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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Let The Fire fall

Copyright 1969 by Kate Wilhelm

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in 1974 and most recently on the 2nd March 2006

A alien spaceship lands. Its occupants are friendly and near-human, they venture outside and wave to the few locals who have rushed to the astonishing spectacle. However, within minutes the authorities arrive, a cordon is established and the aliens encouraged to return to their vessel.

It's rather sad that the authorities didn't arrive faster. Within days the aliens are sickening and dying.

A local doctor assists a pregnant alien in giving birth and although the mother dies, the baby lives to become the only alien survivor.

Over the coming years, as the baby grows into manhood, a new religion of greed and hate develops. It's based on a distorted interpretation of the alien spaceship and is dedicated to preparing for a presumed alien invasion, and to tracking down the surviving alien. Civilisation slowly unravels as the USA and much of the rest of the rest of the world descends into religious fundamentalism.

Well that's a summary designed to avoid giving away too much of the plot, and it doesn't do the plot justice. This is quite a good little book but nowhere near as good as Kate's later novels (such as "Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang")

Loaded on the 1st May 2006.
Cover of Let The Fire fall
Cover art by Christopher Foss

Reviews of other works by Kate Wilhelm:
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang
The Infinity Box
Crazy Time