cover image Defenders


Will McIntosh. Orbit, $16 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-316-21776-7

This military science fiction novel offers fast paced action but little depth or originality. In 2029, humankind is faced with extinction as the alien Luyten fall from the sky to take the Earth for their own. The self-assured Luyten, utterly convinced of their need to exterminate a lesser civilization, enjoy a significant technological advantage and are telepathic as well; every strategy and countermeasure humans think of will be betrayed as soon as a Luyten happens into mind-reading range. Humanity’s one hope is the Defenders, giants immune to telepathy and genetically engineered for war. But an entire race of militants for whom the concept of peace is meaningless may prove as great a threat to humans as they do to the aliens. Comparative brevity and a multi-decade span of events limit opportunities to fully develop characters, making them hard to identify or sympathize with. Similarly, the unfolding series of crises offers less the lamentable inevitability of history and more the tedium of reruns. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (May)