The aliens have landed, and Craig Mencken, a freelance journalist for a struggling car magazine in Denver, is annoyed. No, the aliens are not destroying cities or threatening to blow up the planet. They are not doing much of anything except for ignoring people and getting in the way.
Two aliens have moved into Craigâ€™s home which is why he is annoyed at them. They raid his refrigerator, lie around on his couch and bed, and refuse to acknowledge Craigâ€™s existence. Everyone is wondering why the government is not reacting to the invasion.
As the aliens continue to land all over Earth, Mr. Morrison, the owner of the car magazine, assigns Craig to write an â€œinterviewâ€ with the aliens to boost the magazineâ€™s circulation. Craig prepares a list of questions, and one of his resident aliens provides the answers. No one believes the published interview because it is in car magazine, but it brings Craig to the attention of an FBI agent and causes him to be reunited with his ex-lover Scott who is involved with a shadowy group called â€œThe Company.â€ Craig is drawn into its clutches.
Aliens are central to the novel and space ships are mentioned, so The Survivors can properly be called a science fiction story. The ideas and themes that are explored, however tangentially, are what make it an interesting read. The aliens treat humans with an indifference that mirrors our indifference towards despised groups such as the homeless. The issue of coordinated action versus blind rage is central to the second half of the novel. Should the people of earth suffer in silence or is vigilante action justified when the government does not protect its citizens. The issue of overpopulation also comes into play.
While this novel is lighthearted at the beginning, it turns rather dark towards the conclusion. The Survivors is recommended for public libraries as well as academic libraries. (Review from advance readerâ€™s copy.)
Reviewer: Paul Hubbard
Retired Public Reference Librarian