Human by Day, Zeta by Night claims to be a fictitious account of real-life interactions between space aliens (Zetas) and human beings. Such interactions include encounters here on Earth and alien abductions of human beings for study in off-planet locations. The book’s long view is that such interactions have been going on for thousands of years. The aliens, who created the human race, come back periodically to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Lately the aliens spend a lot of time here tinkering with us because they’re afraid we are going to kill ourselves and wreck the planet.
Of course we’ve all heard these stories in movies, on TV, in sci-fi adventure novels and in first-hand accounts by those people who claim to have been abducted. What makes Human different is the author/narrator, who claims that he/she is him/herself one of the alien beings involved in ETs’ effort to save us from ourselves.
I first got interested in this stuff away back in 1971, when my former book club sent me Eric von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods. I was doing a lot of psychedelics at the time. All the people I hung out with were more or less crisp around the edges. My next-door neighbor claimed to be a witch. She told me there was a poltergeist in her house and that her Pomeranian could levitate. You get the picture.
Anyway, from where I was perched at the time, von Däniken’s ideas had a certain appeal. Today I laugh about it, but still I tune in to programs like Ancient Aliens on the History Channel ’cause I keep hoping somebody will come up with something that proves we really need those Men in Black. Reality reeks! Know what I mean?
So now I hang on the Internet. I got a whole bunch o’ books and I read and write quite a bit because I like to read and write. Also, my cat gets tired of me almost as often as I get tired of the History Channel. I was bored one day when I saw this Human by Day book offered on LibraryThing’s “Member Giveaway” dingus. I tossed my name in the hat thinking I might win a chance to learn something new about von Däniken and/or extra-terrestrial astronauts. Now I realize I should o’ stayed with the History Channel and all those Ancient Aliens.
The long and the short of it is that this Human gizmo is a really lousy book. In fact, it’s one of the worst I ever opened. The whole thing falls apart within the first nine pages because the narration is sickeningly smarmy. The allegedly alien narrator and the allegedly alien characters generally do not speak, do not act and react to events as they would if they were truly members of the alien race described in the first few pages.
See what I mean: According to the narrator, he and his kind are ageless, “spiritual beings,” who exist on a different plane than we humans. The narrator himself claims to be thousands of years old. The narrator also says that spiritual beings such as he can inhabit a human body (or any other “biological container”). They never die but “abandon the container” when it becomes uninhabitable — or at any other time they please. When they “abandon” their “containers” they do not “die” but their spirits soar back to “the mother ship,” where “the elders” give them new duties that may or may not entail use of a new biological container.
All of that together adds up to the fact that the narrator and his alien brethren are immortal. This reader was struck hard, therefore, by the silliness of scenes such as the one on page four:
“Oh Alarca, I am so sorry! I’m not going to be able to stay here much longer, but I don’t want to leave you here on your own!” A thin, grey, four-fingered hand reached feebly for mine and she gasped in pain as her rapidly weakening thoughts telepathed into my mind.
Makes it sound as if receiving a telepathic message is like reading a ticker-tape, doesn’t it? Anyway, Alarca (the narrator) replies:
“Ashka, it’s all right!” I cried, holding her hand in both of mine to enable her to draw on the maximum amount of energy to ease and hasten her release from the pain of her badly damaged container. “Please, just let go! Go home with the others! I’ll be fine.” I wanted to take her in my arms, but dared not because of the severity of her injuries. Instead of comforting her, I would only cause her more pain.”
Given that Ashka and Alarca are immortal, this reader has to ask: “Why are these alien clods upset by little things like compound fractures and catastrophic arterial bleeding, or stove bolts embedded in their skulls? Why the concern about your “container” getting injured or killed when you know for a fact that nothing can harm the “real” you at all?
Were I immortal like Alarca and Ashka, I might have replied: “No sweat, Babe! Hurry up and kick that bucket loose! I’ll see you back at the mother ship in a couple of hours. We’ll get drunk and raise hell, maybe fool around a little.” But no! These clods have to bawl and slobber all over each other.
Even so: I gave the narrator the benefit of the doubt and read five more pages of that drivel before I gave up and closed the book for good. The style of Human is both preachy and smarmy and is therefore not ready for prime time. Use of club-footed verbs such as “telepathed” gives one to suspect that the author’s vocabulary and syntax each have one foot stuck in the same bucket of cement.
If I want to know about alien beings, I’ll go back to von Däniken. There’s nothing in Human by Day, Zeta by Night Zeta by Night that’s worth knowing, anyway. All anyone could learn from reading this book is that the people who created it are probably either fraudulent or crazy — or both.
Solomon sez: Don’t take this one home with you, readers. You’ll need weeks to get the smell out of your house. Neighbors may call the Health Dept.
Judy Carroll’s Human by Day, Zeta by Night: A Dramatic Account of Greys Incarnating as Humans (Granite Publishing: Columbus, NC; 2011. 335 pp. $18.95).