Sci-fi/fantasy series author Maus (Machines of the Little People: The Eve Project, 2014, etc.) delivers a stand-alone novel about an alien-abduction plot.
Down-on-his-luck newspaper reporter Peter Anderson never seems to get a straightforward answer from anyone about anything. Hoping to jump-start his moribund career with a big scoop, he meets with a friendly Russian named Dimitri Rurik “Bob” Petrova, who puts him in contact with a rogue government researcher named Donald Thorpe. The scientist has video footage that seems to show a deadly encounter with glowing UFOs, and he hints that solid proof of the extraterrestrials’ existence will be forthcoming. Peter impatiently uses Bob’s assistance and connections to break into Thorpe’s lair; a running gag involves the Russian’s many “cousins,” whom he summons for shadowy activities. The heroes eventually liberate a captive mystery woman named Emma Greenwood from a nest of bad guys. Peter soon finds that she possesses a superpowerful erotic allure and has suspiciously little knowledge of contemporary human society. Could she be from another world? And how exactly does Bob fit into all of this? A number of big questions remain unanswered at the end of the story, à la TV’s The X-Files (or its sillier 2001 spinoff, The Lone Gunmen), and Peter himself may not be the most reliable narrator. However, readers will find the short, breezy page count to be a plus. Fans of golden-age science fiction may be reminded of the work of such writers as Robert Sheckley and Frederic Brown, who regularly mixed humor with genre tropes. Modern readers with shorter, Hollywood-colored recollections will identify this book with the hit Men in Black movie series—albeit this work seems to be more from the vantage point of the poor schmoes zapped by the amnesia-inducing Neuralyzer rather than the agents who actually know what the heck is going on.
A slightly gonzo, tongue-in-cheek UFO-conspiracy yarn.