PhilSpeak: Scott Sigler's - "The Rookie"

“Blue sixteen! Blue SIXTEEN! hut, hut HUT!”

The pigskin snaps into the hands of up and coming quarterback Quentin Barnes with the speed of a bullet, passed not by a fellow human, but from an insectoid-alien the size of a small Volkswagen. The future of the human race is in space, where there is adventure, war, awesome technology, and American football.

This is Scott Siegler’s epic story about a backwater planet former-slave-turned-football-star in an incredibly complex and antagonistic universe united only by an immense love for the sport. As soon as the story begins you are immersed in a world in which different galactic governments and empires are being held together by fragile peace treaties, while an abusive but cunning and very sneaky race of little furry critters called Creterakians (don’t let their cuteness fool you, they’ll kill you if you breathe the wrong way) maintain overall control of the galaxy.

To try and maintain the peace, the Galactic Football League was created to forge, strengthen and keep friendly relations between other races and factions. Somehow, this crazy idea worked, and Football has become the strongest factor keeping everything going.

What makes this story so special is the way the author has blended together elements from real life (such as sports, racial tension, and religious conflict) into a much bigger scale (the galactic scene) with only the GFL keeping everything together through games. So big is football in this story that one particular race (you’ll have to read to find out which one!) considers it an actual religion (with some players actually having Churches in their name).

If you’re a sports fan and you love sci fi (or maybe just one of the two!), pick this baby up. You’re in for one hell of a ride, and quite possibly a tackle from an 8 legged linebacker.

  • Phil, I totally agree. I knew NOTHING about American Football before Scott Sigler, and now I’m totally besotted with the damn New York Jets even though they will fail me this season!

    I love this series and I love the things I learn about how the rest of the sports-loving world lives!

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