In Allen’s debut novel, an astronaut encounters the primitive inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic future Earth.
In 2025, Native American NASA astronaut Orlando Iron Wolf identifies what eventually turns out to be a massive comet heading straight toward Earth. Experts give humankind two years before the “harbinger of doom” hits. During that time, Wolf sets out on a mission to observe the comet, but when his ship is caught in its coma, he’s forced to cryogenically freeze himself, with the aid of Synthea, the ship’s artificial intelligence system. (Synthea is in love with Wolf, and, as a visible, touchable hologram, she’s frequently clad in either a candy striper outfit that “had to have been from an adult novelty shop,” or one exactly like Lara Croft’s from Tomb Raider.) Approximately 150,000 years later, the comet returns to the solar system and Wolf’s ship frees itself from the mass. He reawakens to a literally much-altered Earth, which has been knocked off its axis; also, a chunk of the planet has broken off, and is now a second moon. Wolf and Synthea land on their now-unfamiliar home planet. They quickly realize that Wolf is now somehow indestructible: savage animals can’t harm him, and swords can’t pierce his skin. His bone mass has somehow tripled—his ribs, for example, have fused together to give him a subcutaneous “suit of armor.” The dimwitted but hunky Wolf (who doesn’t know what “heliocentric” means, and calls the Oort cloud the “Oat cloud,” among other things) eventually befriends the locals, and quickly becomes entangled in a bloody battle between warring factions. This sci-fi adventure’s prose is often sloppy (“prisoners…were euphemized”), and many of the plot’s premises simply make no sense; humans living 150,000 years in the future, for instance, still speak passable English. However, it’s still action-packed, breakneck-paced, and undeniably fun; for instance, the protagonist notes that some of the primitives resemble present-day celebrities (“Wolf remembered an old movie star from his time. Lindsey Lohan was her name. This girl was the spitting image of her”; “She looked like Jennifer Lopez, mixed with Selma Hayek”).
Adventurous sci-fi fans should find this kitschy read—the first of a planned series—ironically appealing.