dialogues where he offers advice about implausible situations. (E.g. "So you're fighting a robot from the future.") In fact, I'd happily buy a collection of those columns, so I was optimistic about this book. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment.

The concept involves a generation ship, so it's vaguely similar to Colony. I'm not sure whether this is intended to be a comedy, but I didn't find it funny; I don't think I even sm
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly the kind of book I love -- a science fiction that's super fun to read. I laughed and laughed at the adventures of Stein and Bruce and was quite sad when the story ended. As in all great books, I wanted it to go on and on.

Set on a generation ship in the last stages of it's trip to a new world for colonization, this novel dives deep into the pitfalls of what would happen if thousands upon thousands of people spent two hundred plus years crammed into a ship in space.
Included is a m
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Severence is one of those quirky, funny science fiction stories. Set in the future on a generation ship where humanity has been living for 240 years, hurtling towards a new planet to inhabit, Severance is really a cleverly disguised multi-level murder mystery wrapped around conspiracy plots.

Ultimately I enjoyed Severance and while it was hard for me to connect with the story, I thought it was very inventive. There were good plot twists and enough intrigue to keep up my interest. I did enjoy the
Meradeth Houston
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Okay, here's the thing: I've decided that I'm not too much of a fun of books set on spacecraft. I really don't know why this is, but it's the truth. I have a hard time with them, even when it comes to books like this where the craft is gigantic and most of the time it's not like they're on a ship at all. Except for the roving bands of really bored people. That being said, there was still some fun aspects to this book that kept me reading. For starters, it was hilarious. Laura and Bruce made me l ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Honestly.. didn't finish it. And I won't even say this is a terrible book, it just didn't appeal to me.

In my OPINION, it felt really dry, the jokes felt a bit cheesy or contrived. I wanted to get into it, but I couldn't. Rarely do I abandon a book, but it just was not keeping my attention. It seemed predictable that the stability of the order of the ship would fall apart, a mystery would unravel, and the two main characters would come out on top. Laura and Bruce weren't particularly likable, eit
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Severance. I received it from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers, and the main reason I requested it was because the author writes for Cracked. I assumed the book would be sharp and witty, which it was. I really appreciated the uniqueness of the plot – conspiracy on a colony-bound spaceship – and the writing style. It’s funny and clever and doesn’t assume you’re an idiot. I also appreciated the fact that the mysterious conspiracy that will clearly come into being isn’t held until th ...more
Joe Crowe
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Throughout the course of human history, peeing on your boss’s living room floor has always been regarded as a pretty bad move.”

Spaceships carrying the future of humanity are not usually this fun.

The book isn’t completely a comedy, but it is funny, and it approaches a topic that is never handled in that way. Early in the book, grown men fight while dressed as babies, and that’s not the silliest thing that happens. This serves as a warning to future space farers: Be sure we have something to do

Tom Loock
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, ebook
It's been too long since I read a generation ship novel - if there is such a subcategory in SF. This is a very good one based on the enjoyment factor and those rare and precious moments when I wished the book would be (even) longer. Very much recommended.

Since everyone is a critic, I feel I should mention a couple of things as well ...

The following points are meant as constructive criticism - no spoilers ahead:
- Some characters are stereotypes (the mayor) and it feels odd to have one of the two
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this.


It’s good science fiction – it is everything I wanted Syfy’s Ascension to be a couple years back. Set on a spaceship several generations into a journey to another planet, Bucholz’ Severance takes the reader on a great ride. The ship is getting closer to its destination, but a well-kept secret is getting people killed. At once both humorous and dark, Bucholz does well to keep the story moving so the reader has little time to dwell on the darker issues at play. It’s masterfully
Tori Willett
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I know and love Chris Bucholz from his articles on and was very excited when I found out he had written a full length novel. I'm not necessarily a big sci-fi reader, so I didn't know if I would like it, but I like him as an author enough that I figured I'd give it a shot. He did a great job! I really liked it and recommend it. Great characters, plot, structure, and pacing. Really well done.
Sam Darley
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I went into it with some expectations based on my past experience with Bucholz' writing, which doesn't always click with me, but I'm glad to say that he's written a thoroughly entertaining story, that's both interesting and funny from start to finish. The story moves along at a good pace, helped by a likeable set of characters, and humour is nicely seeded through both narration and dialogue, often managing to surprise me with a good laugh. ...more
“Gideon” Dave Newell
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book for two reasons: It gave the first character-scale examination of the inevitable dramas aboard a generation ship that I've ever encountered, and it had truly hilarious dialog, similar to James S. A. Corey's "Expanse" series. ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Clever, witty and original ( difficult to do in the crowded Scifi universe). A fresh take on what would actually evolve on a generations long voyage, given human nature and propensity for screwing up. Recommended!
Wesley Hodgson
Not amazing, but quite funny. Bruce's character had me laughing pretty regularly, and I loved his relationship with Laura. Nice to have a super close, but totally platonic relationship portrayed in a piece of fiction. ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
A disappointment and I would like my time and money back. Poorly written, cartoon characters and recycling the same 'jokes' over and over. Don't bother. (And yes I did finish it.) ...more
Amber Marshall
Not quite as good as I was expecting (sometimes the technical details were a snooze) but definitely amusing. There was real tension as well as some goofball laughs.
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Chris Bucholz is probably best known for his column at where he regularly shares interesting facts that have been arranged into lists, series, and indices. Mainly lists though. He also periodically gives advice which should never be followed. During the day, he works as a video game writer, and has written for Galactic Civilizations III, Sorcerer King, and the upcoming reboot of Star C ...more

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