Eric Mesa's Reviews > Pay Me, Bug!

Pay Me, Bug! by Christopher B. Wright
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's review
May 16, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: chapter-titles-that-spoil

I said it in a few status updates, but after I finished the book last night I was even surer in my convictions, this should be animated. Why not live action? Well, as we've seen in all the super hero movies, actors hate having their faces obscured - it's their biggest asset. So they keep it visible even if it doesn't make sense in the context of the plot. In this book, the characters spend 1/3 to 1/2 of the book sporting completely different faces. That wouldn't fly in Hollywood. Also, Hollywood tends to think you're dumb so they'd resist it thinking the audience would get confused. The success of the Adult Swim shows and Archer have shown that there's an audience for animation that falls outside the realm of an animated sitcom. With the tone of the book, it could succeed in an Archer animation style - perfect by that team when they worked on Sealab 2021 for adult swim. It could also beautifully work with Watanabe's Cowboy Bebop style. (Although that would perhaps be too expensive for American TV? Maybe Netflix would do it?)

So what is this book? It's essentially a heist tale - like Ocean's Eleven. Only good and in space like Cowboy Bebop or Firefly. Like those shows, we've got a plucky, motley crew on a rickety ship and a captain with Lady Luck strongly on his side. The title drop comes early on when you learn that the gunner and Ktk (a "bug" - centipede-looking alien) always bet on whether the Captain's crazy scheme is going to work. When Ktk (who always bets against the captain) loses, "Pay Me, Bug!" is heard on the ship intercom.

Why so highly rated? First, there's the tone. This book's got that sarcastic tone I love so much. Similar to Scalzi, Douglas Adams, and many others. Captain Vind is a smartass and Christopher B. Wright has a lot of fun writing him. It's also a very well realized world. Essentially known space is split up between an empire based on Catholicism, a secular alliance, and the usual independent trade plants called the Baronies. I'm not 100% sure how we could have another story with the crew of the Fool's Errand or if it would get boring to have them "always" winning. However, I would love to see more stories in this universe. Maybe even a story that presented the holy empire in a good light by focusing on one of their ships. Or a story that follows some of the spies we meet in this book. I think if Mr. Wright has any intention of continuing in this universe, he's got a multitude of stories he could tell. Of course, there's also the "Wild Cards" route. He's created the universe - he could always have others play in his playground.
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Reading Progress

February 26, 2017 – Shelved
February 26, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 1, 2017 – Started Reading
May 1, 2017 – Shelved as: chapter-titles-that-spoil
May 1, 2017 –
5.0% "Nice change of pace from The Handmaid's Tale. Full of SF tropes and leans in hard, embracing them. Also, great tone w/ the reason why FTL travel works in this universe."
May 2, 2017 –
14.0% "We meet the antagonist and the McGuffin. Looking forward to this thing taking off. Loving most of the characters. Seems Firefly-esque"
May 3, 2017 –
20.0% "I want an animated adaptation of this book. It can be sarcastic Archer-style animation or slick Cowboy Bebop-style animation. But more people need to experience Grif and crew"
May 5, 2017 –
34.0% "I left the Handmaids Tale and was happy for the change of pace, but find myself once again using about a theocracy as the enemy"
May 7, 2017 –
40.0% "A good old-fashioned bar brawl!"
May 8, 2017 –
44.0% "Hospital trouble"
May 10, 2017 –
49.0% "The hospital breakout isn't done yet, but I love that up until now it's been difficult rather than a cakewalk."
May 12, 2017 –
66.0% "Love the disguise transformations"
May 15, 2017 –
73.0% "Dinner with Mavis was very fun to read. I still want someone to create an animated 1 season series."
May 15, 2017 –
84.0% "I'm LOVING the stuff on the ship, the crazy antics of the psycho telekinetic, and the beginnings of the plan"
May 15, 2017 –
99.0% "That was great. Review tomorrow."
May 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

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