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Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer

Illegal Alien (original 1997; edition 2009)

by Robert J. Sawyer

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382428,205 (3.49)13
Title:Illegal Alien
Authors:Robert J. Sawyer
Info:Penguin Canada (2009), Mass Market Paperback, 300 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sf, science fiction, signed, Canadian, aliens

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Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer (1997)



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Robert Sawyer is a master of modern science fiction. I have read most of his books, and Illegal Alien is another classic. How many science fiction books involve the legal system and a trial (anywhere?). Now I'm wondering if there has ever been a science fiction book that involved a trial on an alien planet.
  speaker43 | Mar 19, 2016 |
An excellent story beautifully read. ( )
  travelster | Jun 22, 2015 |
I really liked “Illegal Alien.” It was written at the time of the O.J. Simpson murder trial and Sawyer cannot resist mentioning it throughout the book. This is fine, as it allows the author some flexibility of plot and pacing: an old lawyer who has won his share of cases, Mr. Dale Rice, a black man who knew Martin Luther King, Jr. and at 70 years young gets the chance of a century – to defend an alien accused of the murder of Calhoun, a PBS news/astronomer who was the first to step aboard an alien vessel, make friends with the creatures and introduce tehm to society.

Plots: It is interesting how Sawyer uses the alien as a complete zero in looking at the American justice system. The author admits (on other forums) to have thoroughly researched our system of justice and in many ways it does come up wanting. The shifting of gears between defense and prosecution, the calling up of witnesses, jury selection, and so on is interesting.

Themes: Racism plays some part; also reliability, trust, deception and a stick-to it tiveness runs the gamet of the novel.

The only thing I did not like about the novel was its apparent criticism of those who love UFOs, Star Trek and other geek elements. Minor point.

Bottom Line: Creative, a bit dated, and fascinating look from a Canadian (alien?) perspective of our sometimes wild and crazy justice system. Recommended for lovers to To Kill a Mockingbird and whoever sat through the entire broadcast of the O.J. Simpson trials.

( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
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For Justice, though she's painted blind,

is to the weaker side inclined.

      -- Samuel Butler, (1612-1680)
FOR EDO AND ROBERTA VAN BELKOM, with thanks and friendship
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The Navy lieutenant poked his close-cropped head into the aircraft carrier's wardroom.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441005926, Mass Market Paperback)

Aliens, Tosoks, have finally made contact with Earth, but there are only seven of them, and they've arrived in a disabled spaceship. The Tosoks are intelligent and surprisingly easy to communicate with, and are happy to tour Earth and see what humans have to offer. But during a stop in Los Angeles, one of the human scientists traveling with the Tosoks is gruesomely murdered, and all evidence points to the alien Hask. The Los Angeles Police Department is determined to indict Hask for the crime, even though the aliens have little concept of laws or crime as we understand them. The only thing the U.S. government can do is secretly procure the services of Dale Rice, a leading civil rights lawyer, and hope he can clear Hask of the charges. But as the trial progresses, evidence indicates a cover-up by one or more of the aliens. Humanity's survival--not just Hask's fate--might hinge on the jury's verdict.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

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