Monday, September 20, 2010
By Alan Dean Foster
The Quozl are aliens from another planet who end up on our planet. The Quozl used to be a very violent, warlike people but who have learned to control themselves. They look somewhat like rabbits and they also breed like rabbits. And even though they have mastered birth control, they are still very crowded on their home world, so crowded that sending ark ships out to unknown planets is considered to be worth the risk. Believing themselves to be the sole intelligent beings in the galaxy, they are surprised to find their new home is already occupied. Since their ships are not designed to return home, they have no choice but to land. Being the clever engineers they are, they land the ship in a mountain valley and cover it up with rock and soil in a way that completely disguises it.
Exploring their new home, they happen upon a ranch house and, while investigating it, are forced to kill the rancher when he starts shooting at them. After this bad outcome, they decide to remain hidden underground for the time being.
One day a Quozl child, chaffing against the restrictions about going above ground, sneaks away from the Burrow and has an encounter with a human child who saves him from drowning. They become friends and meet every summer to renew the friendship. The child's sister finds out about the Quozl kid and she comes to know him too. They promise to keep the Quozl's secret.
But when the two human kids grow up, the sister creates a cartoon show based on the Quozls, breaking her promise to keep the secret. Even worse, she tells her boyfriend and the Quozls are exposed.
This was an OK story. The picture on the front showed a bunch of goofy-looking Quozls exploring a human dwelling. The description in the book of the Quozls with their big rabbit ears; big feet; garish, colorful clothing and overdone accessories sort of imply that this is going to be a humorous book. It isn't. The Quozls take themselves very seriously, what with the blood-thirsty history and all. So that was disappointing. Also, the Quozls are so superior to humans, with their logic and their self-control that they are presented as the answer to all our problems. They just are not very appealing even despite their rampant sexuality, which we find out towards the end also extends to humans. They have to have sex several times a day or they become stressed out. But even that could bring to this story the lighthearted tone it was aching for. It was an interesting story but not amusing and too preachy for my taste.
I kept waiting for the fun to begin but it never did.