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Loved Mars, Hated the Food

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Dix Jenner, a self-proclaimed slacker, is the first chef to live—and maybe die—on Mars. After an explosion kills his colony companions and leaves him with nothing but his spacesuit, his time on the faraway planet is about to expire… until he’s rescued by friendly Martians Bleeker and Seepa, who smuggle him into their vast underground civilization.

Despite an unfamiliar wor
Paperback, 245 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Kyanite Publishing LLC
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Average rating 4.60  · 
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J.A. Sullivan
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
My rating: 3.5 of 5 (Rounded to 4 for Goodreads)

Reading almost any news article these days is a recipe for depression, and at times like these people need a good laugh. Fortunately, satire thrives when politics are at their worst, and Loved Mars, Hated the Food is a terrific antidote to our current climate.

On the surface of Mars, Dixon “Dix” Jenner is enjoying his pot brownie high until a catastrophe destroys the entire human colony on the planet. He’s afraid and alone. Or is he? Soon Dix is gre
Jennifer Soosar
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved Mars, Hated the Food is an imaginative romp on the red planet complete with recipes. It might be the funniest sci-fi book I've ever read (but I would say it probably leans more toward speculative fiction). Dix Jenner is a dry witted chef from New Jersey who is selected by NASA for a mission to Mars. Once on the planet, he is separated from his crew by an explosion and is rescued by a couple of inquisitive, mind-reading Martians. Dix must learn to navigate the underground Martian world and ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B.B. Swann
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ever had the feeling you don't belong? Has the thought "What the hell was I thinking?" ever crossed your mind? Well, New Jersey chef, Dix Jenner did the moment the colony he joined (the first human outpost on Mars) exploded, leaving him alone on a foreign planet with nothing but his space suit, limited oxygen, and two weed-filled brownies. What ensues is a hilarious "rescue" mission by a local Martian couple, Bleeker and Seepa. They bring Dix into their underground home (which has oxygen thank g ...more
DK Marie
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of Love Mars, Hated the Food in exchange for an honest review.

LMHF was a fantastic mix of satire and sci-fi. I adore satire, but Sci-fi is the genre I read the least, mostly because I don't like excessive world-building, I'm more into character-driven stories. However, Mr. Handler has the perfect balance in LMHF. He offers enough so I can picture it and get drawn into the martian Mars culture, while not overshadowing what I love, the characters. Speaking of the main character,
Crystal Kirkham
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to say that it is always a delight to be able to read an ARC from another Canadian author and to have a chance to go back to my love of science fiction. Some of the first science fiction stories that stuck with me were rather humourous (see Spider Robinson) and whenever I get a chance to laugh as I read sci-fi, I'm ecstatic.

So, thank you for writing this, Willie. This story checked off so much that I love and then went a step beyond.

Dix Jenner is a protagonist to which most of us can easi
Scottie Kaye
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Irreverent and hilarious. The book opens with a slacker pothead finding himself the sole survivor of an exploded human habitat on Mars, too high to fully grasp his impending doom. He is then joined by aliens who have absolutely no social filter whatsoever. What results is a wildly imaginative romp of terrible sporting events, coffee overdoses, and lost-in-translation innuendo... all of which lead to striking character development for the main character, which is my favorite part of the story. Al ...more
C.L. Ogilvie
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, sci-fi, satire
3.5 Stars
(I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.)

A quick and funny read. Handler manages to create a fully realized world with minimal exposition, no small feat for a sci-fi tale. The reader is dropped into the middle of this society along with Dix, and it works. The aliens, Bleeker and Seepa, are hilarious, and their literal interpretations of Dix and his slang had me laughing out loud more than once. Dix is a self-admitted slacker (yes, Dix, it’s actually pretty common fo
Lisa De
Mar 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Dix in Space! I had this book on my TBR for quite some time. I'm so glad I finally read it. With all that's going on in the world, it provided some much needed humour. I laughed out loud on many occasions when reading this story. If you know Willie's style, you know his work is very funny. Dix is a chef who ends up in Mars, hoping it's just the aftermath of digesting a weed brownie. He soon realizes that is not the case. As a part of a NASA expedition to the planet, an explosion led him to becom ...more
Caytlyn Brooke
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny, unique, and daring!
I loved this book! Willie Handler has done an exceptional job creating a wonderful new culture full of interesting characters and "out if this world" situations!
I adored the Martians. Seepa and Bleeker were like an old married couple who can't agree on anything and I found their literal interpretation of everything hilarious. The smashed potatoes were my favorite! I also really liked Dix. He was very easy to relate too and though he had more ambition and drive than mos
Kriti | Armed with A Book
Check out my complete book thoughts on Armed with A Book. Author interview link.

What do you think life on Mars is like? I am not talking about humans living on Mars, but the natives of Mars themselves. 😛 When you were learning about the planets in the Solar System and Mars for the first time, did you wonder how a being can survive there? Loved Mars Hated the Food provides answers to all your Mars-related curiosities in the most hilarious manner! As part of the first manned mission to Mars, chef,
J.L. Peridot
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Loved Mars, Hated the Food” is a comically endearing read about an Earth slacker who’s rescued by Martians after his colony suffers a fatal accident. As Dixon Jenner finds increasingly conspicuous ways to occupy himself, much to the chagrin of his hosts and the local authorities, he discovers his own unique sense of purpose and self-determination.

Highlights for me were the opportunity to look at mundane human things through an absurd alien lens; the light-hearted yet concerning familiarity of t
Jill Squire
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you have an appetite for a rich, fun story which also happens to be woven into an artful satire leaving nothing sacred, you will thoroughly enjoy “Loved Mars, Hated the Food”.

Mr. Handler will serve you a delicious several course feast and have you cheering unexpectedly for alien dishes you thought you surely would dislike.

I was sad to see the story come to an end, yet I absolutely loved the ending.

I eagerly await Mr. Handler’s next satirical adventure!
Lawrence Fox
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved Mars, Hated the Food is a funny, imaginative book, with an engrossing story and compelling characters, which make it difficult to put down. While it may not inspire me to read more science fiction, it certainly will inspire me to read more books by Willie Handler, and I look forward to his next creation.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So darn cute and funny.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Loved Mars, Hated the Food in a single sitting on a recent 8-hour flight!

I was hooked from the first page when Dix Jenner, who has just survived an explosion on Mars, yells, "Is anyone else alive?" at the top of his lungs, on a barren planet, inside his space helmet! I snorted out loud I'm pretty sure I startled the guy sitting next to me.

I had to keep reading to find out how Jenner, a stoner chef from Jersey with no previous space training, ended up on a NASA mission. Sure enough (becau
Rowena Tisdale
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved Mars, Hated the Food was a fresh, enjoyable read! Irreverent, and satirical, Mr. Handler takes the reader on a fun romp as his hero, Earthling chef Dix Jenner, tries to find his way in alien, but not always foreign, Martian society. The book pokes more than a little fun at current Earth events, and I found myself smirking and snickering throughout.

Since no one has yet, I have to give a shout out to Todd - excuse me, Sementric 3 - the character that made me laugh out loud with his every ap
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite funny. Very creative story telling. A pretty easy read and tightly written. This is an author that knows to write in his wheelhouse. Recommended.

I really appreciate the review copy!!
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Willie Handler, BooksGoSocial and NetGaalley for the ARC. Loved Mars, Hated the Food is a satirical romp below the surface of Mars. There are laugh out loud moments which is what I was looking forward to. A grumpy robot and unique, quirky Martians help make the story light hearted and fun to read. Mixed within the story are comments on discrimination and social justice. I will read further works by Willie,
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved Mars Hated the Food is a clever, immersive novel that features Dixon Jenner as the only surviving member of a Mars colony after it explodes. He is taken in by a couple, Bleeker and Seepa, who squabble like any married couple in their attempts to keep him hidden. It’s easy to get swept up in the details of day to day life on another planet through Willie Handler’s artfully created world, and I sometimes forgot I was reading about life on another planet. Dix’s attempts to stay ahead of the s ...more
Chelsea DeVries
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Willie Handler is no stranger to writing books that make you laugh but the second novel from this author is nothing less than an out of this world story that will have you shaking the cosmic dust off your space boots.

Dixon Jenner is a thirty two year old chef who gets recruited by NASA in the year 2039 for a Mars mission that goes terribly wrong  to his spaceship explodes and he is the only sole survivor.

Right away, he is high from a marijuana infused brownie and he has to figure out what to do
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader's copy of Loved Mars Hated The Food and glad I did. This book is hilarious. As in laugh out loud funny.

The notion of a chef on Mars is absurd but it works and sets up many funny scenes. In this book, Handler has lampooned NASA, politics, Starbucks, sports science fiction, you name it. Not only is the main character, Dix Jenner, hilarious, but the Martians and their interaction with Dix is wonderfully weird and wildly creative.

If you want to read something unique and
David Jesson
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been following Willie Handler on Twitter for several years. Having seen snippets of LMHtF, I was delighted to get my hands on an advanced readers copy.

Another reviewer has provided an excellent summary, so I will focus on a couple of other things. Firstly, Handler had taken the road less traveled and made the majority of this a book not only in the first person, but ups the ante by making it in the present tense. This is hard to do, but the book succeeds in keeping you with Dix through his
Eileen Hammond
Sep 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fun read that will keep you entertained

Ne’er do well chef, Dixon Jenner, gets selected to go with a group on an expedition to Mars. Unfortunately, after arrival he may or may not have set off an explosion that killed everyone else. He is saved by two Martians who pass him off as their cousin who has a medical malady in exchange for being able to make a scientific study of him.

Dix adapts to the Martian way of life quite well, but introducing them to some of Earth’s delicacies don’t go as intend
Jody Lewitter
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such fun

This is such a short delightful fun upbeat quick read. I don't read or enjoy sci fi butbit is fun humaan interest, sci fi for the non sci fi reader. Make yourself smile. Enjoy the read. I don't want to say more.
Lorinda Taylor
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Bean Me Up, Dix!”

In this light-hearted satire, Dixon Jenner, the food preparation specialist of the new Martian Colony, is the only person to survive the destruction of the settlement. He is rescued by Martians, who turn out to be stranger than humans but who also share many traits with Earthers. They are ruled by a narcissistic autocrat and they don’t treat all their own kind equally, a fact that Dix wants to rectify. The Martians seem to be impervious to physical damage, indulging in a sport
Mika Paananen
Aug 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first permanent colony in Mars explodes, killing everyone else but the chef. Dix Jenner may or may not have been the culprit. He's not exactly you regular captain Kirk or Flash Gordon, except maybe when smoking weed. Nevertheless, his momentary solitary desperation changes to amazement as he happens to meet a couple of Martians, who take him into their underground world. There will be a lot of going on after this point, both in Mars and on Earth and that lot is enjoyably satirical. Chuckles ...more
B Howard
Jul 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humorous and interesting story about a somewhat goofy guy who ends up marooned on Mars after a catastrophic explosion kills all the other astronauts and destroys their habitat. Dix is a chef from New Jersey who was selected to be the cook for the Mars mission. Dix is actually rescued by a pair of Martians who take him in at their home below the surface of the planet. Dix has some hilarious adventures before NASA sends a fact-finding mission. One of the bad Martians is obviously tailored after Do ...more
Diane Bator
Jul 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest. I chose this book because of the title BUT I wasn NOT disappointed!
Picture a chef in a NASA colony on Mars then the colony blows up and he's the last human left on Mars. What's a guy to do? Move in with a family of Martians.
Talk about a duck out of water.
Definitely not a book for kids, but some really great scenes where the chef in question tries to share his traditions with his new friends.
Willie Handler is a humorous author who weaves a fun story that defies gravity!
Louise Sorensen
Aug 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved Mars Hated the Food, A Review

This is an unusual, surprising, entertaining story. Very creative and not like most SciFi these days. Full of interesting ideas and characters. I really enjoyed it.
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Author Willie Handler was a satirist well before he became a novelist. Hailing from Canada, where self-deprecating humor is part of the national character, he finds targets for his humor everywhere. His targets include friends, family, co-workers, politicians, farmers, subway passengers, bureaucrats, telemarketers, Martians, and his barber, Vince. In 2016, he released his first novel, a political ...more

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