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After the Saucers Landed by Douglas Lain
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After the Saucers Landed

by Douglas Lain

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Nostalgia operates in other ways. It is of central importance to the Pleidiens and “runs through the entire […] aesthetic […]. They want to communicate the idea of modern technology and […] they want to invoke a sense of nostalgia at the same time.” Alien nostalgia, however, points to the broader nostalgia conveyed by the entire book for pulp science fiction aesthetics, which were once “amazing,” “astounding,” filled with a “sense of wonder,” and so on, whereas now, in the realm of Baudrillardian hyperreality (which is mentioned briefly), such media has become a mere insignia of “the death of the real” — a death that is very much alive in After the Saucers Landed. What distinguishes it from other “postcapitalist” novels of its kind — spanning from Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants (1952) to Max Barry’s Jennifer Government (2003) and beyond — is Lain’s sharp and easy voice, cool humor and wit, appetite for the absurd, and understanding of our mediatized nuances.
 
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NOMINATED FOR THE 2016 PHILIP K. DICK AWARD

“When the alien gets around to unzipping her jumpsuit it’ll be impossible to see what’s underneath.”

UFOlogist Harold Flint is heartbroken and depressed that the aliens that have landed on the White House lawn appear to be straight out of an old B movie. They wave to the television cameras in their sequined jumpsuits, form a nonprofit organization offering new age enlightenment, and hover their saucers over the streets of New York looking for converts.

Harold wants no part of this kitschy invasion until one of the aliens, a beautiful blonde named Asket, begs him to investigate the saucers again and write another UFO book. The aliens and their mission are not as they seem.

Asket isn’t who she seems either. Tracking down her true personality leads Harold and his cowriter through a maze of identity and body-swapping madness, descending into paranoia as Harold realizes that reality, or at least humanity’s perception of it, may be more flexible than anyone will admit.

After the Saucers Landed is a deeply unsettling experimental satire, placing author Douglas Lain alongside contemporaries like Jeff VanderMeer and Charles Yu as one of his generation’s most exciting and challenging speculative fiction voices.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
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The bastard-offspring of They Live and The Day the Earth Stood Still, as told by Jean Paul Sartre. Shape-changing aliens may have landed on the Whitehouse lawn and subsequently integrated into human society, but humanity is still full of self-centered and self-absorbed individuals. Laura's just scraping by on her art teacher's salary. Donald, a bestselling author and UFOlogist who provided counseling to abductees, has tried to distance himself from the saucer landings and is looking to move on with his life. But everything changes when Shelly, an alien enrolled in Laura's art class, mysteriously switches places with Laura. Life begins to unravel. Laura then realizes this isn't the first time Shelly has moved into another person's body, and fragments of other people's memories have jumped with her, including those of Donald's wife. Laura begins to grasp that reality, or at least humanity's perception of it, may be more flexible than anyone wants to admit. And though she can't explain how or why, she suspects the aliens are behind it and will need Donald's help to stop them. In an egocentric society that sleepwalks through the rituals of daily life, would people even notice if the world around them suddenly and inexplicably changes?… (more)

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