The Alien Dark

Diana G. Gallagher, Author, Clyde Caldwell, Illustrator
Diana G. Gallagher, Author, Clyde Caldwell, Illustrator TSR $3.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88038-928-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Gallagher's overplotted first novel requires readers to master concepts about alien brain functions, life cycles and prejudices, yet her tale verges on cosmic cliche: an extraterrestrial spaceship sent out to find new worlds discovers a remnant of Earth. Biologist Riitha f'ath and two other crew members scour the surface of a mysterious planet (later identified as Venus), a possible site for their world's new settlement. At first they detect no evidence of intelligent life, but then commander Tahl d'jehn's crew finds an unmanned space vehicle which, if it is the work of sophisticated beings still in the area, could mean failure for Tahl's 80-year mission. The ship's crew succumbs to symptoms of stress: some find their totally logical brain functions developing disturbing intuitive tendencies; those remaining completely logical yield to lethargy, the first stage of a death-wish process. But when it seems like the mission could become pointless, Riitha uncovers records from the last days of Earth, as well as its extraordinary legacy--a chance for humans (with the help of friendly aliens) to live again. (Dec.)
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