The Science Fiction and Fantasy genre have bombarded us with the same dry plot and banal narratives of close encounters of the extraterrestrial variety. Aliens land on earth, use their massive size, advanced brains, and technology to destroy us. I mean an advanced race would certainly want to dominate the earth whose resources we've damn near depleted.
Honestly, who in their right mind would come here? No one of great intellectual ability, I suspect, especially when there are more untapped resources floating around in space. But I digress.
The good news is that Earth Day is the complete opposite! No aliens with tentacles, no amazing technological advances. Hell, we don't even see the aliens. We only hear about them through witness testimony in pubs, community gatherings and households. Some of these witness accounts can be considered outright exaggerations! Surprisingly, this only adds to the suspense and intangible horror of the whole ordeal. In fact, we only notice their influence when huge metropolises start to disappear! OH, no, please don't take New York! Shopping is great Up State and in Manhattan. Quick take West Lafayette - they have no great shopping malls!
And another digression - I have a point I promise.
The author successfully fuses together vignettes alternating between the past and present day, juxtaposing two very different views of the planet and a reality we could have grasped but instead chose to ignore when G8 leaders break a promise that said aliens held them to. Don't you just love when power is given to only a few idiots?
My only problems with this short? It is just THAT - Bloody Short. I'm being biased. Shorts never truly satisfy what I really want out of a story. And my second problem, I wanted a deeper relationship amongst the characters. I wanted some kind of love story but instead got a familial kind of thing between two people who could have easily been siblings from their lack of passion. Relationships can be easy, but not passionless.
However, these things are menial compared to what went right, which literally is everything else.
Earth day is equipped with a no-nonsense heroine, a disenchanted civil servant, self serving, greedy politicians, and omniscient beings with a new purpose for the inhabitants of the third rock from the sun. Infused with Mad Max-ish type action, M. Night - Signsy type suspense, and Lord of the Rings type adventure and folklore, this little story gives new meaning to celebrating Planet Earth.
Four and half stars - easy!