The Replicants
by Gerry Burke

"With their four tentacles working overtime, the guests from outer space were downing margaritas as if they were performance enhancing drugs."

Few things take themselves more seriously than science fiction. The genre attracts legions of fans eager to supplicate themselves to terrestrial tomes and authors intent on profoundly prophesying what the future might hold. That of course, makes it the perfect target for scathing satire. And this novel’s author is not one to pass up low hanging fruit without taking an enormous bite.

Earth is hosting Intergalactic Games with participants from the farthest reaches of the universe. You know what you’re in for the moment you realize the planet Schmoo is sending a contingent of athletes accompanied by insurgents bent on infiltration and eventual colonization. These green, three-eyed, four-tentacle life forms are intent on taking over either by force or by applying the Schmoo embrace, a hug that results in body transfer. Think of it as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers meets Mel Brooks.

Burke’s humor is as unbridled as his imagination, with his character’s names setting the fevered pace. Cal Swift is an intrepid Homeland Security agent. His paramour is Dr. Alicia Angelico, behavioral scientist at the Department of Inhuman Affairs. Heading the games is Ronald Hump from his secured location in Hump Towers. There’s also U. S. President Daphne Doolittle, Schmoo’s Paramount Person Max Moo, and far too many more to mention. The author’s plot ricochets from one side of the universe to another as earthlings from multiple continents attempt to stop the invasion. Burke’s prose fires one-liners and salty jokes at machine-gun speed. He has a well-furnished mind, an ingenious intellect, and a prodigious vocabulary dedicated to making readers laugh. If you find the idea of the cosmos on shtick-steroids intriguing, this sci-fi’s for you.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home