The Silent Invasion: Abductions – Robert J. Sawyer introduction

Abductions, Book 3 of The Silent Invasion is now available through finer book shops (as the saying goes). It can be ordered in print online and is available as a digital download.

To help entice you to make the purchase, we are presenting here Robert J. Sawyer’s introduction to this volume. Sit back and enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

HERE WE GO AGAIN

The French, they have a certain—I don’t know what. But they sure do have a way with words, and, as they say, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are in 2020—remember when that was an eye-test score and not a year?—and the dark paranoia of the 1950s is with us once more. To let Yogi Berra, a famed athlete from that era, continue our French theme, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Larry Hancock, who writes The Silent Invasion, is my accountant—and a damn good one he is, too. Since my principal dealings with the government are on matters of taxation, I like that Larry has a healthy skepticism about what those in Ottawa (for us Canadians) and Washington (I’m a dual citizen—he does my US return, too) are up to.

Larry and Michael Cherkas, the gifted artist who draws The Silent Invasion, were mere young’uns when McCarthyism gripped the United States, but they were university students by the time the edict “follow the money” led to the downfall of Tricky Dick Nixon. And, as they were creating the first floppy-comic versions of what’s become a beloved cult classic, the notion that the US government had faked the moon landing (and then faked it again, and again, and again, and again, and again) was already entrenched in the popular imagination.

Those earlier issues of The Silent Invasion predated the Clinton impeachment, the Iran-Contra scandal, the trumped-up war in Iraq following 9/11, the labeling of truth as “fake news,” the current raging paranoia about deep-state activities, the resurgence of flat-Earthers, and the election of a shifty reality-TV star to the most powerful office in the world. And although this third volume was also begun before all that happened, it reads as though it could have been written today.

What seemed like nostalgia for the hard-boiled detective fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, and a callback to the UFO craze and Red scare of the 1950s, now reads like—well, not newspaper headlines; those are so last millennium. Our intrepid hero, Matt Sinkage, were he still plying his trade today, would doubtless have a YouTube channel with millions of followers. He’d no longer be a voice in the wilderness, his warnings rarely heeded, but rather the center of tweetstorms, and no doubt the subject of online jabs, not from the long-forgotten President Callahan, who, in the Invasion-verse was elected in 1960 despite Sinkage’s attempt to assassinate him, but from President Trump himself.

Matt Sinkage would recognize the parallels between those two commanders-in-chief, though: Callahan was a dupe, a stooge, a puppet of alien forces, and, well, so, it seems, is Donald Trump, in that interchangeable way that aliens and Russians exist in the shadows of our minds. As Matt said of the former president but could have just as easily observed of the latter, “If he gets elected the aliens will control him. They’ll be in charge of the country … and maybe the world.” Where is Senator McCarthy now that we finally actually need him? Instead, we live in a world where nothing, not even impeachment, seems capable of bringing down the monster in our midst.

This third volume of The Silent Invasion at last adds in a little Canadian content; after all, its two creators live in Toronto. They insidiously use Canadian spellings (“neighbours” rather than “neighbors”), casually bring Canadian football into a conversation, and seamlessly weave the long forgotten Avro Avrocar flying disc into the plot.

Some grad student will eventually note that the name The Silent Invasion echoes The Quiet Revolution that transformed Quebec in the 1960s. Yes, grad student. What you have in your hands is pure entertainment, to be sure, but also food for thought: there’s enough meat here about how conspiracies, cover-ups, and corruption work to fuel a decent thesis or two.

Of course, the first thing one notices when leafing through these pages is the very distinctive art. There’s always been something eerie about Michael Cherkas’s figures, with their muscular bodies and tiny heads, but today, when we apply force—whether online or off—without much thinking, they seem emblematic of our shoot-first-and-consider- later age.

Meanwhile, Cherkas’s harsh use of black and white, with shades of gray reserved solely for showing shadows, seems the perfect metaphor for our era of polarization. And, really, how apropos of the infiltration of Russia into our daily life is Cherkas’s unique lettering in which a ‘U’ looks like the backward ‘N’ that is the tenth letter of the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet?

So, will this long-delayed third volume of The Silent Invasion be the end of Matt Sinkage? Well, as Phil Housley said in Volume Two, “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.” And as Housley says in this volume, “Once again I was being drawn into fantastic events over which I had no control—that I couldn’t even hope to understand…”

Yes, indeed. Welcome back to the 1950s—and welcome to the 2020s. No matter the decade, you’re in for, as the French would say, un enfer d’un tour—a hell of a ride.

ROBERT J. SAWYER

Mississauga, Ontario, January 2020

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers ever—and the only Canadian—to win the world’s top three awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series. He also wrote the two-part finale for the acclaimed webseries Star Trek Continues. A member of the Order of Canada—the highest honor given by the Canadian government—and one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, Rob’s latest novel is The Oppenheimer Alternative.

Abductions is Coming!

Silent_Invasion_back cover image

Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion is coming in May! For those who don’t know, Abductions is a fun-filled paranoia-fuelled escapist romp through a warped 1960s America, a small antidote for these anxiety-inducing times.

And remember:
Look up! Look out! and Watch the skies while you stay at home!

GAAAK copy

Preview

 

New Silent Invasion Cover Not a Hoax

As you have most likely seen, the next volume of The Silent Invasion — Abductions — now has a new cover. And no this is not some sort of hoax or an alternate universe.

Abduction_front cover

Actually what happened is this: I received a message from space — through a filling in a back molar — that the aliens did not want to be portrayed on the cover! It turns out that  they appear in different guises to different people. Some see them as little grey aliens; others as wisps of smoke; and others see them as tall robotic-like creatures. So we had to change the cover or risk abduction into deep space or a parallel world (Earth 2 maybe?).

The aliens also suggested showing a few development sketches for the new cover. Here they are…

Abductions Cover layouts

The Silent Invasion: Abductions is coming in May.

Watch the skies! The aliens are out there! And listen to your molars!

 

 

 

 

 

The Silent Invasion welcomes Robert J. Sawyer

Michael Cherkas and I are pleased to announce that renowned science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer will be providing an introduction to The Silent invasion Book 3: Abductions which will be released in May 2020.

Robert J. Sawyer is a Hugo, Nebula, Heinlein, and Campbell Memorial Award-winning writer. His work has been seen through his novels such as HominidsMindscan , and Quantam Night. His novel FlashForward was adapted into a U.S. television series on ABC. He is also a member of the Order of Canada and one of eight writers (and the only Canadian) in history to win all three of the science fiction field’s top honors for best novel of the year.

Robert J. Sawyer in Chengdu, China, September 2019, where he gave the keynote speech at the Fifth International Science Fiction Congress.

His latest novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative will be released June 2, 2020.

For more information on Robert J. Sawyer, visit his website http://www.sfwriter.com by clicking http://www.sfwriter.com


For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

Remember to watch the skies!!

Abductions! The Lost Covers

Abductions! is coming from NBM May.

And to get you all feverish with anticipation, here’s a look at four of the covers from Secret Messages—the long-lost floppy comic—in which Abductions! was first serialized.

Secret Messages Cover_02_small

Secret Messages covers_3-4-5

Next week: more lost art… plus answers to the following burning questions about Canadian football: Why are there two 50-yard lines? How can the entire backfield be in motion without confusing both the offensive and defensive teams? And why are the end zones so big?

Keep watching the skies, even though it’s already too late! The aliens are here and stealing your precious bodily fluids!

The Silent Invasion wallpaper

Last week Michael Cherkas shared with you a close to final image of the cover of Book 3 of the Silent Invasion, Abductions!

As I pondered what to add to this blog, I realized that I have an image that I have never shared with anyone. This is the wallpaper that I use on all of my computers.

I created this several years ago. Perhaps it is time to update it with more recent covers!

To download a full sized image in Windows, right click on the image and open it in a new tab. Then save the image from there.

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

Publisher’s Weekly “The Fanatic” previews The Silent Invasion

Great News! The Great Fear, Book 2 of The Silent Invasion is released this month (May)! The Fanatic, Publisher’s Weekly’s online newsletter about graphic novels contains a special preview of The Great Fear. Check it out
 here (then scroll down to the Panel Mania section at the bottom of the page. and click on the image for the full preview).

Stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

The Silent Invasion at TCAF

Can’t wait to get your copy of The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear? The second volume of The Silent Invasion series will be available in May.

Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock will be appearing at TCAF – the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday May 11 and 12, 2019. We will be at the NBM table signing copies of our book and chatting with our eager fans!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

For more information on TCAF click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear coming in May!

The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear full coverI see Stefan has posted the great news that NBM will be releasing The Great Fear, Book 2 of The Silent Invasion in May! Michael Cherkas and I are incredibly excited about this imminent release! Stefan has posted the front cover of the book, but I wanted to share Michael’s full cover design with you …..

There are some great reviews mentioned on the back cover and I want to highlight those for you in my next blog post!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

The Silent Invasion – Podcast interview on PW Comics World: More to Come

Michael and Larry were interviewed about  The Silent Invasion by Calvin Reid at SPX for the Publishers Weekly podcast “More to Come.” The interview is included in More to Come 336 released September 21, 2018. It is available on several platforms, but you can find it here. Our segment begins at the 42 minute mark.

After you have finished listening, remember to watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here