cover image Innocent Earth

Innocent Earth

Dale E. McClenning. Brain Lag, $14.99 trade paper (340p) ISBN 978-1-928011-21-7

McClenning’s debut weaves a complicated and sometimes terrifying story of what political and religious arguments arise when aliens visit 24th-century Jerusalem, and how deadly it can be to go against what the aliens want. After a spacecraft lands at the World Council headquarters, sending the telepathic message “We... return” to the world, Arhus attends the council’s emergency meeting as a translator. When Arhus gives his opinion on the meaning of the message, it begins his involvement in a roller coaster of discussions among world leaders, especially after the aliens announce they will take selected people with them when they leave. Asked to set up a communication post, Arhus becomes the first human invited onto the alien ship and the only human whom aliens will speak with. Arhus is often placed in dangerous positions while trying to avoid war, panic, and death. In spite of sections weighed down with political strife, readers will enjoy this high-tension story of a troubled near future. (Feb.)