‘Only You Can Save Mankind’

PRATCHETT, Terry. Only You Can Save Mankind (1992). London: Corgi Books, 1993.

‘As the mighty alien fleet form the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces. And they send him a message: We surrender. […] It’s hard enough trying to save Mankind from the Galactic Hordes. It’s even harder trying to save the Galactic Hordes from Mankind.’

This is the first title of a trilogy

This is the first title of a trilogy

This is the second book by Pratchett that I’ve read. But what were the odds that it was not a Discworld novel? Let me tell you: close to 25 % since approximately 1 out of every 4 books is not related to Discworld. Forgive me for I wasn’t very strict with the calculations.

Although Only You Can Save Mankind doesn’t contain the amounts of fantasy that can be found in Discworld, there’s still a bit of it. In fact, that controlled dose is what makes the story special. It’s not a fantasy world; it’s more a kids’ view of the world.

One of my favourite aspects of the book is how it becomes politically incorrect when dealing with political correctness. ‘What is sexist?’ ‘There’s lots of stuff most girls can’t do, but you’ve got to pretend they can, so that more of them will. That’s all of it, really.’ Comments on the black guy in the group are also worth it.

It’s definitely not a deep novel to induce grown-ups to meditate, but a story for those keen on video games, especially if they’ve experienced the very first generations.

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