Review of Laugh Lines by Ben Bova
While Ben Bova is more well-known for his hard science SF, when he decides to be funny he is extremely funny.
Laugh Lines is a reprint compilation which includes the novels The Starcrossed and Cyberbooks as well as several humorous short stories.
Based on a true story, with names changed to protect the guilty and one innocent (Harlan Ellison), The Starcrossed is a very witty satire of the entertainment industry. At several points I actually had to put the book down I was laughing so hard!
The novel was written in 1975, and while some things may seem slightly dated it doesn’t matter at all since the basis of the satire, namely the industry and human nature, haven’t changed at their core.
I highly recommend this book!
Bova says he has been writing science fiction for so long that some of his fiction has become fact. This is true for Cyberbooks (as you read it on your Kindle).
But mostly it is a satire of the publishing industry in the late 1980s. It is dated in many respects but individual scenes make it worth reading all the way to the end.
Also, if you know any programmers, statisticians, or mathematicians, make them read A Slight Miscalculation. I laughed out loud.
I give it 4 stars.
(See rating system at http://tmblr.co/Zb30ArqLsiRe )