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Interstellar Pig

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Ok, yes, the title of the book certainly casts a shadow of doubt as to the quality of the narrative, but don’t let that dissuade you. Absurd as the name is, the writing and story are actually pretty top-notch, and the book has a sort of cult-following that’s been steadily growing since its initial publication in 1995.

The basic plot goes like this: A kid (Barney) is stuck at a boring summer cabin with his parents all summer long with nothing to do. Some neighbors move in next door and, after some investigation, Barney learns that they are not exactly from Earth. As they spend time together, they introduce him to a board game (the titular Interstellar Pig) which has the potential, should Barney lose, to destroy the planet. Sounds like a blast.

The pacing and foreshadowing are all handled nicely and, as a bonus perk, if you read the rules of the game carefully enough, it’s actually possible to reconstruct a playable version of Interstellar Pig. If you can get your nerdling’s eyes off the monitor or TV long enough to read the book, there’s no better way to spend some quality time bonding by building the board game from cardboard and scrap paper.

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