An alien spacecraft approaches Earth—bearing some very strange tidings.
The world of VanOrsdell’s immensely enjoyable fiction debut is completely normal—sports, weather, international tensions, billions of people going about their daily lives—when everything suddenly receives a gigantic, fundamental disruption: A large alien spacecraft announces its imminent arrival in Earth’s orbit and seeks to open communications with the United States, claiming to come in peace. American president Bryce and his advisers, including funny, charismatic young Peter Klein, frantically plan their approach, including whether to let space shuttle astronauts attempt to board the alien vessel once it appears. They’re also eager to control the story, but it inevitably breaks all over the world, allowing VanOrsdell one of his frequent flashes of irreverent humor when he lists some of the international headlines: “London: ‘Five Nude Aliens Spotted Outside Pub!’ Rio: ‘Space Beast Claw Prints Found On The Beach!’ And from Tehran: ‘Death To The Infidel Aliens!’ ” The aliens—three tall, glowing beings (“You could not pronounce our names,” they inform their human hosts, “and it would pain us to hear you try”)—want to assemble a committee of Earth representatives, including veteran Boston journalist Arthur Frayles, brother to the first lady and one of the book’s best-drawn characters. The aliens want to warn Earth of impending crisis and announce the advent of a divine being called the Holy Daughter. VanOrsdell moves his plot forward at such a brisk pace through terrorist threats, belligerent Russians, Peter Klein’s love life, etc., that readers will wonder how he’s going to further complicate an already complicated story. Some of VanOrsdell’s readers may be nonplussed by his aliens-are-angels concept, but even the hardest to please will enjoy his exuberant, dramatic storytelling.
A spirited new take on the old story of Earth making first contact with aliens.