Review: Science Fiction
Amidst the booming prosperity of 1950’s America people go about their daily routines unaware of how completely their lives are about to change. General Preston Hardgrave is the only person that has had a glimpse at what is to come. He’s in charge of a government project studying the Collapsing Ring-Field Theory that was headed by Dr. Albert Einstein. To get the project going again Hardgrave must recruit an old friend and physics professor, Glen Hardisty, to continue Einstein’s work. Glen soon learns that the technology for the ring is other worldly, but the search for the technology’s source is muted when colossal alien ships emerge from space and hover over every major city. Alien soldiers are on every street corner around the world; standing, waiting. No one knows what they’re waiting for, but it’s quickly clear that the Collapsing Ring-Field is no longer a theory. It is now humanities last hope.
This novel succeeds in its ability to deliver quality science fiction that is not only entertaining, but thought provoking. Much of the novel is written with a 1950’s era flare that takes you back to the period of campy science fiction novels. The ending of the novel reminds me of many Twilight Zone episodes. And in those moments where the narration captures the feel so perfectly I can almost hear Rod Serling’s voice in my head. The story follows three story lines that converge towards the end of the novel. General Hardgrave and professor Hardisty are locked in a government building in the center of New York with hundreds of research personnel. There’s a pack of secretaries roaming the streets of New York that manage to take out a few alien soldiers. And the last remnant of the US Army is a squad of soldiers that are determined to make one last strike at the alien invaders. Their stories converge at the end of the novel in a daring and thrilling turn of events. Although the writing was solid, the story often went off on tangents that did very little to progress the story. There are a few chapters where we follow some survivors that General Hardgrave sends out for food. I see how this is technically necessary, but I don’t see how it deserves its own chapters. It could have simply been summed up in a paragraph to keep the quick pace of the story. And some of the dialogue, although it may fall in line with the 50’s style writing, seems cheesy by today’s standards, but these moments were rare. The thing that captured my imagination were the rare moments when the aliens tried to speak our language. It comes out unintelligible, but still oddly poetic. What really stood out to me was the ending of the story, or really the reason why the aliens came to Earth in the first place. It was a unique idea that I’ve not heard or read before. It’s definitely an ending that makes this novel worth the read.