The Chrysallaman Empire made contact in 1947. Their mission was simple: find a suitable planet for colonization. Rich with land, minerals and water, Earth - HG-281- could boast only of a primitive race of defenders known as Humans, bugs who could be easily squashed by the might of a single Chrysallaman's mind. When a Chrysallaman ship is unexpectedly brought down in Roswell, New Mexico, the aliens return to their home planet to regroup, leaving behind a broken ship and a young alien boy who would grow to become one of Earth's greatest assets - and her greatest ally.
Mankind has 60 years to prepare a strategy to defend against not only superior technology, but superior psychic ability and strength. F.O.R.C.E., an elite group of military personnel, brilliant scientists, and a sombrero-wearing alien, is formed to develop a worldwide defense, the likes of which the Chrysallamans have never known.
Spanning six decades, the defining technological achievements, people and events of human history, from the Roswell incident to the Dali Lama to the Hubble telescope to the Pioneer missions, are masterfully re-envisioned and woven into The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. As they learn to work with each other, the humorous, tumultuous and sometimes romantic interactions of the F.O.R.C.E. team bring the book to life.
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"The fellow in the sombrero"
An imaginative reinterpretation of our history over the past 60+ years - or rather, a new slant on why major notable events took place.
The speculation and rumours that a space ship crashed, with alien occupants, at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, were vigorously denied by the government. But they were true. There was one a!ien survivor, a lizard like boy with considerable powers including mind control, who was secretly taken into custody, cared for and questioned. From him it was learned that an invasion force would almost certainly be back in strength to subdue (and eat) the much weaker earth's inhabitants. So F.O.R.C.E. came into being to try to drag the world into a state capable of defending itself when they returned, estimated as some 65 years later.
Covering various advances which have happened in the intervening years since Roswell and varying from space satellites to the anti polio sugar cube, it casts a whole new light on our scientific achievements as well as highlighting the question, just what does get done to us simple citizens sithout our knowledge or consent for untold purposes?
The narration perfectly fits the text. Told in an almost news bulletin cadence, broken only by the conversational voices of the quite numerous protagonists, John Pirhalla's performance is steady and clear. The protagonists themselves are never fully three dimensional but, again fitting the pseudo historic nature of the story, move in and out of the action like players on a stage. The one real exception is the lizard boy himself who, becoming friends with his earthling rescuers, goes out and about with them disguised in a poncho and a sombrero covering his face. He really glowed with life in all of it's green glory.
I really enjoyed the whole concept of this book and the past half century of rapid achievements took on new meaning: necessity is the mother of invention and all that ... Very convincing.
I would have much preferred the book to have ended a few chapters earlier as the possible invasion date approached. I felt the last part was really best suited to another, later book and detracted from the realities of the earlier sections. However, these latter chapters were also great fun, infusing a lot of colour and humour into the story.
Altogether a good, enjoyable read, not too technical but frighteningly plausible. My thanks to the rights holder from whom I received a complimentary review copy of The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. via Audiobook Boom. I wonder what will happen next?
- Norma Miles