Little Green Men – Attack! is a campy and entertaining collection of tales by a range of talented writers. Robin Wayne Bailey is new to me (as an anthology editor), but Bryan Thomas Schmidt has put out a number of my favorite anthologies over recent years. This is another solid collection of stories to add to that list. My favorites included “School Colors”, “First Million Contacts”, “Stuck in Buenos Aires with Bob Dylan on My Mind”, “A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin’ Love”, “Day of the Bookworm”, and “A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning”.
Seanan McGuire wrote a fun story in “School Colors”. Who knew that cheerleading was such a popular sport throughout the galaxy? The interaction between the cheerleaders (green and otherwise) was delightful, and had me laughing multiple times while reading.
Things were a little more laid back in Ken Scholes’ “Stuck in Buenos Aires with Bob Dylan on My Mind”. You think your GPS has problems giving you accurate directions? Imagine how it is for intergalactic positioning systems, especially ones attached to spaceships who think they know everything. This story was a real highlight of Little Green Men – Attack!.
In “First Million Contacts”, Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman explore what would happen if the invading little green men almost—but not quite—understood the cultures they were invading. The reactions of people to these sincere little green guys was great fun, and mirrored some of the interactions I’ve seen between cultures myself.
Esther M. Friesner has been one of my favorite authors and editors for years (you should check out her Chicks in Chainmail series). Her take on franchise coffee is hilarious in “A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin’ Love”, with a little Eastern flavor thrown in. It’s nice to see a story where the author really, really did their homework on the folktales involved.
Allen M. Steele took librarians and made them heroes in “Day of the Bookworm”. I have read all kinds of alien invasion stories, but never any that involved libraries. I was grinning the whole time while reading this one. It was great fun to see aliens not at all interested in anything to do with politicians and the military (not that I don’t love me some military science fiction, but Steele did a great job on making the usual crowd completely irrelevant in this story).
Finally, Beth L. Cato takes us to an unexpected twist in the Victorian Age in “A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning”. Anyone who has read (or watched) romances set in Victorian times will love this tale. Think roller derby Fight Club crossed with Jane Eyre, toss in a little green man for flavor, and you’ll get the picture. The Brontë sisters must be rolling in their graves over this one.
A couple of the stories didn’t work as well for me, but they were still entertaining. The rest of the stories were very good to great (“A Greener Future” by Elizabeth Moon still makes me chuckle when I think of it, and “Meet the Landlord” by Martin L. Shoemaker has a lovely twist). I wish I had more space to go over every story in Little Green Men – Attack!. Suffice it to say, I will enjoy revisiting these stories in the future. They are all good for a laugh and I suggest picking up this anthology today.
“The Little Green Men Take Their Hideous Vengeance, Sort of” by Mike Resnick
“Little (Green) Women” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Good Neighbor Policy” by Dantzel Cherry
“Stuck in Buenos Aires with Bob Dylan on My Mind” by Ken Scholes
“Rule the World” by Jody Lynn Nye
“School Colors” by Seanan McGuire
“Meet the Landlord” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Big White Men—Attack!” by Steven H. Silver
“The Green, Green Men of Home” by Selina Rosen
“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth L. Cato
“The Game-a-holic’s Guide to Life, Love, and Ruling the World” by Peter J. Wacks and Josh Vogt
“Day of the Bookworm” by Allen M. Steele
“A Greener Future” by Elizabeth Moon
“A Cuppa, Cuppa Burnin’ Love” by Esther M. Friesner
“Little Green Guys” by K.C. Ball
“The March of the Little Green Men” by James E. Gunn
“First Million Contacts” by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Alex Shvartsman
“Hannibal’s Elephants” by Robert Silverberg
“The Fine Art of Politics” by Robin Wayne Bailey
Release Date: March 7, 2017 (USA)
ISBNs: 147678213X (9781476782133)
Publisher: Baen Books
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (occasional, minor)
Language: 2 (varies by story, some had little to none, others had mild, others had some stronger language)
Sexuality: 1 (a couple stories with innuendo and more direct discussion)
Violence: 2 (mostly comical fighting and alien attacks, some death (alien invasion, so of course))