Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alien Contact Gets the Silver Treatment

Alien ContactWhen I posted the first review of my Alien Contact anthology, I noted the importance of online book reviewers/book bloggers and book review sites such as Goodreads: all critical resources to those who read and purchase books. There will be no shortage of reviews of Stephen King's 11/22/63 this holiday season. I even found copies of King's book at Costco. But what I want to learn more about are the lesser known indie/small press titles, and authors, and so I am especially grateful to those who review and support these types of books.

One such book reviewer is Steven Silver, who publishes his reviews under Silver Reviews, hosted online by SFSite. In Steven's most recent review, for Alien Contact, he writes:

...In 1898, H. G. Wells described that first contact as a Martian invasion of England's Horsell Common resulting in death and mayhem until the aliens are brought low. Murray Leinster wrote about a less dire alien contact in 1945, in which humans and aliens worked to ensure they wouldn't destroy each other. Editor Marty Halpern has now brought together twenty-six stories of alien contact in a book called, appropriately enough, Alien Contact.


Karen Joy Fowler is responsible for writing one of the strangest first contact stories ever published, the novel Sarah Canary, so the inclusion of her story "Face Value" is quite fitting, and quite different from her famous novel. In this story, as with so many other first contact stories, part of the puzzle that needs to be solved revolves around finding a means of communication between two different species, a theme which dates back to Leinster's "First Contact."


The stories Halpern has selected not only demonstrate the different slants authors can take on...alien contact, but also explore what it means to be alien in different ways and also depict numerous writing styles, with humor, drama, military, and nostalgia all playing a role. As these stories demonstrate, the science fiction genre provides a playground in which authors cane use the tropes and styles of a wide variety of other genres in crafting entertaining, as well as insightful, stories.

In his review, Steven mentions a number of other stories in the anthology, in addition to the story by Karen Joy Fowler. Please head on over to Silver Reviews for the full review of Alien Contact, which has been published by Night Shade Books.

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