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I Was Probed By Aliens And Lived To Tell The Tale
Barry J. House
Pen Press, 102 pages

I Was Probed By Aliens And Lived To Tell The Tale
Barry J. House
Barry J. House has been a fan of speculative fiction from the moment he first saw the film Forbidden Planet on TV at the tender age of six. There is a strong family rumour that he is a descendant of the Dorset poet, William Barnes. In recent years, he has had a number of short stories published in magazines, including Black Petals, Scifantastic (as Editor's Choice), The Horror Express and Whispers of Wickedness.

Barry J. House Website
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A review by Nathan Brazil


'"What's level sixteen, then?"

"Destroy planet mode," he whispered. "Turning the knob to level sixteen and then depressing it gives you precisely thirty nanos before 'bye-bye planet.' Once activated it cannot be stopped. And, before you ask, the answer is any planet, Will."

"Wow, cool!"

Depth, insight, clever characterization, fascinating answers to the alien abduction mythos, are all completely absent from this book. What is does have is an abundance of silly, light-hearted, typically British humour, detailing the abduction and subsequent adventures of Will Brown. Unlike the legions of unfortunate Americans whose abduction experience leads to all manner of unpleasantness, Will Brown finds himself an odd looking alien friend. The alien in question is from Tau Ceti and is named "one who yearns for the sweetest sessric pond, even before the third milking of Teuhleuhlas's teat" which translates into English as John Smith. The true form of this critter is apparently so horrible that it chooses to mask itself with a kinder image; something described as looking like the inside of a tripe bin at an abattoir! However, before any friendship can develop, our unwitting hero must first undergo the obligatory anal probe, in order to comply with Tau Ceti law.

Nether regions duly inspected, Will Brown finds himself in the middle of a murderous conspiracy, and is hired by John Smith as his personal bodyguard. To this end he is equipped with a ray gun that would delight the Men In Black. Settings range from "mild headache" all the way up to "destroy planet mode." Naturally, Will Brown manages to save his new friend from the immediate danger, which allows this extraterrestrial Butch and Sundance to explore part of a strange new world, seek out new life, etc. Key parts of these exploits are visualised in a series of full page cartoon illustrations from Terry Cooper.

I Was Probed By Aliens And Lived To Tell The Tale is a mildly amusing work, if your funny bone was tickled by Red Dwarf, by way of Bevis and Butthead. Don't expect anything too clever, and you won't be disappointed. The writing is adequate, with the sole exception of Will Brown using the British swear word bloody as a punctuation mark. It's not offensive, just a little irritating due to over use.

Copyright © 2006 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at

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