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Alien Morning Hardcover – 8 Nov 2016
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"An intriguing look at colonization from the viewpoint of those being taken over." --Publishers Weekly
"This is the start to a great trilogy . . . and an enjoyable read for any lover of first-contact sf." --Booklist
"A first contact story like no other: it eerily and wittily depicts a fast-forward vision of a near-future in which our own world is both utterly recognizable and utterly transformed. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Neither will you." --Elizabeth Hand, author of Generation Loss, Available Dark, and Hard Light.
"Brilliantly crafted, fiercely real, Alien Morning is first contact as it may very well happen: experienced by one, shared by all who subscribe. Relentless and original, this is science fiction that matters now. Highly Recommended." - Julie E. Czerneda, author of The Clan Chronicles
"A startlingly credible reflection of how our society copes--or doesn't cope--with its own strangeness." -- Stephen R. Donaldson
"Rick Wilber's new novel brings together elements of a vivid near-future family saga and the global consequences of the arrival on Earth of technologically superior aliens. Through a charming first-person celebrity narrator who struggles with his flaws, Wilber deploys these elements so that the human drama reflects and illuminates the interspecies conflict, and vice versa, in a compellingly original way. You'll not soon forget either Peter Holman, the narrator, or Twoclicks, the S'hudonni prince with his alien antagonists and allies." -- Michael Bishop, author of A FUNERAL FOR THE EYES IF FIRE and PHILIP K. DICK IS DEAD, ALAS
"Effortlessly mashes up its big science fiction theme of mysterious aliens and the terrorists who love them with a gritty backstage tour of semi-professional sports and also with an unflinching look at a troubled family. . . . Rick Wilber has definitely arrived!" -- James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards
"What happens when journalists use senses, not just words? This nifty look at an eye-opening future is well worth your time." --Gregory Benford, author of Timescape
"An enjoyably thought-provoking novel about human and alien sibling rivalries with potentially civilization-destroying ramifications, punctuated by basketball, high tech, and a unique alien seductress." --L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
"Chalk up another home run for Wilber, one of the most thoughtful and literate science-fiction writers working today. Alien Morning is classic shoe-on-the-other-foot speculation about Earth itself being colonized, and Wilber pulls it off with sophistication and panache." -- Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Quantum Night
"Rick Wilber has written the best "first contact" story I've seen in decades: deeply human, eerily alien, and altogether an exciting, moving and thought-provoking novel." --Ben Bova
"A rousing adventure. Kept me guessing to the last line." --Jack McDevitt
"The best first-contact novel I've read in some time." --Joe Haldeman
"An engaging blend of humor, skepticism and wonder, and the futuristic elements of the story sound in many cases all too probable." --Tampa Bay Times
About the Author
RICK WILBER has had short fiction published in the major science fiction magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Parts of Alien Morning have been published in Asimov's Science Fiction. He lives in Southern Florida.
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For unknown reasons, when aliens make contact on earth it Holman they want as their spokesman. His audience following is exactly what they admire. Likeable, they feel he can inform everyone of the plans the S'hudonni have for the planet, and put anxious minds at ease.
It comes down to family, basically. Holman's past is a constant pull on his thoughts. A stern father who never thought him good enough, a sister who spent her life making bad mistake after bad mistake, and a brother who was always father's favorite. Holman knows truths, though, that he has kept to himself since he was a teen. Revealing the information would destroy his brother. The sibling rivalry between Holman and his younger brother is at the center of the story.
The sibling rivalry doesn't stop there. Alien representatives Twoclick and Whistle are at odds as well. The agreement prior to arriving on earth was how to divide the planet. Twoclick, a jovial and happy being is nothing like his brother, Whistle. While Holman works hard at putting earthling minds at ease about the aliens, Whistle destroys the peace, the trust, with aggressive actions that leave countries protesting, and rioting in the streets, putting the world leaders on high-alert.
Exposed to secrets about the aliens, and thrust into compromising positions with his family, Holman is forced to pick through the jigsaw pieces and find out how best to make everything fit! With proven superiority the S'hudonni race can not just cripple, but destroy the world in a war. If Holman can't gain control of the situation, billions of lives are at risk.
Rick Wilbur's ALIEN MORNING was not what I expected. It was better. It was more. His creation of Sweeping can't be far from happening. We're almost there with some of the shelf products, and apps available now. Wilbur's narrative is engaging, and easy, descriptive, and tight. The characters are so precisely drawn, that all I wanted was more. More about Holman's past. More about his brother. More about his sister. I wanted more about the aliens. More. More. More. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series.
Author of The Severed Empire Series, and
The Vaccination Trilogy
In the near future, we meet Peter Holman. Peter is a former European league basketball player, washed up because of a knee injury he suffered during a game. His career over, Peter heads back to the U.S. and becomes an early adopter of a technology called sweepcasting, which allows the user to convey and share his or her experiences in a multi-sensory way. Peter is trying to get in on the ground floor, looking for a career as a sweepcaster, making money by selling and sharing his experiences to the world at large. It's a tough way to make a living, as the technology is new and not many people have the equipment to receive sweepcasts. Events can be shared live, or can be recorded and edited for later broadcast.
Peter also has a personal technological companion called myBob. myBob keeps track of everything going on in Peter's life - business meetings, doctor appointments, dates, you name it. Interestingly enough, it also has the ability to control Peter's sweepcasting equipment (an essential point that becomes useful as the novel unfolds).
With all this in mind, Peter happens to be at the right place and the right time to witness and record the arrival of the alien S'hudonni. The S'hudonni are interested in trade goods from earth, and in exchange will provide advanced science and technology. While this particular trope has been used dozens, if not hundreds of times in the past, it is used effectively here to open the door to what's really going on behind the scenes with the S'hudonni.
Stepping back from the S'hudonni for a moment, another aspect of Peter's situation that plays a very important role in the story is his family history and dynamics. Peter's brother Tom is a successful scientist, who is engaged to Heather Newsome. Peter's sister Kait is trying to get her life straightened out, living on the west coast with her spouse after wasting her youth on drugs. Peter's father is a pediatrician that was not always around the family due to his work, and who is disappointed in Peter because he took up a basketball career instead of going into a more respectable profession. Peter has been sweepcasting a phony affair with B-list actress Chloe Cary in an effort to raise the profiles of both Chloe and his sweepcasting career. In the middle of it all, Peter falls hard for Heather which angers Tom and sets off some events later in the book that could prove to be catastrophic. As for Heather - well, Peter really doesn't know what he's gotten himself into. Suffice it to say that there is more than one family squabble going on here, and Peter just happens to be in the middle of both of them.
And just who is the mysterious Marina?
There is a lot going on in this novel, and Wilber deftly handles both the first contact story and the family issues that play an important part of the novel. Peter is quite a complex character, something one wouldn't expect from a professional athlete. Peter loves literature, and studied it in college. He loves art, which he discovered while bouncing around Europe playing basketball (and which allowed him to meet the aforementioned Marina). He loves his family, no matter how dysfunctional it is. And I think this character development, not only of Peter, but of Tom and Kait, is the true strength of ALIEN MORNING. Without those characters being who they are and what they were, this is nothing more than a bland story of some aliens showing up and looking for stuff. Wilber has woven these well-written characters into the fabric of the story to the point that the reader can't imagine the story being told without them.
As far as the alien side of the story, well, that's pretty good too. There are always family arguments, whether it be between humans or between aliens. The novel takes us from the Florida to California to Ireland. There's beautiful countrysides, nights on the beach, old Irish mansions, and everything in between. Wilber, through the sweepcasting technology, dabbles in (not so) futuristic media, an area that he's an expert in. This is truly a well written novel.
It's also the first book of a trilogy, the second of which I believe will be entitled ALIEN DAY. If it's anything like ALIEN MORNING, it will be something to look forward to.