Jealous Haters Book Club: Apolonia, chapter 13

And we’re back, with more space rock nonsense.

Remember how in the last chapter–okay in every single chapter so far–Rory demanded answers about Cyrus’s weird behavior and everything that was going on? Well buckle up, because you’re about to get the exposition dump of your lives. Rory and Doctor Z are sitting on his couch, which she thinks he probably got from a garage sale.

Dr. Z was a humble man even though he’d won a Fields Medal, the Hubbard Medal, and the international Balzan Prize.

Okay…has this ever happened? I tried to find out via google, but I had no luck. It seems unlikely to me, because the Fields Medal is for math and the Hubbard Medal is for exploration. The Balzan prize kind of covers both of those, so probably people have won that one and the other ones, right? Is this like an EGOT thing?

He expected to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry one day for his thirty years of research on the calcium-sensitive proteins within cells and their biochemical language.

That’s kind of ballsy, to expected you’ll win the Nobel Prize. He’s like the Kanye of chemistry. Except Kanye is way more interesting.

But for over a year, he’d been obsessed with newly discovered, unusually regular radio signals coming from an unknown object in the Galaxy M82. His oldest and most trusted friend, Lucius Brahmberger, a renowned astrophysicist, had discovered the signal, and together, they had begun investigating the anomaly and Eric von Däniken’s paleocontact hypothesis.

Is this how science really sciences? You just start out in math, then wander over to chemistry for thirty years, than suddenly oh, space looks interesting, I’m going to give up all of this other work I’ve done and bop on over there? Because if that’s how scientists really work, I picked the wrong fucking field. That sounds perfect for someone with no attention span. Rory goes on to tell us that Brahmberger disappeared seven months after he first got the radio signals, and Dr. Zoidberg kept doing his research for him. He thought maybe he would find Brahmberger on the other end of the trail of space breadcrumbs or something. A secret government person told Dr. Z about the meteorite that landed in Antarctica, so Dr. Z rolled on down there, then came back with the rock. Dr. Z figured the meteorite was the same one that was sending the signals, so… This still doesn’t explain why Dr. Z has the rock. It’s specified in the text that he went to an Antarctic Special Protected Area, so he had to have an in to get there. Yeah, he had a “secret government contact” feeding him information, but how’d he physically get into the site? The secret contact was like, “Hey, I’m leaking information to this guy, can we get him a plane ticket and a permit?” Plus, those sites are already crawling with scientists and military, so why would they let Dr. Z leave with the rock? While we get two big paragraphs explaining how he knew about the rock, we don’t get any explanation as to why he was given this rock, or why it left the ASPA in the first place.

He lectured to his classes, giving no one any reason to ask questions.

Oh, that’s it? He’s just sneaky about it? Well, that explains everything. Except how he got the rock back to the states, but whatever. I’m seriously hung up on this whole “secret government contact” and nobody knows he took the rock with him until the government just finds out and has to come after him. Did the “secret government contact” put the rock on the plane and fly Dr. Z out of there, too? Too many people are involved in the chain of command here for the space rock they’re all studying in a remote location to just go missing. So, now Dr. Zoidberg is about to get all the answers he’s been looking for, and Rory is about to get all the answers she’s been hounding Cy for. Cy says:

“The specimen is dangerous, Dr. Zorba. It’s the last piece of a long-dead planet, Chorion. The planet had suffered civil unrest for years before wars, planet-wide devastation, and finally, what we had always thought was a plague led to its demise. The planet had been quarantined for decades. All of Chorion’s inhabitants are extinct.

“The remnant, your specimen, is something I’ve been tracking for a very long time. It contains inactive parasites, and given the right environment, those parasites could spawn. Earth was the perfect place for the remnant of Chorion. Fortunately, the mixture of nitrogen and oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere keep them inert, so there was no danger of the parasites reactivating. I tracked the specimen here with the intent to bring it back with me so that we could properly…dispose of it, just as we did the rest of the planet.”

I sighed. “We don’t have time for this.”

BUT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED YOU WANTED ANSWERS FROM HIM WE’VE HAD TO LISTEN TO YOU INSISTING THAT YOU WANT ANSWERS AND YOU’RE GOING TO GET THEM AND NOW YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR IT? I’m so glad I’m reading this on my computer and not my Kindle, because the latter would be in pieces on the floor right now, and there are way too many empty Coke cans and discarded fruit snack wrappers around my computer for me to reasonably lift it in a fit of rage.

“Hush, Rory!” Dr. Z said, frowning and waving me away.

An animated .gif of Uther from "Merlin" clapping

Slight diagonal clap for you, Dr. Zoidberg!

“So, you’re saying you…you destroyed an entire planet?”

“We had no choice. It was overrun.”

The War Doctor from Doctor Who, standing in front of the Moment that will destroy Gallifrey

So, continuing the massive info dump, the parasite is dormant because the host is extinct, these parasites can wipe out a planet in like two days, and Cy is from a planet called Yun. Underlines indicate italics in the text:

Yoon?” I asked, trying to form my mouth around the word.

“Yes, Yun. Its meaning is similar to sunshine.”

“Boring. Not even any Kryptonite in this story,” I said, my chin resting on my palm.

“So, my planet had to blow up another planet, because we’re aliens.” “Ugh, this is so boring. Can we talk about pop culture references now?” Yes, Mary Sue characters are important for the development of young girls learning to write. Professionals, however… I mean, seriously. The “spunky” heroine is unbearable, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I turned the page and found out that she was actually another daughter of Elrond, who has dazzling color-changing eyes and curves in all the right places.

Rory is going to end up paired with Draco Malfoy by the end of this fucking book.

The head of all the sciencey stuff on Yun got a signal from Chorion and had to go check it out, since it was coming from a dead planet. Their “Amun-Gereb,” Hamech, sent somebody over to find out where it came from, but they never came back. The signal that Dr. Brahmberger thought he was getting from the planet was really an SOS from the exploratory vehicle.

“What is a hammock?” I asked.

It’s a thing you put in your yard and lay in it.

“Hum-OCK,” he pronounced precisely with a slight accent. “He is our Amun-Gereb. He is a…like your President, but he leads our entire planet. He is king.”

So he’s not like a president at all, is he? He’s more like a king.

“Amun-Gereb,” Dr. Z said. “As in the supreme Egyptian god.” “That’s where Egyptians first heard the word, yes, from our exploratory teams, as they did Osiris, my namesake.” “Oh,” I said, nodding. “The ancient astronauts were real. The paleocontact hypothesis is correct! Please, Cyrus, go on,” Dr. Z said, engrossed.

The weird hair dude from Ancient Aliens. His name is something Italian that I can never remember.

Never has this picture been more appropriate.

Okay, so, this is a thing I’ve been thinking about, because I’ve been watching Ancient Aliens a little bit on the Netflix, and I started thinking about how weird it is, well, not weird, just racist, that we seem to feel that the only way–the only way–that a civilization of people of color could have possibly made these huge leaps of technological advance is with help from aliens. In our science fiction, we really do seem to be content with the trope that the ancient Egyptians not only were incapable of figuring out all those STEM fields they had on their own, they also couldn’t form their own culture. It had to come from aliens. That’s the conclusion a lot of people are content to settle on. Not that human innovation was responsible for the advances of this society on Earth, but that visitors from another planet is the most likely explanation. The only time we’re willing to accept the greatness and importance of the ancient Egyptians themselves is when we’re pretending they’re white.

A picture from the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings, staring a bunch of white people as the main characters and a bunch of black extras as slaves and guards.

The slaves and servants can stay black, though. Because the casting directors don’t see color.

Anyway. Exodus: Gods and Kings wasn’t science fiction, but The Fifth Element, and Stargate both were, and both featured that exact trope. They’re also two of the most celebrated science fiction movies of the last century. It’s so ingrained, Maguire probably didn’t have any idea that she was furthering this really offensive trope.

As a sidebar, there’s an episode of Futurama where the Planet Express crew delivers to an Egypt-like planet, where the aliens tell them all about how they visited Earth and met the ancient Egyptians. But the flip is that these aliens learned their culture and how to build pyramids and shit from the Egyptians, not the other way around.

Cy tells them about how the crew member who sent the SOS signal was already infected by the parasite, and she met a pretty grisly and painful end. Rory thinks about how Cy can still hear the woman’s screams, and how some memories never fade even if you try to get rid of them. But, you know. At the top of the page, this was all boring, until she could compare her own traumatic experience to it. Cy says he’s been studying humans since Heracleion was discovered:

“The underwater city discovered in 2000 near the Nile Delta?” asked Dr. Z.

So, remember Rory’s inane questions about how to pronounce shit? Writing Tip: Nobody talks like this. The pronunciation questions could have been cut, because they weren’t totally necessary. Instead, Rory could have asked what Heracleion is, and Dr. Zoidberg could tell her, and it wouldn’t feel so wonky. Here’s an example. Imagine if someone said, “I’ve been watching Doctor Who since the reboot,” and someone else responded, “The long-running British science fiction program which was rebooted in 2005?” instead of, “Oh, that show with the guy with the phone booth for a spaceship?” or something similar. It would sound pretty fucking weird, right? Anyway, back to Heracleion.

“It was an area of interest for our people around Earth’s three to four BC. Heracleion was a place our people visited often. There were many statues erected in my ancestors’ honor and many scripts detailing our assistance to the Egyptian culture. Part of my function is to make sure our civilization is protected, and the discovery of Heracleion was alarming to our council. Your oceans are vast and largely unexplored, and so for centuries, we weren’t concerned about the relics detailing our visits here, but once Heracleion was discovered, I decided to design a mission to extract any concrete evidence of our existence to prevent any unwanted contact.”

That’s another part of the science fiction Egyptians trope. The heroes of Egyptian myth weren’t borne of a need to explain the natural forces of life and death and the environment around them, but someone had to come from space to teach them to make these myths and put up statues. Also, if you don’t want people to know about you, maybe you should be like, “Hey, guys? The statues are flattering, but you probably should chill. You look a little desperate.”

Dr. Z  thinks they should try to make contact and an alliance and everything.

“You have to admit, historically, humans don’t make the best neighbors,” Cy said. “It would become, What do you have? And then, What do you have that I can take? And then, the fighting starts.”

I rolled my eyes. It’d be fascinating maybe, if it weren’t a huge steaming pile of bullshit.

I can’t tell here if Rory means the entire alien story, or just the idea that humans are violent thieves. If it’s the latter, shut the fuck up, Rory. You spent this whole book telling us about how little you trust people because of the violence you experienced. So, Cy info dumps more about how the parasites redirected the SOS signal from Chorion to Earth, using the infected crew of the vessel. Now, the CIA has these parasites on the rock or whatever, and probably Brahmberger, and they’re going to make him reanimate the parasites or something. But why the fuck would they want to? And what’s the point of a parasite that kills its host that quickly? In two days, it can decimate a whole planet? How is it surviving? And I’m so confused. Chorion had been considered long dead for decades. Then a signal came from it. So Yun sent a vessel. And that vessel found an alien vessel, and the alien vessel had been sending a signal to Yun. And there was life on the planet, but it was alien life, aka, this parasite. This parasite that wipes out an entire planet in two days, but was somehow still alive and thriving decades after the planet was dead. But most importantly:

“We can’t let Tennison keep the specimen, Dr. Zorba. If he manufactures a sustainable alien atmosphere, and the parasites are reanimated, none of us will last long.”

Okay, so…why would he do that, then? Does Tennison know that the parasites could reanimate if he put the rock in the right environment? Or is the danger that he might maybe just accidentally create the right environment? I need more information here before I can decide if this is a situation that calls for panic.

“Tell us what to do,” Dr. Z said.

“Hold on, I have questions.”

Like, two pages ago you were all, “We don’t have time for this,” Rory.

Cy frowned. “I know you don’t believe any of it. I expected that. But we can’t stay here. They’ll be knocking on the front door any minute.”

You just told the longest story in the history of exposition, but now there’s a sense of urgency? Rory asks Cy why he didn’t just take the rock the very first time he had access to it, and Cy tells her that he stuck around because he wasn’t sure how much “data” had been collected. He was worried that Dr. Z would hand over the “data” to NASA and they would send an exploratory vessel to the planet. The planet that…was…destroyed? NASA is going to send a ship there? And how does Cy know all of this stuff about our CIA and our government and humans, etc, but not realize how limited our manned spacecraft capabilities are? Then this happens:

“Why would the parasites redirect the beacon here?” “It’s a flourishing host.”

But how is it a flourishing host if it can’t survive in the environment? And if it’s dormant in the first place? I feel like a lot of stuff here just isn’t making sense at all. I’ve gone back and reread this chapter a few times and I’m still not understanding what’s going on. Because so far:

  • Cy’s planet got a signal from a dead planet.
  • They sent a mission there.
  • The planet wasn’t really dead, there were these parasites.
  • The parasites redirected the signal to Earth, where the environment isn’t suitable for life.
  • Cy’s planet blew up that planet.
  • A chunk of the planet just happens to land here.
  • Where a scientist might or might not seize it and create an environment in which the dangerous parasites could live.

There seems to be a lot of coincidence driving these events. And you know, science fiction is riddled with coincidence. But usually not this many, and not with so much of the danger contingent on further coincidences that sound unlikely at best.

Cy hesitated. “I am scheduled to leave. If I am not at the rally point at the predetermined time, I fear…” His eyes lost focus as he retreated into his mind.

“You fear what?”

Cy stepped out of the darkness into the only trace of streetlight coming into the room. “Apolonia.”

Peter Griffin in the Family Guy episode where he says he gets excited to hear the title of the movie in the movie.

I love when they say the title of the thing IN the thing!

I wasn’t sure if Apolonia was the parasite or something worse.

I bet it’s worse. I bet it’s his fiancé. I’m calling it right now.

Cy tells them that Apolonia is “emotional” and that if he’s not at the abandoned gas station by the Old River Bridge at the right time, she’s going to come looking for him. That would be bad. But he won’t tell them why it’s bad.

Rory asks Cy if he’s going to take the rock with him, but he says he wants to contact his people first. He can get the rock from Tennison later, and he doesn’t want to involve Dr. Z and Rory any further. Rory points out that they’re pretty much already involved, and Cy agrees that they should all stick together. Cy made a reference to Apolonia’s crew during the discussion, and Rory wants to know what he means by “crew.”

Picture from a dance scene in the movie Step Up: All In.

Apolonia is a b-string Channing Tatum.

“Before I go running around in the dark in winter, I want more answers.”

Cy shifted, clearly impatient. “We can’t stay any longer, Rory.”

“Just answer this, and then I just have one more question, and then we can go.”

You know the scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show where everyone is like, “Janet! Brad! Dr. Scott! Rocky! Janet! Brad! Dr. Scott! Rocky!”? Well, I feel like that scene is this chapter. “We need answers! We don’t have time! Rory, hush! We need answers! We don’t have time! Rory, hush!” Just with Rory and Cy flipped some of the time.

“Crew might not be the right word. They’re more like a retrieval team. Apolonia is the daughter of Hamech. She’s a highly decorated soldier and leads the Jhagat, Yun’s army. She is the captain of her father’s best warship, the Nayara.”

I swallowed. “And she’ll be emotional if you don’t show up because…Apolonia is your betrothed, isn’t she?”

BOOM! Called it.

Fuck. He really was going to leave. If even half of what Cy said about this woman was true, how could Earth compete with a Xena the Warrior Princess?

Never has an analogy been so far off the mark. Xena: Warrior Princess took place in a mythical AU ancient Greece. Apolonia is a space princess and the captain of a warship. If anything, Apolonia is Princess Leia.

Cy tells Rory that he’s sorry, and Dr. Zoidberg is all like, have you two had sex, and they’re like no, and he says:

“Good,” Dr. Z said, taking another step toward Cy. “Or else you would have to worry about more than just Tennison. Let’s get you home.”

The Valtrex logo

Is this what he’s implying?

So, that’s what happens in this chapter. Everybody sits on a couch and talks about how much they shouldn’t be sitting on the couch while Cy explains the entire plot of the book to them and the readers.

130 thoughts on “Jealous Haters Book Club: Apolonia, chapter 13

  1. ““Hum-OCK,” he pronounced precisely with a slight accent.”

    You keep using that word, JamieMcguire, I don’t it means what think you think means. He’s pronouncing the word according to the pronunciation rules of the language the word comes from, right? By definition, that means he’s NOT pronouncing it “with a slight accent.” He’s simply pronouncing it the way it’s supposed to be.

    And yes, I know that, theoretically, he might be pronouncing it with an American accent. But since Rory has never heard anybody else say it, she should be unable to tell whether there’s an American accent, since she’s never heard the word before and thus can’t compare Cy’s pronunciation to how other speakers pronounce the word.

    Of course, there is the slight chance that he pronounces it with an American accent the second time he says the word but not the first time. But that would mean he’s adding an accent during his attempt to show her the CORRECT way of saying the word, which would be very counterproductive.

    1. I think she’s using “accent” as in “emphasis” or “stress,” to indicate the second syllable takes more weight. Not that I love defending this mistake-riddled work, but I think in this one case the usage might actually have been valid. :-O

    1. Whereas I, as a currently pregnant person who also happens to be a bioscientist, read it as “Chorion” each time and could not stop giggling at the rock being from Planet Yolk-Sac.

  2. “Eric von Däniken” really? Everybody in Germany laughs about this guy. He has his own comedy clips devoted to his absolutely ridiculous books! He is a meme like the “aliens” guy meme. Why the fuck is he in there? This just blew my mind. It’s like having arnold schwarzenegger as a war expert or uri geller as a professional psychic listed?!?!

    1. Right that’s where it lost me. Von Daniken is a complete crank, and no scientist as serious as Dr. Z is supposed to be would consider him for a minute.

    2. Seriously, he’s a horrible pseudo-scientist and no one in their right mind sees him as anything else… The “science” in this book doesn’t deserve this name as it is, and now we read the only seemingly real scientist we know of just went “Oh hey, let’s investigate Dänikens ideas!” *headdesk*
      Also, his name is Erich (don’t know if that was just a typo from Jenny or a real typo from the book) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_von_Däniken

  3. So this Chorizo is in another galaxy right? And they’re worried that *NASA* is going to send an exploratory ship to another galaxy??? Unless there is something NASA ain’t tellin’ us, they’re just now getting exploratory ships out to our own solar system, not even another solar system, let alone another freakin’ galaxy.

    1. Wait…wait…but what if………..ALIENS??!!?! NASA could be hiding secret technology, and the rumors that their funding is drying up are just a cover-up! Think about it. Just think about it. (But not too hard.)

    2. THANK YOU! This is all I could think about. And as a physicist, I also couldn’t stop wondering how a chunk of planet from another galaxy that was blown up made its way to earth, given all the various massive gravitational pulls it would have experienced along its LIGHT YEARS long journey??? Unless, I’m misunderstanding something about the premise, this makes no fucking sense.

      And don’t even get me started on the parasites and their potential reanimation. Somehow, they just survived massive doses of radiation exposure in space and the heat of entry into Earth’s atmosphere?? (This is also why my husband refuses to watch most sci-fi movies with me.)

    3. But did you forget what’s hidden under Cheyenne Mountain? Or our spaceships like the Prometheus or the Daedalus?
      We all know that Stargate isn’t a sci- fi series but a documentary, right? Right?
      XD

      But honestly, Apolonia is a crossover ff obviously.
      The whole alien- egyptian thing – Stargate
      the love triangle including unreasonable attraction – Twilight
      Cy’s betrothed – The Fairly Odd Parents
      space rock with parasites – Evolution (I wonder if the alien parasites of Chorizo can be killed with drandruff shampoo, too?)

      Did I miss any other movie or series ideas that are used here?

      1. Cy brought it with him and dropped it from his spaceship because he just wanted to get away from Man-die? Uhm sorry, I meant from Apolonia?

  4. Well personally I dabbled in several fields of science, but then, I’m a university student with no clue what I actually want to do, not a professor. Also I thought Heracleion was a mispelling of the town in Crete at first.

  5. Well personally I dabbled in several fields of science, but then, I’m a university student with no clue what I actually want to do, not a professor. Also I thought Heracleion was a mispelling of the town in Crete at first.

    Oh, the talk about Egypt and aliens reminded me that Stonehenge researchers have just found buried stones that are thought to be a Neolithic structure about five times bigger than Stonehenge. I just though that was cool. :)

    1. That Stonehenge thing is neat; I didn’t know! Also, been there, done that, re: fields of science at college. My brother just picked optical engineering because the local university has a good program for it, plugged away straight ahead on that, and now he makes buttloads of money while I scrounge as a writer. I say just pick something! It apparently doesn’t matter what STEM specialty you choose; anything is better than wandering aimlessly.

      And now you’ve had your daily dose of random advice from a stranger on the internet. :-P

  6. I just keep picturing Apollonia from Purple Rain coming down from her space ship complete with 80s backup dancers in lingerie. Which would actually be pretty rad.

    I’m guessing she’s just going to be some threateningly-gorgeous type who Rory will spend every other paragraph hating or picking apart.

    1. I feel like it’ll be more of a “Ugh, she’s so perfect. Her long, silky silver hair, her stunning smile, her deep olive skin. Of course Cy was in love with her. How could I ever compete?” kind of situation, but maybe I’m being optimistic in saying that. Then she’ll do like one flawed thing and Rory will be all over it.

      1. We all know Apolonia will be awful, horrible, and look like a giant slut; she’ll threaten to blow up the planet because she’s “emotional.” Rory will then throw the parasite rock at her and Apolonia dies and Rory goes off to have Alien babies with Cy.

        That’s the best case scenario for the end of this book

    2. “I’m guessing she’s just going to be some threateningly-gorgeous type who Rory will spend every other paragraph hating or picking apart.”

      My money’s on her nickname being “Evil, Cum-Burping Slut 2: Electric Boogaloo”

  7. This book just puzzles me. I can completely understand why someone might enjoy writing it. Some of the things I write for fun tend to dwell on long, dialogue-heavy scenes and the have choppy transitions. It seems like that happens when you like some bits more than others and don’t care much about the reader’s experience.

    It’s hard for me to imagine anyone but the author getting much pleasure out of reading it, though, or that someone wouldn’t point out these flaws before it was published.

    1. Same here. It reminds me of the novel I wrote when I was 14 about a guardian angel training another guardian angel who becomes friends with a demon. Once I finished it and re-read it, I realized there was no plot and it still befuddles me how that happened.

      1. are you kidding me? I’d read the hell out of this story (pun intended)!!! and i’ll bet my firstborn child it would still be galaxies better than this one.

        1. At least there’s no slut-shaming that I remember lol.

          I still have my old novels I wrote as a teenager that I plan on revisiting and scavenging and polishing what good stuff is in there. I was super into witches and angels working together. XD

    2. It’s mostly that this thing got published that bugs me. I think the weird info-dump about Dr. Z’s awards was a cruddy bandage the author stuck on when an editor said, “Wait, why is this guy so cool that he gets a space rock?”

      I admit, I’ve been very lazy in my own writing, churning out self-published erotic short-stories as fast as possible. I’ll stick band-aids on any old thing in that context. Still, my standards are much higher for someone getting published and marketed through traditional channels, because so many more pairs of eyes have gone over this thing.

  8. For a time, I switched from print books to Kindle because I love the instant gratification of new books right now… and then I had to switch back because you can’t throw a Kindle (or an iPad) against the wall. Yes. Really.

    Is it just me or is the structure of this book kind of a mess? Why is there backstory about Dr. Z happening right now? He wasn’t in disguise. This isn’t all new information. Shouldn’t the awards have been discussed earlier? Better yet, why not have Cy be the established assistant and Rory is new and trying to fit in which would give her a reason to learn all this information in a way that seems less like an info-dump. And do we even need to hear about Dr. Z’s awards right now? Why would this matter?

    The whole “rock full of dangerous but dormant” alien parasites seems like it could be a good story. At least it’s clear why the rock is important and why we should care what happens to it and there’s a good reason for everyone to run around after it. I’m not quite sure why Rory doesn’t seem to give a crap. I have written more than my share of Mary Sues. In fact, I am probably writing a few more right now. I’m sure that many/most/all of them are insufferable but I’m pretty sure I haven’t ever interpreted failure to care about the plot of my own story as cool… unless I am completely misunderstanding the point of the story. Maybe this has all been a build up for a character we haven’t even heard about until now and therefore don’t care about but the author really does so… meh, I give up who cares.

  9. This book is sooooo bad.

    There were many statues erected in my ancestors’ honor and many scripts detailing our assistance to the Egyptian culture.

    So I guess his ancestors worked with the racist producers of the Egyptian movies and TV shows you mentioned in their whites vs. non-whites casting? Wow, this author seems to be anticipating your every move and then mocking your criticisms! I’m impressed!

    Also, Heraclaion is on a delta, not in the deep, unexplored ocean Cy mentions. (And would his name by Sy, if it’s short for Osiris?)

    1. I think he’s saying that Cyrus is derived from the name Osiris more so than short for it, but even that doesn’t make a lick of sense. Cyrus is a Greek name that’s derived from a Persian one. Completely unrelated to the Egyptian god.
      Plus, in Art History classes eons ago, I was also told that Osiris is a Greek-ish pronunciation since we really have no idea what Ancient Egyptian sounded like. That could be wrong, I haven’t ever really double checked it, but if true, the name of that god likely didn’t sound like Osiris.

      Also, even now Osiris is pronounced many different ways. Cyrus being from Osiris kinda works (except for where etymologically Cyrus and Osiris are unrelated) if you’re saying it “oh-SYE-rus” but an equally acceptable pronunciation is “oh-SEER-iss” and there’s lots of other pronunciations where Cyrus-from-Osiris doesn’t work.

  10. So Apolonia is his fiancee? I thought the book was called Apolonia because reading it is as painful as getting all your teeth pulled. Which is something, the martyr of the same name had to endure.

    1. Whoa, Apolonia/Apollonia is an actual person (and apparently several cities)? #mindblown because I totally thought it was just a made-up Greek-sounding word and never even thought to Wiki it.

      P.S. I *hate* tooth torture scenes. Every other kind of torture is chill, but not the teeth. Don’t read A Thousand Splendid Suns if you’re like me on this. It will haunt you.

        1. Eyes for me too.
          In one of the Outlander books (hell if I know which one. I read them all back-to-back so they’ve mentally blended in to one incredibly long, long story) a family member has fluid and pressure build up in her eye causing her horrid pain. Claire uses a sewing needle to, erm, release the pressure.
          Reading that scene made me scream aloud and gave me nightmares for several days in a row.
          Even just thinking of it I want to curl up in to a ball, cover my ears and sing something happy to try and shut out the memory of it.

  11. Delurking to mention that Osiris isn’t even the Ancient Egyptian name for the god in question; it’s the Greek form of something that’s rendered in the Latin alphabet as some variation on Usir or Aser. Even then, the Greeks didn’t pronounce it the way we do, so the idea that his actual alien name renders into English as Cyrus rather that it just being a pseudonym beggars belief.

    (Inaccurate pronunciation of dead languages is something of an irritation of mine.)

    1. I took latin in school and our teacher drilled into our head that V’s are pronounced like W’s. so that to this day if someone says Vini, Vidi, Vici with a “hard V” it bothers me.

    2. I should have read further before posting.

      But yeah, my big peeve is names and OMG CYRUS IS NOT DERIVED FROM OSIRIS IN ANY WAY is driving me crazy. Cyrus is the Greek form of a Persian name. Just because a name sounds similar to another in your language doesn’t mean they’re related names! Gah!
      And they don’t even really sound the same. I’m pretty sure that in Greek, Cyrus is said Ky-rus, so Cyrus-is-derived-from-Osiris falls apart there too.
      And who wants to bet that Cyrus being the Greek form of a name and Osiris being derived from the Greek name for that god is just a big ol’ coincidence. That the author did no research on these names besides “Cyrus sounds like Osiris, so they must be related names! Teehee!”

      Plus, let’s assume aliens taught the Egyptians about their religion for a sec, okay? I know. But let’s assume.
      I doubt the original aliens spoke the same language as the original Egyptians. So wouldn’t they have had to modify the names of their gods at least a little to make it work in the Egyptian’s language?
      And now let’s also assume that some freaking way the Greeks got the pronunciation of Osiris and Amun exactly correct: 1) don’t we say these words differently than the Greeks? 2) In the intervening how many thousands of years on Cy’s planet the language and pronunciation of these names NEVER CHANGED?
      Languages evolve. They change. They *especially* change when you try to translate names from one language to another. I mean, how many pronunciations of the name Jesus are in the world? How many different forms of names like John, Elizabeth, Mary, Noah, Adam, Abraham, etc? Wouldn’t the same thing happen to the names Osiris and Amun?
      At least with Amun Cy could be translating their word to the name of the Egyptian god that we use, but the whole Cyrus-comes-from-Osiris thing still does not work at all.

      1. Yup, a “C” is usually a “K” (sort of a Germanic Kkkchk) sound in Ancient Greek, which I studied. And yes, languages evolve, for those of us who read Beowulf in the original, or Canterbury Tales in the original, or Shakespeare or even Jane Austen. The sounds and spellings change. I mean, go to Greece and try speaking in Ancient Greek–wait, I’ve been there, and they do NOT understand it. They understand modern Greek. This book is like a series of lessons on what to never freakin’ do when you want to write a story.

        1. Not relevant to the discussion at all but I’m sure there’s a novel this happens in. It’s set in the war and there’s an English spy who thinks that he knows Greek because he studied Classics at University and then none of the Greek people understand him. It’s going to bug me now trying to think what book it is!

  12. Is this how science really sciences? You just start out in math, then wander over to chemistry for thirty years, than suddenly oh, space looks interesting, I’m going to give up all of this other work I’ve done and bop on over there? Because if that’s how scientists really work, I picked the wrong fucking field. That sounds perfect for someone with no attention span.
    ^ Nope. Not at all. Science is typically very focused :P

    While we get two big paragraphs explaining how he knew about the rock, we don’t get any explanation as to why he was given this rock, or why it left the ASPA in the first place.
    ^ *~PLOT CONVENIENCE~*

    Loki: So all this just SPONTANEOUSLY comes up in one chapter.
    Sigyn: Yep. This is horrible writing.
    Loki: it is.
    (we’re sitting next to each other in Starbucks reading this.)

    At the top of the page, this was all boring, until she could compare her own traumatic experience to it.
    ^ Self-absorbed twit -_-

    GDI. I was hoping Apolonia was the name of the planet or something, not some random woman. Nice that they only tell us who she is on the THIRTEENTH FUCKING CHAPTER OF THE BOOK NAMED AFTER HER.

  13. Wait, so the CYRUS THE SPACE JANITOR theory was right! He really was sent to Earth to clean up a mess! I am laughing so hard. That whole seudo-science/alien babble could have been delivered in a much more entertaining way if somebody (maybe a jaded Ellie who turned out NOT to be an evil secret agent) went: “So you’re basically just here to clean a mess that should have taken you about two minutes with all your alien abilities and knowledge. And you couldn’t even do that right?”

    Because seriously, Cyrus is sort of pretty incompetent because he, knowing that there was a deadly virus living in the space rock, took a lot of time to “find out how much data you have” which I think here is code for “stalk this pathetic excuse for a heroine”. I seriously hope Apolonia blasts his ass off to the next galaxy over. And Rory too.

    1. Damn. Does that mean I can’t write a book about a Janitor Alien coming to Earth to clean up alien excrements? Because I totally put that in my “ideas for novels” notebook! *sniffles*

      Also, if ever a fiancé was in need of a “you’re so dumb I’m seriously reconsidering marrying you right now” lecture, it was Cy. Unfortunately, that will not happen, because the author is even now extremely busy justifying him and Rory and Dr. Z. as THE!SMARTEST!PEOPLE!ON!EARTH!. So much, in fact, that not even the supposedly snarky characters are allowed to snark about the idiot ball game they’ve got going right now.

  14. *throws up a note on the book idea cork board to write a YA sci-fi from the point of view of an ancient Egyptian who saves the life of an alien and the alien learns about all of the cool shit Egyptians did*

    *reads comments*

    *throws up another note to write a children’s story called Attack From Planet Chorizo*

    1. Only problem with Attack from Planet Chorizo is people will pick it up hoping for some racism they feel they have permission to laugh at, then be disappointed and give you one-star reviews when you just tell a story with no offensive parts…

      Sorry, was my bitter disillusionment with people and the fact that I’ve been spending far too much time on Yo, Is This Racist? and We Hunted the Mammoth showing again? ;-)

  15. I swear, if I read any more snippets from this book, my head is gonna spin so much it’s going to fly off and squish to the ground in a bloody puddle.

    After my eyes pop out because I’ve been rolling them so much at this pile of nonsense. How can people think this is good??

  16. Rory ending up with Draco Malfoy would be a huge improvement, though.

    Re: “You know the scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show where everyone is like, ‘Janet! Brad! Dr. Scott! Rocky! Janet! Brad! Dr. Scott! Rocky!’?”–

    Or in M*A*S*H, when they do that schtick of acknowledging each other all, “Major. Captain. Corporal. Captain. Sergeant. Major….. Captain……… Major.” That sh** used to crack my mom up every time (she had every season on DVD; what can I say?).

    I’m a little sad you didn’t call out Cy stepping dramatically into the only light in the room. I see this a lot in YA/NA fiction, staging things like a movie without respecting film/cinema as a separate medium with different rules. For example, I really enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s series starting with Cinder, but the action scenes got weirdly slowed down sometimes because she described every trajectory of a weapon, every character blinking, etc., in a way that would work on screen because you can cut to and away really fast, but takes much longer with words. I try to fight this phenomenon in my own writing, but it’s a sneaky one.

    Anyway, good recap as always, glad you’re back on schedule with the…dare I say? Apolonia. Grey. Buffy. Apolonia. Grey. Buffy. Apolonia…

  17. But…but I don’t understand. The book is named after a character, who hasn’t made an appearance yet, and it’s chapter thirteen. What I know of Rory indicates that she will villify and loathe this woman, who will probably be Ellie (Ella? Ellen? Er…that super memorable mean-girl character…) 2.0. So why name the book after her? There are a bazillion astronomy/space-sounding things she could’ve gone with.

    Also, I don’t understand exactly *why* they’re fleeing the evil, government organization. I mean, maybe this will come up later, but since Dr. Z has essentially stolen a very dangerous space rock…he kind of had this coming to him. And furthermore, why did he–having obtained the space rock, through super shady means–entrust it to two innocent people and get them involved?

    And hey, maybe someone should call the evil government and let them know what conditions not to put the rock in. Just saying.

  18. Not to be fussy, but I’m fairly sure the scene goes “Janet! Dr Scott! Janet! Brad! Rocky!”. I watched the movie about five times in the past two weeks, so…
    Apolonia, though – I actually bought and read the book because the recaps made me curious, and it’s just *SO BAD*. Everything that happens in it is just so random and nothing makes even the tiniest bit of sense. It’s like the author was flipping through all TV channels ever while writing and kept thinking “ooh, my book should have that too”. And it’s totally normal for a scientist to know *all* the sciences, I mean, that’s what science school is for, right? My doctor is also a space pirate cowboy astrophysicist mathematician, and I think it’s totally plausible that one person would know everything about all of these things – most of it is just numbers, anyway, so how hard can it be to learn it all?

  19. I never understood why people think the Alien Contact thing is specifically racist, since everything I’ve seen about it (and admittedly I haven’t seen everything, by any means) also covers the Megalith civilizations of the neolithic European Atlantic seaboard. I think it just has to do with our fervent belief in PROGRESS. If everything is getting fancier and everyone is getting smarter all the time, then the further you go back in time, the stupider people must have been, right? The idea that significant knowledge can be *lost,* that the technology can exist to do something massive and then five hundred years later no one has the slightest idea who did it or how — that just freaks us right the hell out. It’s almost as if history doesn’t develop along a straight line headed directly toward us, or might not keep getting better for all time!

    1. We’ve lost a lot of knowledge along the way–it’s so very…human…of us to weeble wobble our way through history!

  20. Oooohhh, I’m SO glad you used the Ancient Aliens guy! I started reading it thinking “Jenny needs that meme with the dude with the hair” and then I scrolled down and…you never disappoint. EVER.

  21. Literally nothing in this chapter makes sense, but I first got stuck on the Dr. Z thing so here’s my rant. Apparently Dr. Z:

    1. Was, early on in his career, a mathematical genius who won a Fields medal – I assume ‘early in his career’ bc Fields medals are only given to people under 40
    2. Then became a genius and highly successful biochemist who won the Balzan prize and expects to win the Nobel prize for his work on calcium-sensitive proteins – or that would be my guess, since the Balzan prize has a natural sciences category
    3. Sometime during his career, won a Hubbard Medal for exploration and discovery. Is this is a handwave-y “him being such a good explorer is how he was able to get in and out of Antarctica” thing?
    4. Somehow in the past…year? six months? Has become a “successful astrobiologist” rather than a biochemist, because that’s how he’s introduced to us in the first fucking chapter.

    So this dude is brilliant and successful.

    Why the HELL is this dude teaching in a small technical institute in Indiana? Where the hell is his lab? You know, for his successful thirty years of research on cell proteins? Where is his funding? Where are his research assistants? KIT doesn’t sound like it has a graduate or PhD program at all – who has been helping him/doing his grunt work? Oh, and after 30 years of successful biochemical research, research for which he expects to win the Nobel fucking Prize, on a whim he decided to give it up for…not even astrobiology because it doesn’t sound like he knew there were lifeforms in the space rock. Astrogeology? WHERE DID HIS GODDAMN OTHER EXPERIMENTS GO? WHY ISN’T THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OR AT LEAST THE HEAD OF HIS DEPARTMENT BANGING DOWN HIS DOOR ALL HEY DR. Z, THE ROCK IS COOL AND ALL, BUT MAYBE YOU SHOULD KEEP WORKING ON THAT POTENTIALLY NOBEL PRIZE WINNING WORK YOU’VE BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST THIRTY YEARS INSTEAD, BUDDY?

    *breathes* And the funny part is, I didn’t even study the sciences; I just know people who have.

    1. ^ Agreed with everything here. I was almost managing to suspend some of my disbelief until she went into detail about Zoidberg’s “scientific background”.

      This is “science” as written by someone whose only experience of science is from high-school – where you spend an hour staring down a microscope at the gribblies you pipetted up from the school pond, then mosey on over to the physics laboratory to roll trucks made of old roller-skates down a ramp to study acceleration under gravity. Obviously, “real science” is exactly the same.

      I would personally be giving a serious side-eye to a *mathematical* genius who went on to be worthy of a Nobel prize for his work in *extremely specific* biochemistry AND who went on to study astrogeology. I’d be wondering whose work he’d stolen.

  22. Stargate – TV show did a little better, broader peoples, some white, all getting tech and knowledge and belief systems from aliens… or, in some cases, just taking on the pantheon of a belief system so they could be worshipped, b/c these aliens are assholes.

    ‘Earth’s three to four BC’ – backwards dating is backwards. BC goes the other way, so this should be ‘four to three BCE’ (since AD/BC has sort of fallen out of favor or something?)

    “Cy stepped out of the darkness into the only trace of streetlight coming into the room. “Apolonia.”” — Roll Credits

    1. And as I recall the Egyptians in Stargate did make life far to uncomfortable for the aliens – which could be seen as a plus point.

      Jenny: Do you considering it white washing to use norther European/American actors to play Greeks and Romans. Just curious as I have seen teh idea of the Mediterranean circuit being seen as one cultural world in ancient and classical times so social contructs of race could be seen differnetly. (This isn’t to say teh alien theory doesn’t date from much alter when socio-cultural boundaries ahve moved and therefore is as disturbing as you suggest.)

      1. Actually, Greeks tended to be lighter-skinned way way back in the day. The Mediterranean was a mixing bowl of ethnicities and there was, back then, no “race” awareness as we think it. There was locality awareness and pride, but no sense of hatred toward skin color. Just hatred toward country of origin, which is so much more positive. The Romans began , if you will, the sense of color awareness in that they liked the blonder appearance of the Germanic peoples (the whole wig thing).

        I digress and mention that Cleopatra was Greco-Egyptian and therefor whitish, if we look at her with present-day eyes. She would have considered herself Egyptian, through and through, but present-day people would label her as too pale.

        The idea of race as a pejorative, definitive way to look down on peoples only came into its “glory” after the discovery of the Americas, because the “Indians” were so very different from any other group the Old World (including China/India) had ever seen.

        I could go on.

        1. I would find further discussion fascinating. I was not overly aware of what complextion ancient mediterrnean inhabitants had but most of the other things roughly resonate with my understanding.

          1. The Northern Ancient Greeks, especially, were pale with silver blond hair (as pale as people who were in the sun a lot could be). Northern Romans, same. The Romans we think of (the Empire) tended slightly darker, hence the fascination with taking the blonde hair of Germanic captives for wigs. Any man of any background could become a citizen, if he swore allegiance to Rome and fought for it, but a woman never could. Women were breeders.

            (Gathering thoughts.)

          2. The northern Italians are still really light-skinned. My family comes from north of Rome and we have red hair, fair skin, light eyes and freckles. People think I’m Irish!

          3. The Ancient Egyptians had a habit of painting women with white as in tablecloth white, men as red as in ochre red, Set as black as in keyboard black…but these were artistic choices. Not many people walk around with hippo or crocodile heads. They were semetic, as most of the peoples in that tight band around the southern portion of the Mediterranean were.

      2. I’m trying to remember the Stargate backstory – iirc, the Egyptians pretty much told Ra to take a hike and buried the ‘gate so he couldn’t come back. At least, he couldn’t come back the easy way. He could still fly his pyramid-shaped ship in the long way ’round.

    2. Ding! Haha! Exactly what I thought after reading it. I watch too many Cinemasins.

      On another note, the sci-fi info dump was really confusing. The conditions on earth are good but the infested rock will remain dormant until what? Huh? I think Ms. Jenny tried to summarize everything as clearly as possible but she can only do so much to a material that has lots of holes, and a protagonist who is clearly not interested in filling them up.

      1. OMG, you don’t even know. I watch *all* the CinemaSins… and read the twitter and – I’ll just stop before I start hearing everything in Jeremy’s voice. /o\

    3. People don’t like BC because of the “Before Christ” thing. Jews especially hate it and it’s caught on in other circles.

      But it’s kind of silly because “BCE” still means the same years and so is still dependent on whatever year Christ was supposedly born. It’s semantics. But I’ve noticed most sicencey types use BCE these days, so Cy probably would not have said “BC.”

  23. “Chorion”, huh?

    I’m trying to figure out whether the name of the Evil ex-Planet of Deathy Microbes is an easter-egg of some sort – as the chorion makes up part of the placenta.

    Are we going to find out that the “parasites” are actually some embryonic form of Cy’s species, or maybe the larvae of a rival species that has been oppressed by the Yun (I have no idea if his species has an actual name)? Maybe waking them up will allow them to reveal the secrets of the alien royal family’s genocide, just to ramp up the evilness of Ellie mk 2.0? Because, all supposed altruism aside… why would the Yun actually care if Earth was infected by these parasites?

    Or maybe, the author just thought “that’s a cool word” and plonked it in. That would be disappointing. :( (I’m personally terrible for using real words as place-names in my writing, but I try and use words that are related to the thing I’m naming.)

  24. I have a massive problem with putting my finger on the exact time this Aliens meddled with the Egyptians. Because Egyptian history goes back thousands of years. But since this book often uses Greek names and Cy mentiones that they where active around 4 to 3 BCE (I’m still not sure if McGuire wanted to write from the 4th century to the 3th century BCE) I think McGuire settled their meddling mostly in the time when Egypt was ruled by the Ptolemaic Dynasty and later by the Romans. So basically when Egypt was ruled by white people.

    Plus I still don’t get how the aliens assumed their existence could be protected when documents about their existence were present in a harbor town in the Roman Empire, where goods were shipped to everywhere around the Mediterranean sea and Roman officals documented everything and reported it back to Rome. There is no way that proof of their existence was only present in Heracleion.

    1. It is actually impossible to have aliens inspire the Egyptians as their main gods or whatever if they only showed up in the first century BC (or for that matter, the fourth or third centuries), given that Egyptian religion was well-established centuries before THAT. What we think of as “ancient Egypt” was gone-daddy-gone by about 1000 BC.

      This reads like she didn’t even bother to read the damn Wikipedia article.

    2. “I still don’t get how the aliens assumed their existence could be protected when documents about their existence were present in a harbor town in the Roman Empire”

      What I don’t get is why the aliens first come to Earth, get intimately involved with the inhabitants there to the point of massively advancing their technology/culture/etc. and the Earth population building them statues and other tributes – so they clearly aren’t worried about hiding their existence from humanity at that point. And then at some later point in history it’s suddenly like “they must never know about us!”

      So, for a certain stretch of history the Yun-folks are perfectly happy to interact with humans openly, and for humans to know about them and even worship them. Then apparently they drop out of contact at some point (why?) and knowledge of the Yun-ians very existence is lost completely (somehow) and then afterwards when possible hints of the Yun-ians existence resurfaces, suddenly that is terribly concerning and has to be hidden from the humans? Why?

    1. Maybe Rory will realize, that this beautiful, strong Xena-like Warrior Princess is what she needs in her life, they will fall in love and run away together <3

    1. I’m not. I’m actually surprised she managed to puke up something this coherent. Judging from what Jenny’s told us about her, she doesn’t have too many properly-functioning brain cells.

  25. Damn, for a second, I thought Apolonia was the name of their planet destroyer. I mean, that would make sense, Cy not making contact, meaning the parasites runs free, the only way to safe the rest of the universe is to nuke earth.
    But … it’s just the name of his fucking girlfriend?

    And I got a good laugh out of von Däniken being a real scientist, did she ever bother to research at all?

  26. Here’s another “WTF science” point – there are Earth diseases that don’t cross species barriers. How in the blue hell is an organism that evolved to prey on an alien host species going to infect anything on our planet?

  27. All this parasite plot sounds pretty much like the parasites in Halo and Dead Space, they not really consume but instead they mutate their host and use it’s body to attrack and trap new prey.

    But you know, isall with out the actual sci fi, terror factor this kind of thing should have.

  28. For one thing, no scientist believes in anything Eric von Däniken ever wrote. For another, Rory is pretty calm about all these revelations. For a third, it’s complicated just getting TO Antarctica, much less sneaking in and stealing a space rock from NASA/CIA/NSA/The local Chamber of Commerce, and sneaking out back to the US. For a fourth, really? Cy doesn’t just grab the rock and go–instead, he plays College Boy for a semester, wasting valuable time? Are you fucking fucking me? For another, what the hell, Apolonia, what?

    This is primally stupid.

  29. Oh, and Apolonia is the captain of the best warship, and Cy claims Earth people are warlike? Cy, let me ‘splain you irony.

  30. Oh good lord I just realized something.

    The meteorite, the antarctic expedition, the”parasite” that will wipe out the planet in a few days.

    Guys, it’s The Thing. This fucking book has ripped it’s only half interesting plot device off from The Thing. And don’t tell me that they may not have known The Thing I’m talking about, it’s The Thing, even if you haven’t seen The Thing, you know The Thing.

    Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to go get the flamethrower and kill this book with fire.

  31. As a biologist working on her masters in microbiology and immunology, I just want to point out that no you do not jump around science like this. Every time you get a higher level degree, you tend to get more specialized in the field you originally choose. So it’s incredibly unlikely Dr. Z would go from math to chemistry to physics/space rocks. The chemistry he was studying was biochemistry and this dude would not get funding or support from his university to study a space rock since he has no previous experience with that. If you are not bringing in money for your university you eventually get fired. In order to get grants (money) you have to prove to a million committees that your experiments will have a decent success rate and will be important. Stealing a space rock would do none of those things.

  32. Apolonia makes me feel so much better about my Dragons and Russian Cosmonaut erotica.

    Also should be noted that my browser spellcheck wants to change Apolonia to “Apologies”.

    Seems legit.

  33. So, this is it. The grand explanation we were supposed to be waiting for, the one that was supposed to make all this shit make sense? And all I can say is… “Look at all the fucks I don’t give!” I wasn’t even interested in finding out about it anymore – and frankly, the ton of inconsistencies aside, I’m really surprised that we actually got that much of an explanation. Because I expected her to go like, “Space Rock! That’s explanation enough!!!”

    1. What???? indeed.

      Plus, if Cy has a fiancee, why does he seem to be so interested in Rory? Has he not actually touched his fiancee in 5,000 years or however long he’s been chasing this space rock and he’s just desperate?

      1. The dude decided to spend a semester cooped up in a lab instead of running off with the rock like a sane person. He’s obviously a glutton for punishment.

  34. im mostly a lurker but I love these posts – cracking me right up! My theory on apolonia is that she will be beautiful and slutty and Rory will hate her and then it will turn out that she was responsible for all the terrible everything’s – the parasite, destroying the planet, sending space rock to earth, humans somehow figuring out how to revive the parasites, maybe even the murders of Rory’s family. It’s the only way for Rory to be utterly vindicated. I don’t think it will make sense or be explained mind you. Just sort of stated near the end before Rory blows apolonia up and saves everyone.

  35. So here’s the thing… I find the “our ancient gods were actually aliens that were way more powerful than us so we considered them to be godly” thing SUPER interesting. Like, semi-plausible, and pretty cool.

    BUT WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE EGYPTIAN GODS? Can’t any other religion be based on an alien race?

    1. Why not the Aztecs? They had a pretty dramatic religious thing going on. Or the Lutherans? There could be jello molds!

    2. Well, there was this old comic series from Belgium called Thorgal, which is literally “VIKINGS, but the main hero’s actually an alien from outer space.”, basically it’s about a guy who grows up in a viking settlement after being found in a small escape-pod as an infant–and as a kid, he winds up meeting his alien grandfather who was posing as Odin (he does that in order not to break his grandson’s kid-mind that there were aliens walking around in Scandinavia and Thorgal isn’t as human as he thinks).

      The best thing about this is that the writing’s strong, the art is *amazing*, and there’s a lot more badass females than in this book (even the lead heroine, Aaricia, has her own adventures–even as a little girl, she goes on a quest to help a blind god regain his sight).

      Plus I think the majority of the comics are translated to English, so that’s a bonus!

    3. There definitely is an aliens inspired the Aztecs/Maya/other pre-contact American people thing that goes on, too – the most recent Indiana Jones and the second National Treausre movie both have it, iirc.
      The Marvel universe is the only white people example I can think of – there it’s the Norse gods, ie Thor, who are actually aliens.

    1. Wasn’t there a passionate wet/bruised Cy vs Rory sex scene that Dr Z walks into that we missed? Including Cy’s alien penis and his human-skin camoflage wearing off and Rory discovering she’s a descendent of ancient aliens when her vagina dentata get triggered, severing Cy’s alien member which gets transformed into a proto-ubermensch alien embryo inside Rory and they have to use the space rock as an incubator to spawn a new generation of aliens to repopulate Yun. Also Benji + Apolonia have sex in the control center of the battleship. That I all.

  36. I didn’t read all of the comments so I’m sorry if this has been said.

    But with the whole signal, painful death by parasite, dead host etc. all I could think of was the Space Jockey in Alien, whose ship (I think) was still sending a warning signal to others to stay away long after it had perished. Anyway the Space Jockey supposedly dies from an Alien bursting through it’s chest which was a parasite :D. And I think the eggs laid by Aliens lay dormant for as long as is necessary (until hosts appear etc.). Of course in sequels others want to use them for biological warfare etc. Basically the whole description made me think of Alien only it’s not been worked out very well, at all…

    1. That was my impression, too.

      I liked the “it’s like she was flicking through the tv channels while writing” theory someone posted earlier. The book is totally jambled with pieces she couldn’t meld together successfully.

  37. I’m so confused. Is Dr. Z’s name Dr. Zorba or Dr. Zoidberg? Because he’s called both in the quotes.

    So they are sitting around on the couch but Cy is stepping into light in the street? So confused.

    1. i think he’s actually dr. zorba in the book, but something in the early descriptions of him (or maybe just his name?) reminded jenny/us of dr. zoidberg from futurama.

  38. I said this above in a reply to someone’s comment, but the ‘aliens teach brown people culture’ thing is definitely not limited to the Egyptians, it happens with pre-contact American peoples, too. The most recent Indiana Jones movie being a prime example.

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