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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380802579
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/2000
Series: Bruce Coville Series
Edition description: First Avon Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Bruce Coville grew up around the corner from his grandparents' dairy farm, where he spent a great deal of time dodging cows (and chores) and reading voraciously. He has been a toymaker, a gravedigger, a cookware salesman, an assembly line worker, a magazine editor, and an elementary school teacher. Bruce's books have appeared in more than a dozen countries and have sold more than sixteen million copies. Among his most popular titles are My Teacher Is an Alien; Into the Land of Unicorns; and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. He is also the founder of Full Cast Audio, an award-winning audio book company specializing in family listening (www.fullcastaudio.com).

October is Bruce's favorite month, so he is especially delighted that Always October is his 100th book. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

The Invitation

Whenever I am out at night and see a bit of light moving across the sky, my heart leaps with the hope that it might be a UFO.

I'm confident that I am not alone in this reaction. Ever since that mysterious crash in Roswell back in 1949, we Americans have had a kind of UFO-mania - a deep and abiding obsession with the idea that mysterious vehicles from outer space are visiting us on a regular basis.

Just what is it about this idea of "flying saucers" that so intrigues, delights, and compels us?

As you may have suspected, I have a theory. I believe our interest springs from a combination of terror and desire.

The terror is easy enough to understand. If we are being monitored by beings from another planet, they must be vastly ahead of us in their scientific knowledge. But are they aggressive, or peaceful? Are they monitoring us as possible friends - or to make us slaves? (Or, as some would have it, simply considering us as a source of food ...)

As for the desire - well, the more we understand how vast the universe is, the lonelier it feels to think we're the only intelligent creatures in it. (It's also incredibly arrogant to try to cling to that idea, but that's another matter altogether.) If we are being visited by aliens, it proves that we're not alone.

Sharpening that desire is the strange but indisputable fact that the human heart loves mystery. And in a world that has been so fully explored and mapped and charted that we are quickly running out of unknown corners, UFOs represent a truly compelling mystery, facing us with such questions as:

What kind of creatures madethose vehicles?

Why are they watching us?

What do they want?

And - perhaps most frightening of all when we really consider it - what do they think of us?

In the stories that follow, thirteen talented and highly creative (not to mention deeply weird) writers try to imagine the answers to these questions. As so often happens, the varity of their responses is greater than I could have guessed when we began gathering this collection, with settings that range from ancient Egypt to distant planets, and ideas that draw equally from the wells of horror, humor, and hope.

But then every UFO sighting, real or imagined, carries with it the hopeful fear and the fearful hope that we might be on the verge of making contact with an alien civilization. And in the end, I think that's why UFOs are so exciting. These are not only the vehicles by which the aliens will reach us; they are, if all goes well, the vehicles that will take us to the stars.

But consider this: perhaps the purpose of the makers of these flying saucers is more subtle. What if their real goal is to inspire us to make the journey ourselves?

In the sports world, there is a well-known phenomenon whereby an achievement people think is impossible - such as the four-minute mile - may stand for years, or even decades. Yet as soon as one person breaks this "impossible" barrier, many others begin to repeat the achievement. What has changed? Not their skill. Not their strength. Not their bodies.

What has changed is their sense of possibility.

So perhaps the greatest thing about flying saucers is that they tell us it's possible to escape our planetary bonds and explore the universe.

Maybe our mysterious visitors never intend to make contact while we're still planetbound.

Maybe what they're offering is an invitation to join them in the greater galaxy - an invitation that comes not by showing us how it's done, but simply by showing us it's possible.

The rest is up to us.

The stars are waiting.

Isn't it time we got busy?

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