Short Story Review: Alien Contact by Marty Halpern

Are we alone? From War of the Worlds to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, ET to Close Encounters, creators of science fiction have always eagerly speculated on just how the story of alien contact would play out.

Editor Marty Halpern has gathered together some of the best stories of the last 30 years, by today’s most exciting genre writers, weaving a tapestry that covers a broad range of scenarios: from the insidious, to the violent, to the transcendent.


If you’re going to read something like Alien Contact all in one go, like I did, you should only do it if you love the idea of aliens. Of course I don’t know why anyone would read 500 pages of short stories based around an alien theme if they weren’t into aliens, but just incase you’re not, you have been warned that you could overdose.

The great thing about the length of Alien Contact, is that there’s guaranteed to be at least a few stories that will float your boat and there is enough variety that overdosing won’t be much of a problem, even if you’re like me and can’t read anything else while in the midst of a short story collection. The collection showcases a wide range of authors, such as Stephen King, Paul McAuley, Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, Orson Scott Card, and more

There’s typical space voyagers and invasions as you’d expect, but there’s also seeing life and experiences from the aliens’ perspective, stories that involve the awkwardness of adolescence, infringing on privacy, questioning of boundaries, exploration of hopelessness and survival, stories with a sense of humour, stories that are sad, and stories that are engrossing.

Alien Contact offers an array of tales that heavily involve aliens or are on the more subtle side when it comes to incorporating the subject, using aliens as means to delve into far more than exploration and discovery.

  • Genre: Science Fiction – Short Story Collection
  • Demographic: YA and Up
  • Rating Out of Five: 3
  • Format: eBook provided by NetGalley
  • Find At: The Book Depository 
  • Published: November 8th, 2011

3 thoughts on “Short Story Review: Alien Contact by Marty Halpern

    • It is. I’m so used to alien stories with action and fear that it was nice to have stories where a lot of different issues are addressed with a different method.


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