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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,101 ratings  ·  57 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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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,101 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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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,
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. ...more
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.

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. ...more
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
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: popsugar-2020
The last quarter (or less) of the book was definitely the best. Too bad there was so much to slog through before that. While the synopsis on the book was not incorrect, it did omit almost the first 50% of the book. It was also somewhat gory and there was a lot of violence, neither of which I was expecting from the synopsis. It's too bad the first part was so bad, because the ideas at the end were actually pretty interesting. I wish more time had been spent there, and less on the rather extraneou ...more
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. ...more
Russ Morgan
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
First half of the book is fantastic, exactly what you want from one of the authors of Red Dwarf. Second half, not so much. Could or should have been expanded upon, maybe in two books. Bit of a hurried finish for me.
David Day
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a cracking book - classic Grant. There are bits of it that are reminiscent of Red Dwarf, but that’s to be expected. If you like Hitchhiker’s, Red Dwarf etc. then you’ll like this. Witty, urbane, spacey, sarky - well recommended!
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, humour
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! ;) ...more
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.) ...more
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.
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.
Elwood Fitton
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, I have read it several times. It is unexpected at times, funny, with a main character so doubtful of his worth, that it can't help but make you fell better. ...more
Damian Knight
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
ok story
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved the start but the ending is a bit naff
Scott Gardner
Mar 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: others
Not as funny as advertised , much prefer his Red Dwarf stuff
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very entertaining. I guess if you like Hitchhiker or Red Dwarf you will enjoy this.
John Poulain
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
A collection of different sci fi tropes from the Red Dwarf writer. Funny and interesting, showing the breakdown of a society on a generation ship who's succession planning is questionable at best. ...more
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
Malcolm Cox
Having reread Fat, Incompetence and now Colony, this was the story I recalled the least. It's not just some similarities with Red Dwarf, but it's also the shortest book. I did enjoy the story, but it is largely throwaway. There was one scene which had me laughing out loud but much of the humour was drowned out by the frustrations of Eddie, the main character and the fact he's surrounded by a selection of extremely unlikable individuals.
The story it self was okay, though took a while to find it's
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Writes under the name Grant Naylor when collaborating with Doug Naylor

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