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First Contact, Evan Mandery

2010/09/23

The unlikely hero of this hilarious science fiction novel is a young Presidential aide named Ralph Bailey, whose primary duty each day is walk to the Blimpway and purchase for the President a ham and Swiss sandwich. However, in the course of this story, Ralph meets a lovely law student named Jessica, has his first encounter with aliens who are for some unknown reason presumed to be Jewish, and is appointed to be number nine hundred forty-ninth in the presidential order of succession. Meanwhile on Rigel-Rigel, home of the newly arrived Alien Ambassador, life goes on about the same as it does on earth, with the wife of the Ambassador to earth getting in a fender-bender, worrying about her husband being away from home, and dealing with PTA meetings. The novel continues with the first meeting between the aliens and the President.

Chapters are titled with lines of songs, and the author occasionally inserts his own commentary into the narrative, which works well in this context. This is a fun and light-hearted read, but also makes you think, just a little bit, about how ridiculous some of our human rites and assumptions are.

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