Monday, December 01, 2014

The Magnificent Wilf by Gordon R. Dickson

(pb; 1995)

From the back cover:

"When Earth is contacted by galactic civilization, our heroic couplet - diplomat Tom Parent, and his linguist wife, Lucy - prove  themselves to be just the pair to tour the galaxy representing Earth and learning the whys and wherefores of galactic civilization. There's only one tiny catch to this grand tour - on Tom and Lucy's performance hinges on our acceptance by the rest of the galaxy as a civilized world rather than as a ward of some more 'advanced' species. (You don't want Earth to become a galactic ward.) In the normal run of events this would be fine, because Tom and Lucy are the kind of folks any race might be proud to have represent them. The trouble is that while Tom is a regular fellow, Lucy is - or may be - a Wilf. And Magnificent or not, you know what that means. . ."


Magnificent is a clever, laugh-out-loud funny lark of a science fiction novel that builds on its episodic, character- and action-thrilling events. While the stakes are life-or-death high for Tom, Lucy, Rex (their dog) and this galaxy's alien races, Dickson maintains a frolicking feel throughout this superb and character-twisty work. This is one of my favorite reads in any genre, perhaps even an all-time favorite read. This is a book worth owning.

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