Readers' Comments and Reviews

Review by Jordan Maclay

I enjoyed this unusual book very much. It is not a rehash of standard SciFi plots with evil aliens or mad scientists or hostile planets, but opens up bright, new territory that engages the reader. It challenged my prejudices about evolution and life forms, yet ended up seeming more believable than many SciFi stories. Turner bases some of his ideas on current research in brain function and artificial intelligence. I am a space scientist, and found he was good on the space science.
 The story is about a community that has traveled in space for millions of years, with different members/species playing different roles. They have set up a post in our solar system in the asteroid belt near Jupiter, which has been operating since the dawn of life on our planet. This satellite is discovered and a relationship begins between earthlings and these "friendly invaders." There is intrigue, insight, romance as the plot develops. We act in some ways you might expect, including military intervention. But the aliens have a much bigger and more gentle view of life, with a million years of experience across the galaxy.
 I did not want to put the book down. I am starting his earlier book "Twillingers Journey," the first book in this series

Review by Christopher Shillock

Exciting plot. Exciting ideas. Friendly Invasion is the sequel to Twillinger's Voyage. Turner's first book is a detailed Utopian novel, unfolding the set up of a "counter-planet" established by an alien race. The plot recounts Twillinger's progress as he adapts himself to a moderate system of entrepreneurial capitalism.
 With Friendly Invasion, the story goes into warp drive with myriad intelligent species and a saga about human adaptation to galactic civilization with a plot that teeters between nuclear holocaust and, as per the title, friendly invasion. There's something for everyone here: nerdy computer puzzles, hot sex amongst telepathic aliens, Pitkanen's theory linking matter and consciousness. These are Easter eggs revealed in dialogue and the intricacies of plot.
 Although Friendly Invasion is a sequel (Jerry Twillinger even makes a cameo here), the novel can easily be enjoyed in it's own right.
 Disclaimer: I helped the writer with a couple phrases in Spanish and got a mention in his acknowledgements.

Comments by Alix Elias

I just finished reading the book and really enjoyed it! I very much liked the Widrix's and the Paranaris, --they're a lot of fun and very appealing! If you write a 3rd book I'd love to have more of them. Likewise, I thought the idea of using the multiple personality Carlos was fascinating and wished I knew more about him. I mean more about all his various personalities. I couldn't help but wonder if you couldn't have used him more in your plot, I mean, without turning the story into a psychological treatise on MPD. For example, I wondered exactly what Carlos HAD experienced in his childhood. It might be horrible, but that's the sort of thing people have a horrid fascination for. I always thought of multiple personalities being more or less bunkum exaggerated by Hollywood, although Jekyll and Hyde rings a bell in all of us (particularly when liquor is added to the mix). But you take it seriously in the book. So I did too.
  Can MPD be cured? But I'm just quibbling. I liked the book very much, and just passed it along to Richard, He's already started reading it!

Mini-Review by Peter Kelly

In "Friendly Invasion", author Daniel Turner takes the reader to a future upset by the arrival of friendly aliens with an advanced technology. At one point the reader is quietly dropped into a wormhole of quantum complexity that belies the novel's simplicity. When the reader re-emerges the plot conjures solutions to some of our human induced political impasses. Best read several times.

Review by Denis Murray

I loved Friendly Invasion on so many levels!! I grew up reading science fiction in the Amazing Stories tradition, where some scientific idea was changed a little for the sake of exploring a story based around that change. Friendly Invasion uses the multiverse idea creatively in somewhat the same tradition.
 The use of the dream as a credible notion of our psychological self-awareness is a wonderful way to open the mind to subtleties and intuitive possibilities less easily considered with traditional rigid notions of self.
 The notion that over time sentient societies evolve social relations that do not include war seems to be supported by the vast edifice of the society of the galactics that's described in wonderful detail, and the use of this as a key response by the galactics to the act of war by an earth country allows us to see the wisdom of this response in a factual context. I note with interest that the use of manipulation and trickery was part of the particularly happy outcome of the particular act of war/response situation, but it was clear that all that did was move humans along their natural path sooner, and was not necessary to the wisdom of eschewing war.
 The colorful alien species are fantastic; in the first place, they're used with a gift toward advancing the action and the thoughts that arise. Truly, I am awed by the way all these small details are worked into the large scheme while keeping the story running!! The economic aspects alone were a tour de force, not to mention the physical details of the counterplanets. I still am thinking about the life in the park without money, but with regulations and barter.
 I don't know if I liked Amrit more than Nubeline, but I loved them both. I am still looking at the cover art, trying to see the bodhisattva and Amrit as somehow related, but I don't know much about bodhisattvas; I will do some reading and thinking.
 The use of the multiple personalities as an aid to the action of the story but also as part of dream/reality motif, was clever and helpful. Again, I don't know much about multiples, but the notion that meeting each other would offer the chance for wholeness was really interesting.
 The spirituality evident in the depth of psyche of all beings was powerful for me. The basic plan to ask us to see more of the complexity and ambiguity of ourselves and the world around us is so worthwhile an endeavor and so well done. My hat is off to the author.

Review by Bonnie Dalzell

In his newest sci-fi novel, Friendly Invasion, Daniel Turner wisely and gently reverses the conventional expectation that aliens who appear in our solar system have only one thing on their minds: domination of the Earth. Not so, it seems, for creatures of the Wid World, who decry the savagery of war and exhibit both patience and prudence in their efforts to communicate the universal principle of civilization: "be courteous and friendly to your neighbor, just as you want him to be to you."
 When military maneuvers from Earth threaten a civilization that has evolved for millions of years, the zini go to work on enlightening Jack McQuaid, who was sent to attack them with nuclear missiles. Eventually, he recognizes that in his world prejudice against anyone who is "different" is the norm, and has fueled rampant discrimination and violence as a "necessary evil". Getting to know these friendly invaders, and learning the true meaning of trust are lessons laid out for Earthlings by a colorful cast of alien characters, the most enchanting of which is a musically-gifted bird named Amrit, a "pararnar" who on the surface resembles a parrot. Given the right sort of nourishment, Amrit can translate and speak as well as any of his companions, but he also speaks the old- fashioned language of "feeling, of sympathy, of direct awareness."
 The novel touches on drug dependency, environmental trash, and other contemporary human issues. One chapter provides a couple of treatises (perhaps too techie for this unscientific reader) on physics and philosophies about dreams vs. reality. The concluding scene at the United Nations is fast-paced and hopeful, and the epilogue helped me close the book feeling entirely satisfied. In fact, I wouldn't mind one day if I looked up at the sky and saw a squirrel-cage habitat making its approach.

Briefly noted in the Abington Quarter Newsletter by Christine Greenland

Dan Turner published another book, Friendly Invasion... A delightful read! Follow-up to Twilinger?s Voyage.

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Bobby Matherne's comments; not included in his review: I read so much Science Fiction as a kid that by age 15, I think I had spent more time on Mars than on Earth! So much that I rarely read science fiction, but I found your novel charmingly different than most science fiction, sort of Heinlein meets Quakers.