Saturday, July 14, 2007

Camoflage by Joe Haldeman

Haldeman’s fast sci-fi novel is a quick, fun summer novel which you’d not be disappointed to take to a beach with you. It’s neither bad nor great, and though it does devolve into silliness by the end, there’s enough good science fiction, sex, violence, and historical popcorn to keep you occupied for it’s rather short duration.

What if two aliens came to earth? Both of them could look like anyone or anything they wanted. And they needed to kill one another. Because one is fundamentally nice and the other is fundamentally mean. So when a deep sea salvage team with government ties pulls up a spaceship from the Marianas trench, these aliens get interested and come check it out. Somewhere along the way, a scientist falls in love with an alien. (Thus upping the sheer geek factor on this novel by a full letter grade.) A showdown (yawn) ensues, and love wins the day. The end.

I’d read another Haldeman novel; some of his others get higher praise. It’s always fun to read pulp sci-fi, but this is no Hyperion, just a fun, lighthearted and derivative romp.

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