6 Things About Advanced Screenings
Life on Earth is changed forever when a television signal from the planet Loamar. Overnight the people of Earth realize they are not alone in the Universe and there are others who communicate via stories. But when a tragic event befalls the Lomani people, humankind's place in the Universe changes forever.
1. My continuing love of short books:
Not to belabor the point but getting a lot of reading done with an infant in the house is... difficult. So books that can be tackled in three or four hours are increasingly valuable to me. And this book —more of a short story than a book to be honest— can be read over a couple of hours in the evening.
2. The Truth Is Out There. Probably Aliens Too:
The story is another speculative foray into the Big Question of the Universe. If there is intelligent life, what's it like? Haskett proposes and interesting idea. He envisions alien species rising to the civilizational level based on a few very strong traits. In essence why and how a species develps is largely based on a couple of key strengths inherent in teir biology. The Loamani, while having yet to master any form of air travel, have none the less built a telecommunications system that spans the stars. Another mentioned civilization is especially good at faster-than-light travel.
3. Oh cool, so what are humans good at?
Um... listen, I don't want to spoil it for you it's a short book so I don't wanna give too much away. Plus you can probably guess.
4. It's Killing Each Other, Isn't It. That's What We're Good At.
What can I say? The author knows his species.
5. Less Xenobiology and more Xen-adorable.
My hard-sci fi heart couldn't help but jump at the chance at pointing out that almost nothing about the Lomani or any other species really jives at all with any theories as to how life and civilization might have evolved. But that would be wildly missing the point
Earth needs hope. And hope comes in the form of cute, furry creatures (for some reason I pictured Ewoks but taller and skinnier) that are born in dirt with a flower on their head. There is a charming playfulness that comes out when the Loamani television programs are described. Just the kind of thing that, yeah, could bring a planet together in one collective 'Awwww!'
6. The Verdict ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It's a cute fun story. Maybe a little too much on the cute side for my taste but with an engrossing enough story to make that forgivable. Unless that's your thing in which case, all the better. The ideas it presents are interesting and, like I mentioned, there's an element of hope that our darker instincts might not be as self-destructive as we might assume. And who couldn't use a quick dose of hope right now?