Publishers Weekly Review

Publishers Weekly, August 13, 2001

Warren Rochelle. Golden Gryphon (IPG, dist.), $22.95 (270p) ISBN 1-930846-04-5

This literary first novel from Rochelle, who's published short fiction and poetry in Aboriginal Science Fiction and other genre journals, updates a classic SF plot: aliens conquer Earth because they have a use for humans. On their home planet, the Lindauzi require a symbiotic emotional relationship with the intelligent, dog-like Iani to remain sane and sapient. When the Iani all die in a plague, the Lindauzi invade Earth in the hope of breeding humans as acceptable substitutes. Ilox, a human bred to be a companion, forms a bond with Phlarx, but it is not complete enough to prevent Ilox from also bonding with other humans, i.e., women. When his Lindauzi masters discover this flaw, Ilox must fend for himself. Within a comparatively short compass, the author skillfully and effectively uses multiple viewpoints, including those of Ilox, Caleb (the son of Ilox by a "wild" woman), Phlarx and various other Lindauzi. Some may find the premise hard to swallow, but once past the initial suspension of disbelief, most readers will find the story absorbing. Those seeking contemporary significance in the animal-rights subtext will be disappointed, since Rochelle has produced what amounts to a solid alien-invasion novel of the sort not common in SF since the 1950s and '60s. He deserves kudos for not bloating his narrative to limits beyond what the plot and characters can support. (Sept.)
FYI: Rochelle is the author of Communities of the Heart: The Rhetoric Myth in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin.

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