You're Going To Mars! - a fun little sci-fi story
Paper has lived her whole life in Fill City One so she is quite used to the overpowering smell that has become known as the Everpresent Stink. Fillers like her can never leave and they only dream about living in a place with actual clean air, which means it isn't one of the giant landfills now known as Fill Cities. The mob runs the Fill Cities in a ruthless manner and if you live there then it means that one of your ancestors signed a contract binding them, and their next 8 generations, to life as a Filler. Despite that fact, Fillers still love to watch TV shows about the outside world to see the exotic foods they will never eat and the places they will never go, like Mars. The biggest new TV show is called "You're Going To Mars!" and it is being run by Zach Larson, a tech entrepreneur who is using the show to help fund the first human mission to Mars. With his futuristic version of Willy Wonka's golden tickets, Zach has created a contest that will result in a few lucky winners competing in a reality TV series to win the right to join a crew of trained professionals on this historic space mission. This may all sound pretty cliche but if you are into rooting for the underdog and want a fun sci-fi story that never takes itself too seriously then look no further than "You're Going To Mars!"
Paper has always been into rockets, and has built many a prototype from materials scavenged within the fill, but she knows going into space is nothing more than a dream. Even when the new show is announced she knows as a Filler that being a part of it is not an option, but her surprisingly capable grandmother has other plans and manages to acquire one of those "golden tickets." That turns out is the easy part because there is no way for Paper to leave Fill City One and travel across the country all the way to LA to be a part of the TV show, and even if she could, it is illegal for her to be a contestant. However, Fillers are resourceful people and they manage to come up with a long shot plan to do the impossible. One thing leads to another in this humorous tale that has you rooting for the underdog to live out her impossible dream of actually going to Mars.
I don't think I am the target audience for this one but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It may be corny and tropey but it never pretends to be anything else so it struck a cord that just works as lighter sci-fi. My biggest issue is that I am not a big fan of stories that start at the end and have the main character recite the the story from the beginning and that technique is used here. Still I enjoyed it and recommend it when you want something a little lighter to read.
This one was an audiobook exclusive for the first 6 months but it is now available is all formats. Khristine Hvam is an excellent narrator and she is a great fit for the main character and tone of the story so listening to this one is a good option.