True Review
Current Issue Number 82 Vol. 25 October 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Digital Rapture
ALIEN CONTACT:

ALIEN CONTACT, ed. by Marty Halpern. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 491 pp., $15.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-281-9 (click here to purchase)

Previously published tales in ALIEN CONTACT make the case that SF can involve alien contact, or what some refer to as first contact. There are quite a few notable tales:

# “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman. Two London blokes find out about a party coming to town like no other, with beautiful women who seem, well, kind of odd. But the guys want one thing only: to get to know the girls with perhaps some extended “benefits.” Everything goes as planned until the dudes realize THESE women aren’t of this world.

# “The Road Not Taken” by Harry Turtledove. The Roxolani are warrior-conquerors who are invading the primitive blue and green planet teeming with humans. But the humans are so far advanced, with strange weapons and even stranger machines compared to the Roxolani. What kind of terrible resistance will the humans put up?

# “Recycling Strategies for the Inner City” by Pat Murphy. A woman discovers an alien claw lying in a gutter and brings it home, where it “awakens” on a mission to construct a space ship to bring itself home. Is it her imagination or does the claw have some type of sentience?

# “The 43 Antarean Dynasties” by Mike Resnick. A tour guide on a distant planet takes Earth tourists through the Antarean Temple of the Honored Sun. And you know how restless, ignorant, bored, and rude tourists can be. This tour guide, attempting to retain what little patience he has, makes all sorts of adjustments to the true history of the place.

# “The First Contact with the Gorgonids” by Ursula K. LeGuin. Jerry and Annie Laurie Debree, tourists from a plastics conference in Australia, make it to Grong Crossing, one of the most unlikely places for humans to make first contact with aliens. But for these arrogant and ignorant tourists, fame will come, whether they like it or not.

# “Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earl’s” by Adam-Troy Castro. The memories one man has of Midwestern folks and Midwestern hospitality in an unlikely place (colonies on the moon) have no logical explanation for why they exist. They simply are – like the folks who befriend the spacefarers on Mars in Ray Bradbury’s “Mars is Heaven.” Are the convivial and oh-so-friendly Minnie and Earl some type of aliens? Are they dropouts from another time, another dimension? Are they mass hallucination? Who knows? One man intensely wants to find out – either to debunk their existence or prove they are for real.

# “Laws of Survival” by Nancy Kress. In a world torn apart by biological and nuclear war, aliens land on Earth. Jill trades puppies to the Dome, which regulates human survival, in a way, for food. Jill is starving and desperate. The Dome eventually captures her. There, Jill learns to train the feral dogs the aliens want in exchange for additional food and shelter. But the aliens provide very little explanation for the training. Yet Jill’s success propels her forward. But toward what? Why do the aliens rely so heavily on training dogs, anyway?

# “Amanda and the Alien” by Robert Silverberg. Amanda could tell right away that the escaped alien was in poor disguise, a Chicana girl, using a woman’s stolen body. But Amanda is facing a long weekend and is bored. Perhaps she can help the alien stay as a fugitive and have some fun in the meantime.

# “MAXO Signals” by Charles Stross. Perhaps even the most alien civilizations can create their own versions of communication . . . even some sort of “spam” messaging.

# “Last Contact” by Stephen Baxter. When dark matter turns this universe back to radiation from its current state of matter, contact is made by many civilizations on its destructive path to Earth.

Andrew Andrews

 

In This Issue

Red Rain Other Worlds Than These Lilith Alien Contact Multiples

Some Remarks Long Black Coffin Coffee Table Book of Doom Happily Ever After Irish Country Wedding Cover

Keepsake: A Novel Cover The Take-Charge-Patient Cover Click on Book Cover for Review The Skeleton Box Cover Defining Moments Cover

Next Time In True Review
Zombie Apocalypse! Fight Back Cover

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!:

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!, created by Stephen Jones. Running Press (www.runningpress.com), 2010, (no marked page count), $14.95. ISBN 978-0-7624-4001-6 (click here to purchase)

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! FIGHT BACK, created by Stephen Jones. Running Press (www.runningpress.com), 2012, (no marked page count), $13.95. ISBN 978-0-7624-4598-1 (click here to purchase)

The human reanimation virus, called “the Death,” infects the dead and brings them back to life as walking zombies intent on destroying human life – but we learn of the fight by surviving members of humanity and the first book, from 2010, marks the beginning of the “end.” The second book in the series, FIGHT BACK, explores what surviving members of humanity must turn into to effectively stop the destruction. The books contain lots of zany, eyewitness accounts, personal diaries, reports, memos, e-mails, blogs, transcriptions, records, etc. to describe the fight.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Celtic Conspiracy

HOUSE OF SKIN:

HOUSE OF SKIN, by Jonathan Janz. Samhain Publishing (www.samhainhorror.com), 2012, 309 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-1-60928-921-8 (click here to purchase)

Paul, nephew to Annabel and Myles Carver, arrives at the estate of Watermere, only to deal with horrors that await Paul and his love, Julia Merrow, when they arrive.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Listeners

THE LISTENERS:

THE LISTENERS, by Harrison Demchick. Bancroft Press (www.bancroftpress.com), 2012, 311 pp., $21.99. ISBN 978-1-61088-081-7 (click here to purchase)

Fourteen-year-old Daniel Raymond lives in a world gone mad, inundated with a terrible plague that distorts the human mind, turns people into zombies, of a sort – except for a chosen few. So he joins the “gang” called the Listeners, whose promise of protection from the plague-ridden is going to be a risk that he may have to take to stay alive.

Andrew M. Andrews
Worth Their Weight In Blood

WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN BLOOD:

WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN BLOOD, by Carole Jahme. Mira Publishing (www.MiraPublishing.com), 2012, 343 pp., $. ISBN 978-1-908509-01-7 (click here to purchase)

Renowned animal psychologist and journalist Carole Jahme (who was instrumental in a documentary about Michael Jackson and “Bubbles” the chimp, his favorite animal), has assembled a novel about real vampires – a result of blood disease? If vampires are animals, like chimps, then mature chimps – like mature vampires – could be dangerous indeed.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Sinner Cover

THE SINNER:

THE SINNER, by K. Trap Jones. Blood Bound Books (www.bloodboundbooks.net), 299 pp., $10.00. ISBN 978-0-984978-21-2 (click here to purchase)

“Research a sinful man” seems to be the basis of THE SINNER by K. Trap Jones. The “essay” structure in the form of informal poetry details a farmer, locked away in a cave, who writes of his encounters with evil in all its forms.

Andrew M. Andrews
Agathie Christie Cover

AGATHIE CHRISTIE:

AGATHIE CHRISTIE, An Autobiography, by Agatha Christie. William Morrow/HarperCollins (www.harpercollins.com), 1977, 2012, 542 pp., $18.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220457-8 (click here to purchase)

I long for a world in which there are no noisy distractions, like TV, smartphones, e-mail, etc. I look toward how Christie grew up, surrounded by a culture that cared for the classics, who read the classics, who were immersed in the classics, and thus was able to foment her great talent as one of the best authors of our age. And for those who think multimedia is everything, in this autobiography, pictures are included.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Moon Stealers Cover

THE MOON STEALERS:

THE MOON STEALERS, by Tim Flanagan. Tim Flanagan Books (www.themoonstealers.com), 2012, 151 pp., $10. ISBN 978-1-47813-670-5 (click here to purchase)

Peter Crisp from Parsley Bottom has a special talent – special vision. After spending a night in a graveyard, he goes missing, and his friends try desperately to find him. Not only do they have to find Peter, but they are in the middle of a government secret attempt to stop the spread of alien bacteria from a meteorite.

Andrew M. Andrews
Your House Is On Fiire, Your Children All Gone Cover

YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE, YOUR CHILDREN ALL GONE:

YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE, YOUR CHILDREN ALL GONE, by Stefan Kiesbye. Penguin Books (www.penguingroup.com), 2012, 198 pp., $15.00. ISBN 978-0-14-312146-6 (click here to purchase)

Four young children -- Christian, Martin, Linde, and Anke -- grow up in a claustrophobic world of ancient superstitions, pagan rituals, and wartime secrets. Devil’s Moor has a grand manor house, a small pub, the old mill, and the darkest secrets of the village are parcel to what the youngsters will need to deal with, to survive.

Andrew M. Andrews
Blood Of The City Cover

BLOOD OF THE CITY:

BLOOD OF THE CITY, by Robin D. Laws. Paizo Publishing (www.paizo.com), 2012, 355 pp., $9.99. ISBN 978-1-60125-456-6 (click here to purchase)

Luma, fighter and spellcaster, helps the Derexhi family formulate one of the most fierce and effective mercenary companies in Magnimar. But when a job goes bad and Luma ends up in the Hells prison, Luma finds out more evil exists in Magnimar, even with those whom Luma formerly respected.

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review
Cold City Cover

COLD CITY:

COLD CITY: Repairman Jack, the Early Years, by F. Paul Wilson. Tor/Forge (www.tor-forge.com), 368 pp., $25.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-3014-7 (click here to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews
Defining Moments

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM:

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM, by Philip Pullman. Viking (us.penguingroup.com), 2012, 431 pp., $27.95. ISBN 978-0-670-02497-1 (click here to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews