A sequel of sorts to Smith’s 2012 science fiction/social satire/thriller MICHAEL REMEMBERS, this somewhat longer, still deeply thoughful, but exponentially funnier novel expands the author’s wry but gratifying view of life on our planet (and several others) some 400 years in the future.The initial segment is a “recovered” notebook by the late Michael Talock, recounting succinctly the last three decades of his long life (150 years), especially the details concerning Sebastus (“Bast”) Tadlock, the youngest and brightest but also most wayward of his grandchildren. Bast is a chip off the old block in that, like his grandfather, he nearly ruins his life through acts of bad judgment in his youth, but then wises up and, given a second chance, more than redeems himself. In fact he literally helps save several worlds when our solar system is attacked by an amphibian race of predatory aliens in 2453.Although the immediate attack is thwarted by the intervention of a race of large, handsome humans called the Scidron, it becomes Bast’s task (as a high-ranking officer of the Martian Space Corps) to determine whether the Scidron are really as friendly and benevolent as they maintain, or whether they in fact harbor sinister ulterior designs for the future of Earth and Mars. An epic friendship develops between Bast and Weden, captain of the Scidron battle cruiser Heorot, and many exciting, often quite funny adventures ensue. BAST’S RECORD transcends most science fiction works with its wry, alternative perspective on modem human history, its subtle but sustained literary tribute to Karel Capek and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and one of the most apt, poetically just, and utterly hilarious endings in modem literature.