The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

Albert Wendland. Raw Dog Screaming/Dog Star (Ingram, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-935738-61-9
In Wendland’s intricately plotted, character-driven debut, pulp exploration meets philosophical speculation, and a moralistic sensibility is fused with Philip K. Dick’s paranoid fantasies and Ray Bradbury’s awe of alien encounters. Mykol Ranglen, a writer and consultant on the planet Annulus, is drawn out of his solitary existence when his ex-lover Mileen disappears, and Henry, her fiancé, is found dead. Mykol fears that Mileen has discovered one of the Carrier-Locked Integrated Programs (Clips)—technology created by the alien Airfane and ostensibly intended to protect humanity from the malignant Moyocks. He races to rescue her and locate the Clip, fearing that the technology is not as benign as it seems. Annulus is a vividly described, futuristic world, complete with political tyranny and social inequality. Impending doom pervades ripping action scenes, the Lovecraftian theme of ancient warring aliens lends cosmic menace and authenticity to a grandiose mystery, and Mykol’s transformation from distanced observer to active participant in a galactic conspiracy is deeply absorbing. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/12/2014
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