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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  954 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Lifetimes ago, the generation ship Willflower set out, manned by the cream of humanity, on a mission to colonize the stars. But by the 10th generation, things are starting to go badly wrong. The only man who can save the ship is astrophysical Dr Piers Morton. Only he's not an astrophysical engineer, he's not a doctor, he's not even Piers Morgan, and all that remains of his ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 26th 2001 by Penguin MD (first published January 1st 2000)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: funny
Eddie O'Hare, perennial loser, switches places with C.P. Gordon, a genius level social scientist, and embarks on a voyage to the stars aboard the Willflower, a colony ship designed to take the cream of the crop on an extended voyage to another world. Eddie ends up in deep freeze and awakens ten generations later, appalled at what's become of the crew...

So I bought this because Rob Grant was half of the team that wrote Red Dwarf. While Colony feels like an exceptionally dark episode of Red Dwarf,
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Starts rather well and remarkably relevent... would have liked Mr Grant to develop the theme rather more. Also needs a few hundred more pages!
Lynne Norman
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was read as light relief following a few heavier novels and - as such - it worked for me. Not as funny as I would have hoped, but certainly entertaining enough and with an interesting sci-fi concept/plot. The ending felt a little rushed and left me wanting a little more closure. What Grant and Naylor did well in Red Dwarf, and especially in the spin-off novels, was create great anti-heroes - people the viewer/reader felt great affection for in spite of them being everything a hero shou ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this book frustratingly uneven. Loved how I was drawn into the story within the first few pages in a fashion reminiscent of a classic Heinlein opening. But just as the story had gained some momentum, it suddenly went off the rails morphing into a poor approximation of a Douglas Adams novel.

I have a feeling that with a good director, the story line could be turned into an interesting script for TV or film, but as a book, it didn't quite work for me.
Mar 13, 2011 added it
WOW - CLEVER - VERY CLEVER: After being a red dwarf fan, I was nervous about reading this with too much expectation but to my suprise it was fantastic. Clever idea and i didn't expect that ending. Couldn't help but think that "eddie" was asking for it!
Well done Rob Grant,. I am looking forward to purchasing more of his books in the future.

Johnny Andrews
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Darkly funny or just very British humour take your pick. It started off slow reading (plus for about a month I couldn't find the book) but it grows on you and it is indeed very very very funny. Simply put, fans of Red Dwarf or any other Sci-Fi Comedy will love it.
Guy Walsh
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book in the vein of Red Dwarf. Just as funny and keeps you guessing. Characters aren't perhaps as likeable as the Red Dwarf crew, but this is far from a rehash of Red Dwarf so I'm going to stop harping on about it. Interesting twist at the end too. If there isn't a sequal, there should be.
Gareth Park
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
funniest book i have ever read. i love the character worrying about their green gloop. kept me up literally all night to finish it
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

Quick read, overall really enjoyed the plot and world building. Wasn't sure I was going to like Eddie at the beginning, but he definitely grew on me throughout the book. However, without a doubt, Apton Styx (and all the Styxs) were collectively my favourite characters. I hope they all live long, happy, confused lives.

I would say that the ending felt a little rushed, and I would have appreciated it a lot more if the conclusion had been more "conclusive."
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
closer to 3 than 2.5. I think I expected more from it, maybe because KSR's Aurora still resonates in my mind, or that I really enjoyed the latter Incompetence more. The blurb really only covers the last 2/3rd of the book and it's....rather simplistic. I don't know. There are enjoyable parts and things that could have been explored more in depth.
Martin Hall
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Rob Grants writing style, nice details and intricacies that others may miss, good sense of world building.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
At times this is hilariously funny but it felt a bit like the author rushed to finish it and ended up coming to an abrubt end just as it was really taking off. All the same an amusing read.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read this so many times, and every time I literally blast through it and cannot put it down. A fun sci-fi bumble (kinda like a romp, but more manic and clumsy.)
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, sci-fi
Better than I expected, tbh. The beginning was actually pretty good, the whole was quite fun, but the ending was a bit 'meh'. I can release it into the wild, now! ;)
Dave Abbott
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Good but a bit thin and doesn't live up to the Red Dwarf stuff. Read if you're a fan. It's ok but nothing special.
John Kirk
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this. However, I never really got the sense that the spaceship had 1000 people on board, because we don't really see any of them. Looking at the various Star Trek series, there's a core cast of about 7 people (typically the command crew) but we also see random extras in the background, e.g. walking along the corridors or standing in the shuttle bay. In this book, it might as well be Red Dwarf where the rest of the ship is deserted, and that undermines one of the plot points. (v ...more
David Jones
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Being a big fan of the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf, I decided to read series co-creator Rob Grant’s first attempt at a non-Red Dwarf science fiction novel, on the basis that the comedy from the TV show would find its way into the writing, as it did during his solo Red Dwarf novel, Backwards.

One thing that I can definitely say about Rob Grant is that he knows how to write a good story. Colony has an intriguing, vastly entertaining and well-paced plot surrounding main character Eddie O’Hare, who trades i
Pete Young
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Colony is an unlikely and irreverent addition to that relatively short list of British ‘generation starship’ novels, which I may as well confess now is really the only reason I picked it up in the first place. I get Rob Grant’s sense of humour when it’s combined with Doug Naylor’s as it comes across in the best of Red Dwarf; however Colony shows Grant out on his own, and I’m not so sure he hits the sweet spot so easily without having a foil like Naylor for his sense of humour to bounce off. His ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
According to the front this book was deemed 'Cruel, cynical and very funny' by The Times. Somehow this got me believing it would be something along the lines of a Nick Hornby or Ben Elton book (Stark?) of whom I've read and enjoyed some books in the past . Well, it wasn't, I really should stop giving any credibility to what a book has to say about itself.

The "introduction" is cruelly long (50 pages) and not funny.
The middle part has some narrative that might be called cynical but not in a funny
Andy Phillips
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: generation-ships
I read this book after reading a serious sci-fi approach to the 'generation starship' concept, where a crew takes a space voyage so long that it must be completed over several generations. I sort of wish I hadn't bothered, but this book did keep me entertained long enough to finish it.

This is an average attempt at comedy sci-fi, centred a fairly average guy who ends up essentially by chance on a starship that has left Earth to form a colony on a distant planet. A fair chunk of the story is the l
Sean Randall
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a debut solo novel, this was quite compelling. the years of experience co-writing clearly gives an individual a leg up, so that's something to be factored in.

Reading solo matter is also a fascinating way to untangle which half of doubled material came from who, of course. Chunks of the humour were very reminiscent of parts of the 2nd Red Dwarf, Better than Life.

All that aside, this was fairly good in its own right. the characters were as off as twelve-year-old milk left baking in the sun, but
Rachael Hewison
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Written by one half of the brilliant Grant Naylor team I expected some great things from this solo novel, however I ended up being very disappointed. As another reviewer on here said, it's like Naylor took the joke book with him and just left Grant with a very dark tale. I think I mildly chuckled at a couple of things but I would never call it funny. I was very surprised at how bleak the beginning was; it got a little better once on the spaceship but still very dark topics.

I must say though that
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Colony is one of those books where you either get the humour, or it just washes straight over your head and all is lost from page one.

For me Colony a good light read, focusing around an all time average looser; that wouldn't stand out from a mass of oysters, who a wrinkle in the pixels looses everything, but who some how manages to grow when put in the right environment and turn from your average non-entity to become he hero and saviour of the day!!!

If its not that then its the name of the ship,
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on, library
Destined for the abandoned pile. I enjoyed Incompetence and considering Rob Grant co-wrote Red Dwarf, I figured I'd got myself a steal when I picked this up for 25p. Something about the writing style was really jarring: the kind of stuff that was funny coming out of Kryten's mouth on camera because of how Robert Llewellyn conveyed it but, unfortunately, does not lend itself to the written form.

I think I may return to it in future (second chances, etc.) but it's not one I'll be rushing to pick up
Dan  Ray
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, owned
I took this book as some nice popcorn between tougher reads, and that's how I recommend it. One day read, sitting on a sofa up at the cottage with beer. It's not in the same league as Red Dwarf. Lots of similar elements, and some wryly funny moments. The ending sure could have used more than the last 10 pages or so, but if the ending will be weak in any case, I guess it's best not to draw it out.
Flyss Williams
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Luckless Eddie O'Hare unwittingly ends up trading places with a pilgrim colonist, part of the human races last hope for survival, after boarding the ship he wakes up thousands of years later, somewhat transformed whilst struggling with an identity crises he quickly discovers the ship is doomed due to a vicious saboteur, and a serial killer hoping to hasten his imminent demise, the crew having devolved so much they can't even read. How can Eddie save himself let alone the ship.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of only two books that have ever made me cry from laughing so hard; the humour ranges all the way from dry and witty to slapstick. But the story is more than this: there's occasionally more sinister goings-on and flickers of a suggestion that something deeper is happening. The protagonist is Rob Grant's usual--a loser's loser--but who grows and develops with each of these to quite a wistful and satisfying ending.
Ketan Shah
As in his previous novel ,Incompetence,Grant seems to try too hard to come up with funny analogies,and loses the plot as he does so.Some nice ideas,but unimpressive overall.He did much better work on Red Dwarf.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Starts off being fairly predictable but finishes with a nice little twist. Rob Grant writes funny situations, but isn't as good at getting the laughs when he writes on his own (see later series' of Red Dwarf).
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Writes under the name Grant Naylor when collaborating with Doug Naylor
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