on 29 July 2015
It's a rare moment when an old SF reader discovers a really good writer that they'd never heard of before. This is what happened when I opened "Date Night." The novel traces the struggles of the hapless but likeable Kelly both to hold together her job as Acting Ambassador, despite her title being read as "Pretending to be ambassador" by half the aliens on the station, and get a successful date while not being thrown out of her apartment.
There are some luminous descriptions here, the girl wearing "too much makeup and not enough dress" is typical of the brilliant images that fill the pages. The aliens are really alien, not just dressed humans, and the crises Kelly faces, from counterfeit nutcrackers and predatory flower girls to the string of catastrophic dates, make the reader alternately gasp and giggle.
More important is the genuine affection the characters have for one another, something sadly lacking from much modern SF. This draws the reader in and generates genuine engagement with the story. It's a very enjoyable read, and technically it's good SF- the tech is well thought out.
I expect to buy the rest of the series over the next few months.
on 18 August 2015
“Computer dating is fine, if you’re a computer.” – Rita Mae Brown
““Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” ― Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City
OK, Ignore. The. Cover. It has nothing to do with the book. It is silly, and over the top, but you know what works? This is a funny book! I mean, really funny, really interesting, and creative. I guess they were going for the funny on the covers of this seven (so far?) books. But Kelly, the heroine of the tale, is nowhere as freaky trampy looking as the female on the cover! Anyway, that is beside the point . . . ignore how freaky-deeky the woman looks (she wears a black dress for her dates, kids! LOL)
But anyway. Here is the deal – this book is Funny! Did I say that already? Yep. Funny. Kelly Frank is a great character. Strong, patient, funny (yep, there is that word again) she is struggling, and struggling hard, just to survive. Living in space, paid less than a janitor, she is still doing her best and giving her all for her position as Ambassador for Earth on Union Station. The Earth is flat broke, and most of its population is off on other worlds, thanks to the Stryx Intelligence, a highly advanced race of artificial intelligence. A race who gathers up the dross of the universe, playing nursemaid to the galaxy’s lowest achieving lifeforms – a group Earth is definitely a part of. It is pretty hard to keep up when everyone has better technology, cheaper manufacturing, spaceships – well, you get the picture. But on Union Station humans are welcome, and finding a new life is, well, interesting!
I enjoyed this first in the series a lot. Relaxing, humorous, and truly sweet. No erotica, nothing rough, just a really fun book. If you want to relax and laugh out loud, pick this up. It’s PG rated, and so cute!
on 16 November 2014
This is the first of EM Foner's books I have read, and was downloaded free.
It is a wonderful little tale concerning primarily the trials and tribulations - and a search for a partner - of Kelly Frank's, Earth's Acting Ambassador aboard 'Union Station', a huge space station overseen by a benevolent artificial life-form.
The writer effortlessly creates a world we are drawn into, whilst managing to make us care for the two main protagonists, the afore mentioned Kelly, and Joe, an ex-space mercenary cum scrap dealer, both of whom unknowingly cross paths, whilst each holding a subscription to a match making service that throw up a string of disastrous, yet amusing, dates.
There were nice little sub-plots, which kind of went nowhere, but that didn't really matter as overall they did add to the story, and the other characters introduced will hopefully be developed over the series, as there were some good ideas there.
Of course you don't need to be Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan to see where it's going, as they finally meet.
Unfortunately this for me is where it went wrong. The final chapter lacked the playful slow build of the rest of the book, and appeared rushed, to the point I had to go back and check I hadn't missed a few pages.
But overall it was nice tale, the Sci-fi was credible, for those who require such details, and the romance good clean fun.
I will definitely revisit Union Station again, thanks.
on 18 October 2014
This book had me giggling and I am about to download the sequel. The horrors of using a dating agency with aliens, kidnapping and robots! What more could you ask for?
It was light reading, but even though there are lots of unanswered questions and maybe the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more, it was very entertaining.
I loved it.
Date Night on Union Station is a comedy sci-fi story which I enjoyed very much. Union Station is run by benign artificial intelligences and Kelly Franks is the earth’s top diplomat, later promoted to acting ambassador, though the pay doesn’t reflect the job. She’s given a gift of 5 sessions with a dating agency. The agency is also operated by the artificial intelligence.
This isn’t a sort of holding your sides comedy but a streak of humour runs throughout it and it very much appealed to me. The characters are strong and you must look out for the scheming, manipulative little flower sellers. I loved them! The ending was satisfying and there’s a sequel which I must get around to reading. I want to know what happens to the people I enjoyed spending time with.
on 11 July 2014
Love this funny space romance. The humour is intrinsic and takes you by surprise. Even laugh out loud funny sometimes! Great read.
on 9 July 2014
Kelly is acting consul for the human race on a space station. She's in her thirties and single and both her mother and her best friend think she should be hitched up by now. She gets a gift subscription to the space station dating agency, which claims to find the perfect match for anyone, but finds that its success is much more limited when it comes to humans. Her failed dates may be advancing her career but will her love life ever take off?
This book is much more fun that it sounds from the summary and it's extremely well tied together so that the failed matches are not just a series of random events but form part of the overarching plot. The sci fi setting is well written and there is an interesting relationship between earth humans and the main alien sentient beings.
The writing is good and my only caveat is that the ending feels rushed. I'll be looking out for any more fiction by the same author in future.
on 3 February 2015
If you would like something genuinely humorous, that gives you a sunny, optimistic, warm inside feeling (and god knows I really need that some days) you should pick this up. Like Terry Pratchett, not in writing style or plot, but in the way you just feel better for reading it. The kids hustling people as incarnations of Eliza Doolittle's flower girl (based on a 3D immersive version of My Fair Lady) are particularly hilarious. For some reason people seem to rate "grim and gritty" over "humorous" in the writing stakes - but humorous writing is so much rarer. There's a lot of miserablist writing around for every PG Wodehouse. Good value, that makes my tube journey a little more bearable.
on 6 February 2016
A friend recommended I try this series and I am more than glad she did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from first to last and have gone on to read all eight books in the series. The blend of humour and first class imagination have produced this extraordinary "universe" (for want of a better term) full of aliens, differing customs, misunderstandings, understandings, underhand dealings, hostility and acceptance - aliens of humans and humans of aliens - which was a delight to read.
Now of course I am getting greedy and am anxiously waiting for the next one. Just keep them coming, please!!!
on 13 April 2015
This is for people who want a laugh, want a story to hold the attention and a bit of a mystery.
Anyone can read this book, no seriously scared bits, no steamy bits and plenty of room to stretch the imagination.
Mr Foner looks as if he could be a geek in his photograph, but don't let this put you off. This is one book that you can read without being bored by page twenty.