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The Road to Mars:
The Road to Mars is the second novel by Eric Idle--yes, that Eric Idle, the guy from Monty Python's Flying Circus. No, the book isn't like a Monty Python skit (and a good thing too, since silly sketches are no basis for a successful novel). Yes, Monty Python is mentioned in the book, but the self-referentiality is blessedly confined to two paragraphs. Yes, The Road to Mars is funny. It's also genuine science fiction. And it's satirical, sharply characterized, well-written, thoughtful, fun, and more complex than you'd expect from its picaresque structure, in which a stand-up-comedian odd couple and their robot knock around the outer planets in search of decent gigs. Well, Alex and Lewis are looking for work (and sex); their android, Carlton, unfazed by his own irony impairment, is trying to write a thesis about comedy. The trio quickly find themselves mixed up with a mysterious beauty, a famous diva, the captain of the solar cruise ship Princess Di, and a band of terrorists determined to blow up Mars.
In addition to The Road to Mars and Monty Python scripts, Eric Idle is the author of the SF/fantasy novel Hello Sailor (1975), the play Pass the Butler (1982), and the children's book The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. --Cynthia Ward [via]