Little Green Men--Attack! edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Robin Wayne Bailey is an entertaining collection I recently had the privilege to review for Tangent Online. However, I only reviewed the first half of the collection for Tangent. Do you think I stopped reading half-way through? Of course not! So, here's another look at the collection as a whole:
Little Green Men--Attack! from Baen, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Robin Wayne Bailey, is a collection of 18 new stories and 1 classic reprint. Each author takes the idea of little green men and runs with it in their own direction, sometimes playing with SF and conspiracy theory tropes, and sometimes shooting off into the unexpected--unless you were expecting Japanese mythological demons (“A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin' Love” by Esther M. Friesner), or Victorian roller-skate-offs (“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato) complete with satirically stiff Victorian style. And speaking of sportswomen who take their sport seriously, “School Colors” by Seanan McGuire is another particularly funny story featuring a paranormal-fighting cheer leading team that may remind readers of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Turn the ridiculousness up another notch for “Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H Silver, in which aliens the size of dust motes (Mars dust, to be precise) face off against unwitting astronauts Buzz and Neil.
Elizabeth Moon delivers plenty of creepy factor in “A Greener Future,” where an entertaining troop of little green men are more trouble than they appear. Then in “Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye, we get suspiciously charismatic aliens who just want to sign a peace treaty with us, but psychic cats object.
“Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes is an escapist piece with a beatnik feel (beatnik because... Bob Dylan) in which the narrator is stranded on Earth with the ability to play Bob Dylan songs and speak Spanish, which isn't quite as helpful as one would think in France.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch gives us a wonderfully cynical essay from student to teacher in “Little (Green) Women," because in a universe where little green men might exist, maybe they're bizarre enough to like Little Women.
Martin L. Shoemaker's “Meet the Landlord” is a tale of one-upmanship that zips along with clever dialogue and running jokes after invisible aliens demand back-payment for humanity's use of the moon.
Little green men can be quite belligerent in “The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort Of” by Mike Resnick. In “Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry, bad attitudes are met with good ole Texas hospitality, which includes pie--the fire ants aren't nearly so accommodating. “Little Green Guys” by K. C. Ball brings us another goofy tall tale in which aliens with attitude demand help in recovering their ship.
Closing the anthology out is “The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey, an appropriately over-the-top riff on enthusiastic military who like to shoot every thing out of the sky. “Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele earlier in the line-up offers the opposite approach, where librarians handle the aliens before the military even knows about them. “First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman take the idea of appeasing aliens in another direction--what if your first alien tried to french kiss you...in Walmart?
Also included is “Hannibal's Elephants” by Robert Silverberg, a classic 1988 reprint from Omni.
From psychic cats to french-kissing aliens, Baen's Little Green Men--Attack! offers up a variety of laughs from seasoned story tellers and editors. Get it now!
Full Table of Contents:
“The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort Of” by Mike Resnick
“Little (Green) Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry
“Stuck in Buenos Aires With Bob Dylan On My Mind” by Ken Scholes
“Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye
“School Colors” by Seanan McGuire
“Meet the Landlord” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H Silver
“The Green, Green Men of Home” by Selina Rosen
“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato
“The Game-a-holic's Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” by Peter J. Wacks & Josh Vogt
“Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele
“A Greener Future” by Elizabeth Moon
“A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin' Love” by Esther M. Friesner
“Little Green Guys” by K. C. Ball
“The March of the Little Green Men” by James E. Gunn
“First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman
“Hannibal's Elephants” by Robert Silverberg (1988 reprint from Omni)
“The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey