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A Question of Navigation
by Kevin Hearne
Subterranean Press, 142pp
Published: January 2021

This is a very fun novella from the author of the Iron Druid series.

Clint and his buddy Derek were taking a leisurely hike in the mountains, expecting to rejoin their pregnant wives when they encountered two strange little girls; one of which promptly ate Derek.  The other informed Clint that he had been selected to participate in a special program; one that would delay him being eaten as part of the alien invasion. So long as Clint cooperated in her experiment to understand humans, he wouldn’t be eaten…right away.

Once aboard the alien ship, Clint was introduced to a small group of other special humans.  They were given a room, food and allowed to keep their clothes on.  They were then given a map of the ship, key cards to go anywhere they pleased and encouragement to run as long as they could.  From this exercise, the aliens expected to learn much about how humans would react to the impending invasion.  But despite their extensive experience with human communications; there was a lot about the human spirit that escaped their attention.  And their over-weening sense of superiority just didn’t prepare them for what happened next.

And what happened next is standard fare for our own sense of superiority; but it was fun.  Bloody but fun.  Hearne’s sense of humor pervades this story as does his opinion that we need to love each other more.  Nothing wrong with either of those things.  The feeling of the story stayed with me for several days; I enjoyed it.  ~~  Catherine Book

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