Alien Day. The date was Friday, the third of August. For some people the day was just beginning, for others it was the ending in a perfectly normal way. Then right across the world every ground and airborne radar screen went haywire.… This time it had really happened. An alien spacecraft was in orbit around planet Earth. Nine weeks later, civilisation is on the edge of a breakdown more devastating than any nuclear war....
Trained as a graphic designer and having written several film scripts, Patrick Tilley became a full-time writer. He lives with his wife in Gwynedd Wales.
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They don't write them like this anymore
Well before its time, a Sci-fi novel that is thoughtful, brave enough to be real, with political and scientific characters in the lead yet no 'hero' in the modern sense. There are elements of Independence Day, Star Trek the movie, Starman, Forge of God, Close Encounters, yet this predates them all.
The novel asks questions and doesn't treat the reader like a child who needs everything tied upneatly at the end, indeed it asks you to extend and project the story on your own to imagine your own conclusions to elements of the plot which are left open to you. Where most modern novels would be looking for a trilogy to maximise the revenue this novel launches itself, in the final scenes, into a fascinating 'what if' scenario and then trusts the readers own imagination to carry on the story. A alien craft is detected approaching earth which creates such interference that scans reveal nothing and tracking becomes impossible. The interference grows to effect communications and power networks and the governments of the earth question is this an unintentional byproduct of the crafts presence or an act of aggression. The questions are played out in eeal time with sufficient political and scientific realism to engage without confusing. Throughout you genuinely don't know what might happen as the story refuses to follow predictable paths, always surprising you.
The narration is good in that it doesn't get in the way of 'telling'.
Those who miss those seventies dystopian Sci-fi films and novels where there really might not be a happy ending, where questions where open and answers something you could speculate about for months afterwards, should enjoy this novel. Those who need dramatic three act story arcs where the hero gets the girl and saves the day (and the dog never dies) should get this novel to experience what has been lost in the modern Sci-fi novel. They justdo n't write them like this anymore.