2.04.2012

Review: The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything


By on 12:10 AM


The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything. George Alec Effinger. 2004. 18 pages.

I was sitting at my desk, reading a report on the brown pelican situation, when the secretary of state burst in. “Mr. President,” he said, his eyes wide, “the aliens are here!” Just like that. “The aliens are here!” As if I had any idea of what to do about them.

There are literally a too many brilliant things about this short story (not a book) for me to list them all here. The premise is brilliant, the sci-fi references abound, the humor is great, and the plot twist (if you could call it that) is absolutely amazing. It's really nice to read a sci-fi/alien invasion story that doesn't feel the need to weigh you down with all the horror and death that seems so prevalent in one of my favorite genres.

Naturally, this means not to go into this expecting an in-depth analysis of the implications of an alien invasion, complete with political intrigue and all the other furnishings. Furthermore while I love Effinger's style of story (seriously, the man is great at what he does) this particular one felt a bit simple, and while I believe the simplicity fits perfectly well with this story your mileage might very well vary.

The story (and humor) begins immediately as the secretary of state bursts into the oval office and informs the president of the titular aliens. The sarcastic, jaded, and somewhat bitter president has to find a way to deal with the inevitable problems that the Nuhp (the know-it-all aliens) cause. Luckily if he can mange to handle their condescending behavior, their inability to park (it makes more sense in context), and their strange, seemingly arbitrary method of determining superiority (they believe the score of Ben Hur to be the best human musical composition by far) then the Nuhp will assist humanity in solving some of its problems.

Eventually the hilariously difficult Nuhp (imagine a know-it-all 8 year old) and the problematic bureaucracy that surround the president cause a wide range of internal conflicts that eventually manifest themselves into a wonderfully brilliant plot-twist.

Anyway I recommend this book if you're:
  • Somebody who enjoys humor
  • A fan of George Alec Effinger (you should be)
  • Looking to get into reading George Alec Effinger's works (definitely worth doing)
  • In need of a break from heavier sci-fi works
  • A fan of amazing plot-twists
  • Looking for a great short story
  • Trying to get into the sci-fi genre


All-in-all 'The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything' is a wonderful sci-fi short story with witty humor and a great plot making it all the more sad that it's so under-appreciated. Thankfully with the magic of e-books and amazon you can get a copy right now. Seriously, it's like 99 cents and worth every penny.

And of course, if you've read this piece please tell us what you thought about it (especially if you agree with me about how amazingly awesome it is) by leaving a comment. And don't forget to subscribe and add us on Facebook and Twitter if you liked this post.


Rusty is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and gets up to all kinds of shenanigans planning for any and all kinds of apocalypse when he's not busy reading, writing, or yo-yoing. Keep up with him and Rachel on Facebook and Twitter to get cool, space related news or click here to read more of his thoughts on the terror of alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.

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