Extraordinary phenomena interrupt a technology-industry takeover in Northern California in Covington’s (American BeheMouth, 2012) SF novel.
In San Francisco, residents are observing strange things, including giant specters and mysterious lights that instill horror and intense curiosity. Thirty-something Joel, his pregnant wife, Krista, and their friend Nico are intrigued by the reports of the strange lights hovering over Nob Hill. As speculation and conspiracy theories engulf the city, Joel seeks the opinion of a man called “Crazy Hair,” a notorious UFO conspiracist who sparks a media circus in San Francisco by relocating his television program “Aliens Among Us” to the city. Joel’s appearance on the show, in which he talks about “ancient astronaut” theories, makes him an overnight sensation—but then 8-foot “giants” and their otherworldly skyscrapers appear in the city, capturing everyone’s attention. Despite such harrowing events, Covington keeps the tone light, undemanding, and darkly humorous by attributing human qualities to his space invaders—and giving them huge appetites for Earth food. The devout Joel’s religious visions offer explanations for the aliens’ origins, as fringe groups begin forming in preparation for an expected spiritual battle. The entertaining narrative combines dynamic characters with a variety of offbeat theories and concepts, all of which appealingly tie into the central plot. Readers who enjoy stories of aliens, Illuminati conspiracies, and unexplained phenomena will find it particularly riveting. Covington also weaves in loosely arranged commentary on housing bubbles in major urban centers and the protest-friendly populace of San Francisco. He engagingly presents the city as one that’s stunted by economic disparities, peppered with high-rise condominium construction projects, and populated by people who are either swimming in wealth or literally dying on the streets.
An engrossing, socially conscious novel of urban alien invasion.