cover image The Survivors

The Survivors

Sean Eads. Lethe (, $15 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-59

Eads (Trigger Point) offers up a short novel reminiscent of 1970s "big idea" science fiction. Starting with slapstick but descending into nihilism, the narrative revolves around would-be journalist Craig Mencken's increasingly frantic attempts to come to terms with an invasion of obnoxious aliens. Craig becomes one of the few humans to make contact with the seemingly insensate aliens, even as his former lover Scott gets entangled with a brutal anti-alien militia. But as Craig's bond with a mysterious alien female deepens, he learns the darker truth behind the aliens' approach. Inexorably, both humans and aliens are forced to face the costs of further survival on a world that is being transformed. The story largely hand-waves the science aspect of science fiction%E2%80%94the aliens arrive on "rockets"%E2%80%94and the tone shifts jarringly from pratfalls to romance to shocking violence. The ending, however, is undeniably powerful, and points to the possibility of greater success in Eads's future. (Oct.)