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4.0 out of 5 starsHmmm...
Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2019
Story concluded more quickly than I expected, but what a conclusion! Definitely thought provoking. Our current president appears to have no brain (or a heart for that matter!), but I doubt there’s anything science fiction-related about it ;D
Scalzi is turning out to be a young master, in the mold of my favorite SF writer of all time, Heinlein. He always comes up with surprises and then makes them plausible. His books are either very well researched or he has a massive technical background of his own. I've read many of his other books, most of which involve the "Phoenix" universe, but this one is different and stands on its own. I would love to have a beer with this guy.
Set-up: Somewhere: White House, Washington DC. Sometime: not disclosed. Somebody: POTUS and advisers and other critical players. Someplot: yes it is.
If a (non-specific) President of the United States was to lose his mind, the joke would be made: "How can you tell?" But. There's always at least one "but", isn't there? But, what if a (non-specific) President was to lose his brain? That might be detectable and just could have some impact on things. I know, I know. "Perhaps."
Scalzi has placed us with Alex as he tries to figure out how such a thing could happen. What Alex discovers is not something likely to be printed in Scientific American or even the Journal of the American Medical Association. I'm not sure what type of security breakdown allowed the story to be available as an ebook.
This (specific) story (quite short) is humorous It is also thought provoking. It is (probably) not risky to read it, though it might make some readers light-headed (and I'm not talking about hair color).
You do need a brain to read this story. Unless you are a (non-specific) President.
This is sad, true, and hilarious on so many levels. Wish they had included copyright date.... but I’m not sure it matters. Reference to Jon Stewart dates it well enough, but it applies perfectly today.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of the best I've read in a while!
Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2020
Even though the title sounds like many pundits talking about today's politics, this novella was actually written in 2011. It's a lot of fun, though, and a great read... but we expect that of John Scalzi already, don't we? Highly recommend this one. <><
I like Scalzi's work. I've read a lot of it. This one seemed phoned in. It's almost like someone said "Here's a screwball idea, now make it a short story." This is probably the lowest rating I've given a Scalzi work.
What else could one say. John Scalzi writes fun science fiction and this story is sort of like a Sherlock Holmes mystery with a science fiction twist. Some people might read this with the inner thought, "Well we knew that." but that isn't what this story is about. This is a "We have met the enemy and he is us." story. Short and good story.
4.0 out of 5 stars"A good man but an hypochondriac."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2020
Short, snappy in the usual stripped back Scalzi style, The President's Brain is Missing is a fun read but not one of his best. The humour is there; so too, is the repetitive 'he said', 'they said ', 'someone else said', which is fine written on a page but can be intrusive read aloud.
P.J.Ochlan performs well as the narrator and the concept is a good one: the idea of the President finding it odd that he was unable to duck his head under water when having his morning swim, and feeling 'lightheaded' in the shower is delicious. John Scalzi never really disappoints, and this was fun.