by Charles Nuetzel
What looked like a history-making meeting is turning into a nightmare.
A signal from outer space has recently been discovered, and soon after evidence of an alien ship landing on Mars follows. An expedition is launched to recover what is thought to be an alien spacecraft and rescue any survivors. The already perilous return journey is made even more so by their new passenger.
This book is a novelization of the film Queen of Blood. Without having seen the film, the book qualifies as camp. It does attempt to tell a cohesive story, and partly succeeds, but for a scientific space expedition it comes across as hokey. It’s understood the point of camp isn’t being serious, and the sexy female ambassador to Earth, constantly nude and seducing the male astronauts is a form of entertainment. It’s even the type of teenage male wish fulfillment story many of us have probably written ourselves as kids.
The question should be asked, if these kind of low-brow horror/science fiction stories had never been written and popularized, might the field itself be held in higher regard today? Because it can easily be imagined that this is exactly the kind of writing that’s looked down upon by older generations, and it’s what they think we’re reading whenever we mention the dreaded “science fiction” or “horror” genres. Or perhaps, and even likely, maybe I’m just too old a curmudgeon myself to recognize the value here–too young for it to be nostalgic, too old for it to be good.
Mileage with this one is gonna be low, so keep your expectations adjusted as such and you may enjoy it as a trashy way to spend an afternoon.
“Into the wastes of outer space…a fitting grave for an astronaut.”