Aftermath: Nomads, Pirates, and Froggers
by S.L. Ferreira

"They've dominated the Earth completely, and to them our political territorial divisions mean nothing."

Anarchy ensues after aliens occupy Earth's major cities. Human weapons prove useless, and the invaders start systematically enslaving our race. Focusing on a small sampling of survivors constantly on the move to outwit the ET's less than perfect tracking abilities, the author showcases this omnipresent threat together with the menace of marauding criminals intent on robbing, raping, and killing the remaining humans. Life is precarious at best, until a larger and more organized group of refugees selflessly provides them with food, means of transportation, and maps to safe houses. They must rely on their own ingenuity, bravery, and invention to prevail, however.

The tried and true plot device of throwing ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances to see how they respond is used to good effect here. Class, race, age, and gender roles are suddenly made fluid and unstable by the abrupt rupture with the past. In fact, the development of characters almost overshadows the elements of plot and suspense, unusual in the science fiction genre. However, the author has rightly discerned that hostile aliens are not enough to interest us much beyond surface repulsion or fear. They remain opaque, mysterious, the other; it is the human condition which the novelist must portray in such circumstances. Friendly aliens are simply projections of our own natures, and it is the hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations of ourselves that we are capable of loving or understanding. Unlimited power and domination are the obvious themes here. More subtle themes involve the present abilities of the weak—be they a mismatched group of simple people or ultimately the ignoble rat—that prove capable of overcoming such unmitigated power.

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