Fiction Reviews

The Dreamland Chronicles

(1998) David Darlington, Warner, 7.99, trdpbk, 281pp, ISBN 0-7515-2671-1

Another in the seemingly endless supply of books centred around the UFO phenomena, in this case concentrating on the elusive Area 51 at Groom Lake, Nevada. This is the supposed site where bits of crashed alien craft are taken, and being copied, and where there are supposed to be 'Greys' helping out. The book is relatively objective, Darlington never expressing an opinion on the phenomenon himself, but this leaves the reader to sort the wheat from the chaff -- and there is just so much chaff out there...

The base is certainly there, and the main problem with it is the associated 'Black' budget, and the various land-grabs "for security reasons" that go on all the time. Something like $15 billion has disappeared into this facility, and Congress knows little or nothing about it. In that sense, there is certainly a conspiracy going on -- as in all western countries, it's called 'Let's screw the taxpayer'. At the site, it's fairly well documented that they developed the U2 spyplane, the A12, F117, and the B2 'stealth' bomber, so perhaps it's unsurprising that there are rumours of other secret craft. There's the 'Aurora', which keeps not turning up as anything concrete and, not mentioned in the book, there's America's 'new' shuttle -- basically a sharp, upturned delta wing cribbed almost directly from Hotol. But, as for the rumours of alien involvement, the witnesses are not credible, and would appear to be unnecessary anyway. After all, who needs help from a race that can span light years, but frequently crash as soon as they get into an atmosphere?!

Personally I wish a publisher would give me a nice big advance to write a book entitled, Just How Goddamn Stupid Are the Aliens Anyway? and, once it's made a bundle, I'd follow up with, Just How Pathetic Is The 'Black' Government? The former are obviously stupid, if they keep coming down gravity wells to obtain materials they've just flown by in space, and you don't need a conspiracy to know that governments and big businesses always screw the little people. Let's face it, the CIA, etc. run drugs, guns, and destabilise countries for the sake of a buck all the time, and always have done since their creation, and not an alien in sight.

I do have a conviction that the Universe is teeming with life, some of it intelligent (though not necessarily including us), and even concede the possibility that some such life may have visited us. But as for the conspiracy theorists, they've got a long way to go to convince me that any objective they (the aliens) may have needs our help in any way, especially help from a 'Black' government that seems woefully ill-prepared to keep even their own secrets.

Tony Chester

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