Science Fiction

Joe Ollmann. Conundrum Press (Ingram, dist.), $18 (128p) ISBN 978-1-894994-75-0
It’s next to impossible to read Ollmann’s latest effort without comparing it to the phenomenally insightful Mid-Life of two years ago. However, instead of the typical midlife crisis that book’s hero went through, the protagonist of this book, a science teacher and skeptic named Mark, faces a predicament that’s out of this world. After renting a forgettable sci-fi flick to watch with his girlfriend, Sue, Mark suddenly finds himself in the fetal position, having come to the realization that he has repressed his memories of being abducted by aliens as a child. Normally a staunch pragmatist, Mark is soon reaching out to online support groups while his personal and professional lives take a nosedive, and the reader is left to wonder how long Sue will choose to stay with someone whose story she can’t possibly believe. Whether readers can accept the premise or not, this once again shows Ollmann’s uncanny ability to expose the reality of contemporary relationships—not just how couples relate to one another but how they talk, how they stop talking, how they fight, and how they make up. It’s almost more impressive here than in Mid-Life given that the story’s premise is so out of the realm of the ordinary. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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