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Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner
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Date Night on Union Station (edition 2014)

by E. M. Foner (Author)

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913188,367 (3.46)8
Member:Lisa17
Title:Date Night on Union Station
Authors:E. M. Foner (Author)
Info:Independently published (2016), Edition: First Edition, 190 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:sci-fi, comedy, future

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Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner

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Showing 3 of 3
Rating: 3* of five

Entertaining, I guess, but insubstantial. Perfect plane read, or vacation, or other distracted times because not much will demand your concentration and the words flow by while retaining your attention.

The Eternal Verity Generator is permanently stuck in the On position here: that little girls dream of weddings and adults are clueless and dating is flat-out awful are all trotted out. For my part that was a tiresome and ultimately deadening error. But the Stryx, the omnipotent AI aliens, are a cliche that was amusing and fairly well-handled here. An example of Stryx thinking:
It’s easy enough to measure job performance, but a person could be a highly professional worker and still feel no loyalty to humanity or to EarthCent. The lower salary for the executive-track positions helps filter out those who are just in it for the money.
The cover teases but the book doesn't deliver a cheesy smexy space romp. The verdict from me, all things considered, is:
~meh~ plus...go enjoy it if silly and slight is what you're in the mood for. Women are cautioned against expecting the tropes deployed to amuse very much. ( )
  richardderus | Apr 29, 2018 |
I can see that this book was written as a standalone dating comedy set in a space station of the future and although it has since become a series, you can read this part without knowledge of the rest of the ‘on Union Station’ canon, which I haven’t leafed through yet.

Imagine yourself as Earth’s Acting Consul on a cosmopolitan alien space station. It sounds good but there are several problems, from linking the higher you rise to the lower your salary (a loyalty test) to the lack of anyone in the same species as you being around to date, down to the aliens believing that your job title, Acting Consul, means that you are just pretending to be a consul. All in all, you might not want it. Most humans would think it’s great if the species had established a presence beyond our solar system but when the only export our colleague beings want turns out to be our decorative kitchen utensils, it looks like it’s going to be a slow build to reach equivalency and mutual respect.

The race who’ve made this all possible, the Stryx, are a benign but secretive bunch who’ve been hanging around the Universe for such a long time that they’ve grown accustomed to tinkering until its set up the way they like it. With a proprietorial interest in less-developed species (us) and an interest in law and order (subtle interventions), you could have worse landlords. However, the Stryx’s methodology frequently includes setting up the heroine of this story with outrageous people that pose problems the Stryx would like her to solve. In Star Trek terms, the primary directive in dating is not being met because poor old aunty (Kelly Frank, 35, tubes full of cobwebs) has joined an alien dating service that doesn’t believe its purpose is to match her with a compatible date. Would you walk out after date 1 or would you me more inclined to keep going for the entertainment?

Kelly and Joe are quite good characters for a plot like this, ordinary people who get directed down the wrong corridors by fate and generally toyed with but seem relaxed enough not to be bothered by it. I’d like to think I’d do the same thing in their situation. As am Ambassador, is she too casual? Yes but so what? I was outside the Jamaican Embassy the other day and they’ve got the most stiff and formal car ever parked outside, number plate JAM 1, so if consular status can turn even the Jamaicans into robots, who wants it? What you get from life often depends on your approach and these two characters are open to anything. They then explore a full gambit of reactions from hope to shock to get your antennae out of my dress until the book concludes, which happens happily, but almost instantly, with a hint of Elvis. It’s one of those “you had to be there” moments. Although, Kelly’s decision at the end is a little like snogging an octopus to see what happens.

I should also put in a word for the characters of the entrepreneurial flower girls. They’re brilliant and it’s only a matter of time before the Stryx offer them jobs because they’ve got so much more nous than the grownups. I would have preferred the alien counterfeiters to have copied something hilarious from Earth’s hall of shame with no idea what it’s used for, but hey, it’s not my book.

All in all, this is a very enjoyable and fun read, so I think you’d like it too. There aren’t any jokes that I’d find cripplingly funny (e.g. ‘Acting Ambassador’ is an amusing idea and my mind likes the connection but my ribcage isn’t actually hurting as I write this). That’s cynical though because this book is daydreamy fun and I would quite like to be dating on Union Station. Wouldn’t you? ( )
  HavingFaith | Mar 14, 2017 |
This series shows some promise, though this story was rather disjointed and lacked a certain amount of believability -- not as in fantastic stuff, but the human element just did not seem very believable in place. But it had some interesting twists, including being told from the perspective of people on dates from a dating service that at first seemed a side story, but eventually started to become core to the plot. I may get the next in the series and see if it gets a bit better, but overall not bad. Not great, but not bad. ( )
  Linwood.Ferguson | Mar 31, 2015 |
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"In conclusion, it is the view of the Union Station Consulate that the trade in counterfeit Earth chess sets has not been impacted by enforcement activities, and perversely, the crackdown has forced the principal actors to master molecular tagging, thus accelerating their technical competency and leading to increasingly sophisticated forgeries of other high value exports, especially playing cards and kitchen gadgets."
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Kelly Frank is EarthCent's top diplomat on Union Station, but her job description has always been a bit vague. The pay is horrible and she's in hock up to her ears for her furniture, which is likely to end up in a corridor because she's behind on rent for her room. Sometimes she has to wonder if the career she has put ahead of her personal life for fifteen years is worth it.

When Kelly receives a gift subscription to the dating service that's rumored to be powered by the same benevolent artificial intelligence that runs the huge station, she decides to swallow her pride and give it a shot. But as her dates go from bad to worse, she can only hope that the supposedly omniscient AI is planning a happy ending. [retrieved 4/30/2016 from Amazon.com]
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Kelly Frank is EarthCent's top diplomat on Union Station, but her job description has always been a bit vague. The pay is horrible and she's in hock up to her ears for her furniture, which is likely to end up in a corridor because she's behind on rent for her room. Sometimes she has to wonder if the career she has put ahead of her personal life for fifteen years is worth it. When Kelly receives a gift subscription to the dating service that's rumored to be powered by the same benevolent artificial intelligence that runs the huge station, she decides to swallow her pride and give it a shot. But as her dates go from bad to worse, she can only hope that the supposedly omniscient AI is planning a happy ending.… (more)

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