Alex Morrison has made a new friend on the Internet. It?s a relationship that could drive his wife and friends half-crazy and that?s if federal agents and newspaper reporters don?t blow it wide open before the big moment. Can Alex hold it all together before the Ashland City Landing?
The Ashland City Landing is a sometimes-funny, sometimes-serious, science fiction novel about the practicalities of meeting space aliens and having to save the world from itself and, perhaps, those very same aliens. The Ashland City Landing is the first of a three part trilogy that detail the final days in the short and tumultuous life of Alex Morrison.
|Publisher:||Iguana Pillbox Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)|
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The idea behind “First Contact”, a 1945 story by Murray Leinster, was not original with Leinster , but the title became a generic description for of all stories of that type. This new novel by a Nashville, Tennessee, resident suggests how aliens might use the Internet to initiate contact. Alex Morrison is the 37 year old producer of the ten o’clock news at a Nashville television station and lives on a twelve acre farm in Ashland City, Tennessee with his wife Anne, where they raise horses and llamas. Ashland City, a real town, is far enough away from Nashville that it is not a suburb, but close enough for people to live there and commute. The son of a long-time Nashville television personality, Alex grew up in Ashland City and is friendly with the chief of police, which becomes an important plot point toward the end of the book. A lifelong reader of science fiction, Alex is bored with his job and his life, but he finds refuge in Internet discussions of aliens, UFOs, flying saucers, etc. He himself is the author of a blog on the subject, which brings him to the attention of the aliens. The aliens, who originated from a planet orbiting the star Virginis 61, 27.8 light years from Earth, have hacked into the Internet and the cell phone networks, where they engage in data mining. A representative, who calls himself Enrico after Enrico Fermi and Enrico Caruso, shows up at Alex’s farm one night and asks his help in making their first contact with human civilization. The author is careful to dole out information on the aliens in small pieces, but at one point in their history, they resembled the Heechee of Fred Pohl’s series of books. Anne is originally from Atlanta and the scion of a politically and socially prominent family there. She has no interest in science fiction or UFOs, which creates conflict in the marriage. Other characters include Tyler Fox, a writer for an alternate weekly Nashville newspaper who stumbles on the story of his and everyone else’s lifetime, Peter Culp, psychologist and Alex’s best friend, and Franco Martinez, an elderly physics professor at a small university in Utah. Fox thinks he is writing about a UFO cult, Culp thinks Alex is having hallucinations until Alex introduces him to Enrico, and Martinez has an interest in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, which brings him to Alex’s attention. Alex recruits Martinez to help lay the groundwork for contact. This novel also has an interesting stylistic device. Most of it is written in convention third person, but interspersed throughout are Alex’s first person comments on the story, as if the story is what Truman Capote called a “non-fiction novel”, written a few years after an historical event. This novel starts slowly, allowing the reader to get to know the characters while building suspense, and then is very hard to put down when the reader gets to the last fifty pages. This is the first book in a series and hopefully the later books will be as good as this one..