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Little Green Men (First Contact) Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B00ET56DHG
- Publisher : Peter Cawdron at Smashwords (July 19, 2014)
- Publication date : July 19, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 299 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 189 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1492844446
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,215 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Michaels and his assistant collect a sample to analyse back at the ship and are returning to their scout craft when, without warning, they are attacked, with the assistant gravely wounded. The apparent attackers are just fast-moving shadows, scattering when Michaels lights a flare. Upon getting back to the ship with the assistant barely clinging to life, Michaels has a disturbing conversation with the ship's doctor which causes him to suspect that there have been other mysterious incidents.
Another scouting party reports discovering a derelict freighter which appears nowhere in the registry of ships lost in the region, and when exploring it, are confronted with hostile opposition in about the least probable form you might imagine finding on a planet at 88° K. I suppose it isn't a spoiler if I refer you to the title of the book.
The crew are forced to confront what is simultaneously a dire threat to their lives, a profound scientific discovery, and a deep mystery which just doesn't make any sense. First contact just wasn't supposed to be anything like this, and it's up to Michaels and the crew to save their skins and figure out what is going on. The answer will amaze you.
The author dedicates this book as a tribute to Philip K. Dick, and this is a story worthy of the master. In the acknowledgements, he cites Michael Crichton among those who have influenced his work. As with Crichton's novels, this is a story where the screenplay just writes itself. This would make a superb movie and, given the claustrophobic settings and small cast of characters, wouldn't require a huge budget to make.
The story in a nutshell
It’s the year 2241. Michaels and Johnson have ventured out onto the frozen wastes of an alien world to gather samples for analysis in a mining venture. They’re suddenly attacked by a horde of fast-moving creatures resembling Little Green Men. The creatures tear off one of Johnson’s arms and scuttle away, leaving him dying of blood loss in the sub-zero cold.
Is this communication between human and extraterrestrial intelligence?
Does this encounter represent First Contact? At first, Michaels isn’t inclined to believe that. “The Confederacy has searched over two hundred star systems, almost three thousand surveyed planets, and God knows how many moons, and there hasn’t been a shred of evidence for extraterrestrial life, but you think this muddy hellhole is different?” And those Little Green Men rushed past him and Johnson so blindingly fast that he has trouble persuading himself they were real.
Soon, two other members of the Dei Gratia‘s crew, a hundred kilometers away on another exploratory probe, encounter a “ghost ship,” a huge and unmistakably human starship that crashed two decades earlier. The site conjures up spooky references to the Mary Celeste, an American merchant ship found adrift and deserted off the Azores Islands in 1872—because the ship that discovered the Mary Celeste was named Dei Gratia! To compound the mystery, one of the miners accidentally loses his life inside the ghost ship . . . as a Little Green Man looks on. And this one looks unmistakably real.
Back on board the Dei Gratia, Michaels, the science officer, and Captain Vegas struggle with their own fears as well as those of their shipmates, all desperate to understand what happened on the planet’s surface. Then Little Green Men materialize inside the Dei Gratia itself—and all hell breaks loose. The last thing on anyone’s mind is communication between human and extraterrestrial intelligence.
Is contact with extraterrestrial intelligence likely?
It’s worthwhile exploring, as Cawdron does, whether First Contact is in fact a reasonable expectation. Like other writers, he cites the 1961 Drake Equation, an effort to stimulate the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Frank Drake (1930-) himself calculated there were probably between 1,000 and 100,000,000 planets with civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. But Cawdron appears to side with the critics of the thesis. As some have shown, by plugging different assumptions into the equation we could easily end up concluding that humanity is probably alone in this galaxy, and possibly in all the observable universe. SETI‘s failure to date to detect extraterrestrial civilization—and the absence of proof that any of the numberless reports of “UFOs” have brought aliens to Earth—suggest that skepticism is more than reasonable.
I'm a sucker for science fiction in space, especially first contact-type tales, so I was in for a treat with LGM as Mr. Cawdron takes the reader on a fantastic ride from the get-go. The stage isn't set for the reader early on -- instead we pick up bits and pieces as we launch into the action with Michaels and Johnson, two crew members on board the Dei Gratia. We find out this is a mining operation with a side scientific endeavor. Before we know it, life is discovered and the rest of the story is a roller coaster from there as we try to piece together what is happening.
Cawdron tells a wonderful story with head-fakes and misdirections, all leading to a terrific conclusion. In his credits, he mentions Carl Sagan, Michael Crichton and Philip K. Dick. I definitely could see influences from Crichton and Dick in the story, doing each author proud.
While there is plenty of action, the author plants just enough clues along the way to keep the audience guessing until the final pages as to what exactly is going on. What a great story -- keep it up!
Top reviews from other countries
Classic S.F., it was quick and easy to read with an engaging plot line and an excellent building of tension, especially in the middle section. It was, perhaps, a little predictable given that it was a tribute book to Philip K Dick and the characterisations were only brush strokes. But this latter was compensated for by the vivid atmospheric descriptions and the short length precluded too much in depth writing.
Only 4 stars rather meanly given but it is a book which will stay in my memory, fondly, for a long time. And I will be looking out for others by this author.
I first read Peter Cawdron's story almost a year ago: my review is above Recently I was sent a revised copy by the author. The book is now told in the present as the action unfolds so that what was a good story has now become far more immediate and, consequently, dramatic. The tension between the crew members stranded aboard ship and confronted with the unknown and, apparently impossible events taking place around them, builds powerfully in a way absent in the original. Despite knowing what was happening from my previous reading, i was caught in the fears felt by the protagonists as they struggled to make sense of the situation and survive the attack of the little green men.
An intriguing tale, well told.
I have therefore upgraded my rating from four to five stars. Highly recommended to all who love science fiction, adventure and something to ponder after the story is told.
This is not true for 'Little Green Men.' The story is direct and concise, the technology described in a manner that makes it sound functional without the minute details to spoil it, and the science is plausible- again, avoiding the fine details that can spoil it, while still sounding reasonable. The characters are also very good- vivid, but not over-explored. Perhaps it would have been nice to have reams of backstory and information for them all, but actually, the story doesn't need it and they don't suffer from not having it. The story feels like a snap-shot- and episode in a bigger tale, perhaps- but that does not detract from it in any way.
I very much enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it to others.