Science Fiction Novella Review – Brian W Aldiss – Equator
1958 Various editions – Spoiler alerts
Also released as Vanguard From Alpha
One of the most action packed SF stories, crime drama, spy story, comedy thrillers I have ever read and one screaming out for turning into a movie since publication fifty-seven years ago.
The hero Tyne is sent on a spying mission on the Moon, to find out more about the Roosks, alien beings who have settled on Earth in equatorial Sumatra, and established a moon-base too.
Though seemingly friendly but reclusive, the Roosks seem to be plotting against their Earth hosts –hence the spy mission. This quickly goes wrong when the Roosks discover the spies; and one co-pilot kills the other and knocks Tyne unconscious.
Tyne wakes up on Earth to find the traitor has gone missing since landing. He sets out to pursue him, chased himself by CIA-style space agents, and the Roosks. Tyne is captured, beaten, betrayed, shot at, left marooned on a desert island and almost pulped into plankton at a fish processing factory.
And that’s only up to half way through the story. Clever, funny and how is he getting out of this mess exciting stuff. Again, I wonder how Hollywood missed this one.
Image Credit » An alien in Manchesters Bar 21 taken by me