The sub-title of David McIntee’s book ‘We Will Destroy Your Planet’ is ‘An Alien’s Guide To Conquering The Earth’ does not mean you have to be an extra-terrestrial to read this book. If you are, by the time you’ve picked up this book, unless you’re on a reconnaissance mission and learnt the English language, you will no doubt have made all those pesky humans slaves or bumped them off. At that point, you’d have wondered at the necessity of having this book. However, if you’re a novice alien conqueror or want to minimalise collateral damage or even cut down costs, then you need somewhere to start.
Reading this book distils a lot of fact and fiction about this blue planet that will make your conquest a walk in the astral park. Humans have been most useful by even fantasying and telling how to bring themselves to their knees. No doubt that if you brought your spaceships into the atmosphere that they will believe that this is the special effects for a film being filmed and won’t even bother looking up in the skies any more. A lot of McIntee’s examples come from film and TV and only a bare smidgeon from SF fiction until the back of the book. As I read and wondering when was he going to mention so-and-so, up it pops and is covered. The only major mistake he makes is attributing the flying sub to ‘Land Of The Giants’ instead of ‘Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea’. Considering the accuracy of his other knowledge, a mistake like this is a big one.
The choice of alien invader and where they come from is pretty diverse and McIntee points out most of the various options. It would be quite messy if you all came at once and it terrestrial fiction is to believed, you will be given a time slot to try out your invasion plans before allowing someone else to try. Apparently, the humans have some powerful allies who pop in from time to time.
McIntee points out that former Time Lord companion Martha Jones assertion that it would only take 20 nuclear bombs to destroy the Earth as being impossible, in my opinion, underestimates this figure. More so because there was no specification of how powerful the payload was nor their placement to cause the most damage. One only has to look in the near future where talking apes ruled the Earth and one omega-level nuclear bomb obliterated the Earth to realise that size or rather payload is everything.
The Dalek plan to remove the Earth’s core and substitute an engine also seems to confuse McIntee. However, when you consider that the Daleks do have some idea of gravity control from the way they fly, then cutting back on some planetary mass, which as McIntee points out is at the core of the planet, might not be a bad idea. If I was the engineer, I would probably use the core’s mass as the propellant anyway than waste it.
I’m not entirely convinced that ‘The Outer Limits’ story ‘The Bellero Shield’ gave rise to the alien Greys description. Well, not unless actor John Hoyt was a midget which he wasn’t. The examples of the Mole Men from the Superman cinema series that predates it would certainly be a better fit.
Likewise, concealing a planet is not as easy as it might seem. Even with an invisibility shield, you can’t neglect the effects of gravity on the rest of the planets in a star system and if there is a gap with no planetary debris, like with the asteroid belt, then you would have to consider that something isn’t quite right.
Stranded aliens wishing to build their own spaceport would have to do pretty much the same as ourselves and either commandeer our sites or anywhere else along the equator to get the best service of our centrifugal force.
From a Science Fiction point of view, McIntee hits upon most of the main players. There are minor exceptions. The Tenctonese were largely ignored because they were refugees not invaders. As far as can be seen, the predator hunters have no interest in turning our planet into a permanent hunting ground. The same can also be said of the ‘engineers’ and their xenomorphs. I would have thought that the visitors from Sirius might have been given a bigger entry. It would also been interesting to see a comparison of the success rate of these various alien species in their attempts to conquer this planet if only as a closing reminder to alien conquerors of their own failure rate and why we seem unconquerable. Maybe David McIntee will consider writing a follow-up book called ‘We Will Stop Your Attempts To Take Our Planet’ from the humans perspective just in case aliens think we are a pushover or forgetting our alien friends and technology that has seen other menaces off.
In the meantime, despite my criticisms, I came up with three plot ideas from my thinking when I was reading this book. Indeed, as can be seen from the length of this review, I also learnt a lot along the way.
(pub: Osprey Adventures. 234page illustrated small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 9.99 (UK), $14.95 (US), $15.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-78200-602-2)
check out website: www.ospreyadventuresbooks.com