By Algis Budrys
A technology fiction experience instructed from the perspective of extraterrestrial beings who crash-land in the world and needs to assimilate in secret—until their human hide is blown
Budrys’s ultimate novel opens with the file of a guy came upon electrocuted on suburban educate tracks in Shoreview, Illinois. Neville Sealman looked to be simply one other commuter, yet after his tragic dying, not anyone comes ahead to say his physique. And a regimen post-mortem finds a few traumatic physiological anomalies. Then a spaceship is unearthed in a brand new Jersey swamp. It’s the stuff of tabloids—except it’s all real. Years previous, a starship crash-landed in the world. Its passengers, human in visual appeal, have been pressured to make their separate methods in an alien international. not anyone understands that those otherworldly viewers were dwelling one of the human race—but now their disguise should be blown.
informed within the kind of an research reconstructed via direct and oblique witness testimony, Hard Landing takes the reader into the minds of its 4 protagonists as they try with the far-reaching ramifications of discovery. it is a suspenseful and revelatory novel in regards to the elusive, ever-changing nature of identity.
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Jack … Mullica. i used to be strolling alongside a minute in the past, and that i saw—’ ‘Jesus H. Christ! You have been strolling alongside? ’ ‘That’s correct. And I—’ ‘You scared the shit out of me! ’ ‘Well, I’m sorry. glance, am i able to assist you? you seem like you’re jogging damage. I’ve received a first-aid package, and—’ Her surprising snicker used to be either amused and sour. ‘It’ll take greater than first reduction to assist that. much more. ’ I didn’t comprehend. yet that was once no longer as very important as attaining a few kind of lodging along with her. ‘Well, glance, no matter what you assert – will it assist you to lean on me as we stroll? ’ Her laugh this time was once rueful, and nonetheless sour yet no longer as a lot. ‘Yes, it's going to aid. in particular seeing that we now have over miles to move. Bastards. okay – come on. ’ She moved over subsequent to me, at the left. She used to be nearly as tall as I. i spotted that she smelled of body spray – a few man made smell. And we started to stroll alongside the line in the course of the darkish, slowly and, for her, painfully. yet she settled in opposed to my hip, and that i inspiration to myself, without notice, approximately her as a girl, now not as an Earth individual, and that i didn’t comprehend what to make of that, however it used to be higher than now not deliberating her as a girl. She requested, presently: ‘Where’d you come back from? ’ ‘I obtained lost,’ I stated without delay, having expected that i'd need to account for myself to anyone. ‘I was once hitching a experience, and so they allow me out in the dead of night, and that i obtained misplaced. ’ ‘Uh-huh. and how much an accessory is that? ’ ‘Indian. East Indian. ’ ‘Uh-huh. ’ She appeared disinclined to pursue this line any more. We walked alongside in silence for it slow. Then she stated: ‘I don’t think you have got a spot to stick. ’ ‘Well, no. ’ ‘Yeah. alright – you could stick with my father and me, for some time. Sleep within the barn. ’ i presumed that over. ‘All correct. thanks; it’s type of you. ’ ‘You’re supporting me get domestic. aiding much. This leg of mine hasn’t been strong for far seeing that i used to be a bit woman. Polio. So it’s a good trade. ’ Her voice used to be flat – there has been no longer a hint of her feeling sorry for herself. yet, in fact, she’d had time to organize the assertion. ‘My name’s Margery Olchuk, incidentally. And yours is Jack Mullica. ’ back, her voice used to be flat. ‘That’s correct. Jack Mullica. ’ ‘All correct. ’ And after that she focused on strolling. despite me to assist her, it was once no picnic for her. – Reconstruction, as most sensible as attainable, of assorted bits and snatches Mullica mouthed in his sleep commencing assertion via YANKEE The military guy shaking me via my shoulder and announcing my identify repeatedly used to be apologetic. And he used to be very wary: ‘We have a guy the following who grew to become up in the course of the evening. We don’t understand who he's. The C. O. thinks we must always wake you. ’ And he retreated around the room whereas I woke. And wide awake I did, slowly – that's, externally i used to be gradual. yet i used to be processing the knowledge relatively quickly. Paramount was once the truth that rather than dealing with it many times, the C. O. was once awakening me. So the percentages have been overwhelming that the fellow was once now not psychological; the percentages have been overwhelming that the C. O. not less than felt that with a member of Congress at the base, he needed to comprise him in no matter what it was once, or hazard censure for no longer having performed so.