Osprey, out now
Everything you need to know to invade the Earth…
Say you’re an alien who’s looking for a nice new piece of real estate, and the third planet in the Sol system in Mutters Spiral takes your fancy. What will you need to know before you launch your terrifying fleet on a mission of plunder and/or conquest? Rather handily, there’s a human book which tells you exactly that. (One has to guess that the motives of the human involved were sordidly financial to present such an epic work of treachery.)
It’s an interesting book: part gazetteer to the planet, part examination of the various techniques that will be required. Don’t be put off by the large amount of statistics which fill the first chapter: the text becomes far more user-friendly (if not particularly friendly to the people of Earth) as it goes on. It gives you useful advice on what parts of Earth transmissions to ignore – for instance, the inherent weaknesses of using a lightsaber in an atmosphere where you wouldn’t be able to see the blade, or the misinformation provided by Dr Martha Jones regarding what combination of nuclear missiles is required to destroy the planet.
Author McIntee – who maintains his cover as an ordinary human by contributing to this website – is happy to show all the possible ways which can be used to enslave, subjugate, exterminate, delete or otherwise deal with the population (in fact, he seems to rather enjoy that bit, almost as much as the bits about the merits of different weapons!). His narrative voice is sardonic at times, with a number of tips of the hat to the Earth SF genre along the way.
Once McIntee gets “out of character”, he also provides a guide to some of the shows and films which have been plundered for the text, although the odd error has crept into this section – in an odd way, this feels out of place, and perhaps maintaining the fiction throughout might have worked better
Verdict: A different take on the alien invasion idea whose perspective may well raise a smile. 7/10