Monday, November 21, 2011

"Angel" -- A Visitor of a Different Kind

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

On July 21, nearly halfway into my 26-week project to blog about each of the 26 stories included in Alien Contact, I introduced Story #12 -- Pat Cadigan's "Angel."

When I posted my original blog about "Angel," I had Pat's permission at that time to reprint her story online in its entirety -- and I really wanted to do so, right here on More Red Ink. But had expressed an interest in a guest blog post from Pat, and, as a follow-up, I suggested they also post her story, "Angel," to which they agreed.

So, after much impatient waiting on my part, Pat Cadigan's very astute, very personal guest blog post -- entitled "Why Science Fiction Writers Love Meeting the Other" -- is now available on io9 for your reading pleasure.

In her guest blog post, Pat writes:
One of the first SF books I ever bought was an anthology called Invaders of Earth, edited by Groff Conklin.... Invaders of Earth was divided into three sections — invaders in the past, the present, and the future. I wish I could lay hands on that old book and name all the stories and authors.1 I do remember Mildred Clingerman's "Minister Without Portfolio," in which a grandmother fails to recognise green-skinned people as aliens because she's colour-blind; there was also a story by Donald Wollheim about an attempted invasion by alien weather, and "The Greatest Tertian," told by Martians who uncover evidence on a dead Earth of its greatest hero, Sherk Oms.

Times sure have changed.

They've changed so much that if you were to put Conklin's Invaders of Earth side by side with Alien Contact, edited by Marty Halpern, you'd be tempted to think they were books from different planets. Which, of course, they are. The past isn't merely a different country — it's a whole different world.

There are nearly 1,500 words to this guest blog post; and if you enjoy reading speculative fiction, and alien contact stories in particular, you'll find much to appreciate in her essay.

And then, much to my delight, a few days later io9 graciously posted the full text of Pat's multi-award-nominated story "Angel." I still wish the story was here, on my blog, but I realize that the io9 website gets thousands (and thousands) of daily hits, which will definitely bring "Angel" -- and Pat Cadigan -- to the attention of a wider audience. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do!

P.S. One of the commenters to Pat's guest blog post included the following quote, which impressed me enough to include it here, just in case you don't read those blog comments:
Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?

The Prophecy, 1995, First Look Pictures



1 Courtesy of the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (, here are the contents to Groff Conklin's Invaders of Earth; sadly the listing isn't broken down in the three groups -- past, present, and future -- to which Pat refers. However, the online listing does include four additional uncredited essays having to do with the past and future. One other comment: I'm presenting the stories here as they are listed on ISFDB; you'll note that they are not in any particular order, so I'm assuming this may be the order (the Introduction aside) in which the stories appear in the anthology:

Invaders of Earth, Groff Conklin, editor, Vanguard Press, 1952.

"The Waveries" (1945) by Fredric Brown
"Tiny and the Monster" (1947) by Theodore Sturgeon
"Castaway" (1941) by Robert Moore Williams
"Not Only Dead Men" (1942) by A. E. van Vogt
"The Man in the Moon" (1943) by Henry A. Norton
"Impulse" (1938) by Eric Frank Russell
"Minister Without Portfolio" (1952) by Mildred Clingerman
"Crisis" (1951) by Edward Grendon
"Angel's Egg" (1951) by Edgar Pangborn
"Pen Pal" (1951) by Milton Lesser
"Pictures Don't Lie" (1951) by Katherine MacLean
"An Eel by the Tail" (1951) by Allen Kim Lang [as by Allen K. Lang ]
"Invasion from Mars" (1938) by Howard Koch
"The Discord Makers" (1950) by Mack Reynolds
"Child of Void" (1949) by Margaret St. Clair
"This Star Shall Be Free" (1949) by Murray Leinster
"A Date to Remember" (1949) by William F. Temple
"Will You Walk a Little Faster?" (1951) by William Tenn
"The Greatest Tertian" by Anthony Boucher
"Top Secret" (1948) by Donald A. Wollheim [as by David Grinnell ]
"Enemies in Space" (1907) by Karl Grunert
"Storm Warning" (1942) by Donald A. Wollheim [as by Millard Verne Gordon ]
"Introduction" by Groff Conklin


  1. As far as angels are concerned, my jury is still out on the matter of their existence. Given what I do for a living, though, I'm just as happy to have a good editor.;-)

  2. And an editor is always grateful for a writer such as yourself! Cheers, Pat!
    - marty