Stuck on Earthby David Klass
Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvarwho, to human eyes, looks just like a common snailcrawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect… See more details below
Ketchvar III's mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvarwho, to human eyes, looks just like a common snailcrawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimenfourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a little too averagegawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien's skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage lifeinfuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving?
Wickedly wry and hysterically skewed, David Klass's take on teen life on our fabulously flawed Planet Earth is an engrossing look at true friends, truer enemies, and awkward alien first kisses.
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Read an Excerpt
We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old. Our shields are up, and no humans can possibly spot us, even with the aid of their primitive “radar” and “sonar” technologies.
Earth’s lone moon is in the sky above us. This is indeed a pretty planet. I can see why the Lugonians, whose sun is about to supernova, covet it. Beneath us are dwelling places known as “houses” separated by expanses of unused space termed “lawns” that convey status on property owners by showing how much land they can afford to waste.
A target subject has just been identified! The circumstances are favorable for an extraction—he is sitting alone eating a “snack”—an unnecessary meal that is known to be unhealthy and is consumed at odd hours. It falls under the category of addictive behavior that most Homo sapiens find impossible to resist.
Cellular spectroscopy is positive. This specimen is Caucasian, fourteen years old, and in good health. Weak areas appear to be the teeth, where a metallic correction device known as “braces” has been fastened, and the eyes, where ocular aids called “glasses” have been appended with the help of two plastic rods hooked around the ears.
Brain scans show an above average human intelligence quotient, with particularly high cognitive and imaginative ability. A probe of long-term memory reveals that the specimen is named Tom Filber, he lives with his parents in a small house on Beech Avenue, and he has a sister named Sally with whom he is in a constant state of conflict that sometimes escalates into violence.
All systems are go! The Preceptor Supervisor has just approved the extraction. I, Ketchvar III, prepare myself to inhabit the body and mind of an infinitely lower life-form. I remind myself that my mission is vitally necessary—we must decide soon if the human species should be preserved or wiped out. We drop low in our ship till we are hovering above the chimney of 330 Beech Avenue.
We have just established direct visual surveillance of the specimen. He is sitting on his front porch, devouring large flakes of dehydrated potato, drained of all nutritional value and flavored with artificial taste stimulants. Every now and then he apparently finds a flake not to his liking, spits it to the floor, and crushes it under the heel of his boot.
Our Mission Engineer readies the paralysis ray. We all turn toward our Preceptor Supervisor, who gives the go-ahead.
The ray is turned on. Specimen Filber freezes in midchew. Sensors show a wild spike in his adrenaline and a rapid acceleration of his heartbeat—he knows something is happening to him, but he cannot make a sound or move a muscle.
Antigravity suction commences immediately. He is lifted off the porch and drawn into the cargo bay of our spaceship. The specimen still cannot move or speak, but he stares back at us through his ocular aids with big, brown, frightened human eyes.
Excerpted from Stuck On Earth by .
Copyright © 2010 by David Klass.
Published in 2010 by Frances Foster Books.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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