We are all aliens in some way or another. Step into a country club without an invitation and you’re an illegal alien. Try to join a secret society without a sponsor and at best you are ignored. You wear a burqa in a suburban neighborhood and you’re eyed with suspicion. Short, smart, autistic, or artistic, in middle school, everyone’s an alien. Lift your hands in worship at a traditional Christian church and you’re ostracized. Worse, you’re gay in a fundamental church and you’re not only an alien, you’re a sinner. This week in #litchat we’re discussing novels which explore alienation as a theme.
On Friday, Aurelio O’Brien joins us as guest host of #litchat. O’Brien’s timely new novel, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL, may be sorted into science fiction, but like the best of that genre, it contains keen observations on what it is to be an alien in a homogenistically inclined society.
When respected scientist, Dr. Grace Brown, is sent on a preposterous mission to examine a group of nutcases who claim to be pregnant with alien babies, she is outraged. Her affront turns to activism when the crazies blow everyone’s mind with the birth to seven sentient lifeforms as diverse as fauna and flora can be. Joining forces with a tabloid journalist and photographer, she becomes the champion for the extraterrestrial children and their families as they grow up in a culture of misunderstanding, discrimination, and alienation. With astute observations keyed with charming prose and light-fast pacing, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a book for today and many more tomorrows.
As a book, GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a type of alien to mainstream publishing. O’Brien, whose professional background is in film and animation, released his first book, EVE, in the tradition of independent filmmakers. Because of the nurturing culture of independent film, O’Brien didn’t expect to be snubbed by mainstream publishing and media, yet he found roadblocks to reviews and other publicity. EVE sold well with O’Brien’s out-of-the-box marketing, so he forged ahead with GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL with the same enthusiasm for indie expression.
The initial release of GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a ten ePisode eSerial designed specifically for hand held readers and mobile phone reading apps. As each successive ePisode follows GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL from infancy to adulthood, further literary and marketing innovations include an elaborate GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL eUniverse: embedded within each ePisode is a hyperlink to a website associated with the story and/or a character. These sites contain links to the web-based download location for the next ePisode. Readers will experience the added dimension of exploring characters’ blogs, story-related sites, and joining a fully supported facebooklike alien/human social network. Publisher Bad Attitude Books plans to release a limited deluxe edition collectable hardcover at a later date.
Aurelio O’Brien grew up in a raucous household full of uniquely gifted siblings in the heart of Silicon Valley before there were PC’s, cell phones, and flat-screen TV’s. His father worked in aerospace, on the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Space Shuttle, nurturing young Aurelio in an eclectic environmental medley of suburbia, cherry orchards, and cutting-edge technology. O’Brien’s quirky creative talents led him to a successful career as an illustrator, animator, and graphic designer.
Download the first chapter of GENERATION EXTRATERRESTRIAL.
Follow Aurelio O’Brien on Twitter: @AurelioOBrien.