Current Picks Updated: “The God Engines” by John Scalzi

The God Engines Every once in a while, a book has an opening that is so unique that I cannot pass up reading it.  John Scalzi’s The God Engines is one of those books.  After reading the first chapter for free online, I knew that I would have to read the novella.

The book starts with a fantastic opening line–“It was time to whip the god”–and continues on from there.

I am currently about halfway through with the book, and I wanted to share it with those of you who may not have read it (or any other of John Scalzi’s work).  The God Engines is short–about 130 pages–and deals with issues such as the quality and power of faith and where that belief comes from.  It is a unique take on science fiction—and have no doubt that it is science fiction—where the military machine found in books like Old Man’s War has been replaced by a theocracy that utilizes enslaved gods to power interstellar travel.

The dichotomy of religion/science is rarely hybridized so effectively as in what I’ve read so far of this novel.  Because of that, I thought the novella was the perfect way to launch a new universe for Scalzi.  He said on his blog that a potential trilogy would come out of The God Engines depending on how well this experiment sold.  So here’s me doing my part.

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. One of the rules that I used to decide if I should read a book is by reading the first line.

    This book sounds like a winner to me by that concept alone.

    1. You definitely need to pick this one up. I finished it last night, and John, it’s right up your alley. For as short as it is, it gets into some incredibly deep ideas. But isn’t that the place of a good novella?

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