NIGHTEYES by Garfield Reeves-Stevens


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SF novel that suggests it will be horror then opens into UFOlogy; first US showing of a novelist called "the Canadian Stephen King." Steven Gilmour's divorced wife Sarah, a recovering alcoholic, finds her high-tech kitchen invaded by shadows who are "baby-stealers"--but Sarah, who has only one daughter, Wendy, 16, is very unclear about all this, even when Wendy really is shadownapped. This lively premise, done in marvelously enameled prose where every item mentioned has its hardware history and particularity, dissolves into dismal melodrama about government agents getting zapped by a wipeout memory drug used by the "shadows." One FBI agent is blown naked through a closed closet door. Wendy reappears naked and unconscious in a thorn bush. What's happening are UFO abductions, and what's going down on these 548 pages is endless padding before the aliens show up. By then, the reader's patience is frazzled by long, dumb talks among government agents, a child psychologist, a ufologist, and by much uninspired layering in of research. Before the story achieves its novel and proper subject--a description of the culture of hybrid alien/earthchildren--the reader is throttled by pointless story twists and journalistic tact-shoveling. Would that this were a UFO novel you could believe in (even fictionally!)--a novel about aliens, in other words, and not another sub-sub-Swiftian sketch proving the rapacious stupidity of man. Reeves-Stevens deserves high marks for a poet's ear, although the poetry of hardware, with its endlessly brilliant surfaces, defeats story-flow.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1989
ISBN: 385-24755-9
Publisher: Doubleday
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