SECOND CONTACT by Mike Resnick


Email this review


Mediocre aliens-among-us/governmental paranoia yarn from the author of Ivory and the excellent Paradise (1989). Military lawyer Max Becker is ordered to defend space navy Commander Wilbur Jennings; the latter, accused of murdering two crewmen, is now held in a mental hospital. Not at all pleased with the assignment, Becker soon learns that Jennings is refusing to plead insanity despite his claim that the crewmen he admittedly killed were really aliens! Struggling to build a case, Becker attempts to interview witnesses from Jennings' ship--only to find them suddenly and mysteriously unavailable. So, needing some high-powered computer help, Becker turns to old friend and hacker-whiz Jaimie Nchobe--but she succeeds only in attracting a horde of military security agents intent on assassinating Becker! Becker and Jaimie flee, but keep on probing military computers for a hint of who's behind all the ruckus. Turns out that the two dead crewmen weren't aliens, but androids gathering information for the alien Chebotti, under a sort of hush-hush, government-sponsored military exchange program. Resnick has certainly tagged the way the modern military mind works. Pity he couldn't do better than decorate it with old-hat plotting and cardboard characters.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1990
ISBN: 1604599448
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's