The Alien Dark PDF Print E-mail


The Alien Dark
by Diana G. Gallagheralien dark cover
TSR, 1990.
reviewed by Fred Patten


The Alien Dark is unusual in being told entirely from the viewpoint of aliens who seem to be exploring a strange solar system that cannot be ours.

Clues gradually accumulate that reveal that the solar system is indeed ours, but millions of years in the future, when life is just beginning on the second planet and is extinct upon the third. What happened to Earth almost takes a back seat to the survival of the exploring furry ahsin bey, the catlike aliens who need a new world to expand to but cannot settle in our system if there is any chance that intelligent life survives – or can be regenerated.

This is an obscure book that deserves to be better-known. The protagonists are Captain Tahl d’jehn, who is desperate to see his mission succeed but in a morally correct manner, and biologist Riitha f’ath, who is convinced irrationally that they need to investigate the possibility of intelligent life further.

An unusual problem is the ahsin beys' biological need to succeed or succumb to a fatal loss of the will to live and Tahl’s growing suspicions that his mission has been designed to fail.

It does not seem possible that the present-day aliens and the extinct humans of a hundred million years earlier can both survive, but Gallagher provides a surprisingly upbeat and convincing conclusion.

This novel, which has only had an old paperback edition, is worth seeking out.

Last Updated ( Monday, 14 July 2008 )
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