f you don’t like Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, you might as well stop here. Because First Contact, by Evan Mandery, is very much in this class of storytelling.
Me, I loved it.
Written in 2010, it’s got a clueless president (so dense and self-centered, it’s nearly prophetic). It’s got his aide, Ralph, the hapless young man who he sends to get his sub sandwich lunches. It’s got Ralph’s new girlfriend, who is second-guessing her decision of going to law school. And it’s got the ambassador from Rigel, who is a bit of a practical joker, and his own aide Ned, whose home life is starting to come unraveled.
And it’s got all sorts of other characters, everything from raccoons that nest in attics to similarities in evolution across the cosmos, to an auto-accident scammer (though he technically involves space ships). It’s got the PTA, the French government, a host of worlds and races, everything you could possibly imagine. And it’s even got the author routinely breaking the fourth wall to tell you why he wrote the story that way in Hitch Hiker’s Guide tangentials.
And, most frightening, it’s got the end of the world.
And what happens after that.
So its quite a book for 263 pages. There is a lot of ground to cover and the author does so with laugh-out-loud humor and interesting insights. I have to say that I blew through this one in a couple of days, and it made me miss my time among the scifi classics. But yes, here’s your chance. If you like this sort of thing (well, if you like me, then you probably do), you should hunt around for it. Great story, and I’m sad that it ended.
I mean, really, really ended.