THE ALIEN UPSTAIRS by Pamela Sargent


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More ruminations on immortality from the author of The Golden Space (1981). About 25 years from now, a deteriorating climate has led to an energy shortage and socio-economic collapse; Sarah and Gerard, who work in the same department store and struggle to make ends meet, are astonished by their new neighbor, Raf Courn, who has money, a richly furnished apartment, gourmet food--and claims he's an alien. After several encounters wherein Sarah and Gerard mysteriously lose their memories after tracking Raf to his spaceship hideout, they join forces with aging landlord Mr. Epstein. And this time Raf whisks them off to Phobos, where he reveals that he's 40,000 years old, a human made immortal by ineffable aliens to act as an Earth observer. The years have made him cruel, bitter, bored, and despairing, yet he fears to teleport away in search of his sponsors, his only escape. Finally, then, after some wrangling, Raf makes all three immortal and leaves: Mr. Epstein remains on Probes, while Sarah and Gerard return to Earth, vaguely hoping that matters will improve. Despite the persuasively bleak setting: a pallid little drama, with some intermittent interest for the immortality-obsessed.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1982
ISBN: 0000159158
Publisher: Doubleday